Walking through the exhibition space of Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York is a whirlwind experience – purple being the theme color of the journey. The groundbreaking show, which opens on October 7th at the Museum of the City of New York, unfolds like a story as it explores New York City’s role as a “beacon” for LGBTQ artists seeking acceptance.



New York City has had some terrible nautical disasters – including the sinking of the General Slocum steamboat off North Brother Island in 1904 and the capsizing of the Normandie (SS Lafayette) in 1942. But the giant octopus attack that sank the Staten Island Steam Ferry, the Cornelius G. Kolff, in 1963 is not one of them. Yet, there is a monument to it (sometimes) in the Battery in Lower Manhattan and a website that chronicles the history of the event which includes news clippings and even a documentary. 


kiku-the-art-of-the-japanese-garden-new-york-botanical-garden-bronx-nycKiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden at NYBG

This week, check out historic talks, paranormal investigations in a historic house, Open House New York Weekend 2016, Gowanus Open Studios and the monthly return of our tour, the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam 

Monday, October 10th

Andrew Alpern, author of The Dakota: A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building will explain at the Victorian Society of New York how the building provided a practical way for wealthy New Yorkers to live well without having to shoulder the burdens of maintaining rowhouses. Read about the Top 10 Secrets of the Dakota.

It’s also Columbus Day. Here’s a guide to finding all the Christopher Columbus statues around New York City and be amazed at the transformation of Columbus Circle since the 1900s in this vintage photo article.


This image of the Warner Strand Theatre is viewable in Times Square on the Membit app. The Warner Strand Theatre was a few blocks from the Warners’ Theatre where the Jazz Singer debuted. Membit is a new augmented reality app that gives you a way to share the past with the present and a way to share the present with the future. It’s so new it isn’t even in the App Store yet, it’s in beta. If you would like to try it out before everyone else, click here.

On October 6, 1927, the first feature-length motion picture to incorporate synchronized sound premiered in New York City. Its overwhelming success signaled the end of the silent film era.

Titled The Jazz Singer, the film starred Al Jolson and was a musical motion picture adapted from Samson Raphaelson’s play of the same name. The movie’s plot centered around a fictional character named Jackie Rabinowitz, a young singer from a Lower East Side immigrant Jewish family who defies his conservative father, a temple cantor, by running away from home to become a jazz singer.

The premiere’s October 7th date was deliberately chosen because it corresponded with Yom Kippur, a Jewish high holiday central to the movie’s plot.



Yesterday, the interior and exterior of Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel was criss-crossed with hundreds of fuschia parachute cords for a two week site-specific installation by Brooklyn artist Aaron Asis. This is just one of many interventions Asis will be performing on the “lesser appreciated elements” of the National Historic Landmark cemetery over the course of nine months, in a project entitled “unSeen Green.” According to the Green-Wood Historic Fund, the aim is to celebrate these locations within the cemetery as “places of both memorialization and of public congregation” and to juxtapose the “seen and the un-seen.”


hempstead-house-guggenheim-estate-sands-point-preserve-conservancy-long-island-untapped-cities-shervinImage via Sands Point Preserve Conservancy

Sumptuous mansions, extravagant parties, lavish outfits and exotic cars – these are some of the scenes portrayed by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his book, The Great Gatsby, about the Gold Coast of Long Island during the Roaring ’20s. Inspired by visits to Long Island, Fitzgerald’s book takes place in an era when wealthy New Yorkers, seeking a more bucolic retreat from their urban lives, built opulent estates on the north shore of Long Island.

Of the grand mansions of that era that remain today, many have been demolished but many others have been re-purposed and renovated, functioning as venues for special events and weddings. Others have been converted into educational centers and museums.

Here are ten of these grand mansions from Long Island’s Gold Coast Era: