The hippies may have been a small subsection of the 1960s counterculture, but they had a pretty awesome run. On March 26, 1967, over 10,000 congregated in Central Park for an Easter Sunday “Be In.” The event, which defies obvious description, was the first of many such events in New York City during what became famously known as the “Summer of Love.”
In July 1927, Popular Science profiled a proposal for a sixteen mile elevated highway that would span the rooftops of a Manhattan avenue. This futuristic plan came from the mind of John K. Hencken, a New York based engineer, and was allegedly “approved by a number of eminent engineers and city planners.” The plan called for a series of uniform twelve-story buildings extending from the Battery Park to Yonkers.
Photos via David W. Dunlap
As far as developers go, the ones at 5 Bryant Park have been doing some interesting things since the get go. Capitalizing on the street art movement in New York City, they permitted “Art Battles” in the unfinished lobby in 2013. Yesterday, The New York Times reported that a large 1950s-era glass mosaic mural by Max Spivak had been uncovered behind metal panels, added during a previous modernization of the lobby. But within hours of the article publication, the mural was covered by a blue screen.
Economy Candy, NYC’s Oldest Candy Store
From its blue colored sign to its trademark image of a kid surrounded by morsels of sugary sweets, one might think Economy Candy store was erected from the remnants of a Willy Wonka movie. In truth, its origins are much older. At 78 years old, Economy Candy is actually the oldest candy store in New York City. The Lower East Side shop was founded by Morris “Moishe” Cohen, who passed away in February at the age if 97, in 1937 during the later years of the Great Depression. Despite its name, Economy Candy was originally a shoe store that sold candy to its patrons. As the economic downturn persisted, with families scrimping on uneccessary fashion purchases, Cohen found that candy continued to be that little guilty purchase. Today, staying true to its diversified roots, Economy Candy offers more than just candy, selling childhood mementos and memorabilia.
The Today in NYC series often covers obscure corners of New York City political history, but one of the most important and most tragic events in city history took place on March 25, 1911: the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. On that afternoon, a fire broke out on the top floors of the Triangle Shirtwaist (women’s blouses) factory (now an NYU dorm) in the old garment district, killing 146 workers, mostly young women.
While spring has not quite sprung, we’re planning ahead with some great walking tours for May, in partnership with Abandoned NYC, Boroughs of the Dead and Oscar Wilde Tours.
Back by popular demand, join photographer/urban explorer Will Ellis on a walk through the weird side of New York history at Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. Tales of buried pirate treasure, putrefied animal carcasses, and environmental devastation abound on this desolate shoreline, which once served as the final destination for the city’s carriage horses. Today this beach-comber’s paradise is covered with garbage dating back to a 1930s landfill deposit, offering a fascinating look at what New Yorkers were throwing away a century ago. Bring a bag to take home a few of the incredible artifacts you’re sure to stumble upon – there’s plenty to go around.