Luna Park and Surf Avenue in 1912. Image via Wikimedia Commons
While theme parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Six Flags are known for having some of the biggest rides and for being the epitomes of technological advancement, an approximately four-mile long peninsula in south Brooklyn helped pioneer all of this: Coney Island.
Coney Island, once called nicknames like “Nickel Empire,” “America’s Playground,” “Sodom By the Sea,” “Electric Eden,” and “Poor Man’s Paradise,” is much more than its entertainment side. Millions of tourists venture out here all the time, but most don’t realize the tremendous social, technological and economic impacts Coney Island has had on areas even outside of New York City. It was hard to narrow down Coney Island’s top secrets, but here are the most interesting ones we felt you should know about.
The small Bayside Cemetery in Queens. Image via Corner by Corner
Considering everything else that New York City has to offer, New Yorkers probably don’t dwell on the city’s smallest cemeteries too often. However, when we actually looked into it, New York City is filled with small, even hidden, cemeteries; most of us just don’t notice them. Thus, for this list, we’ve chosen some of the smallest cemeteries (by their number of interments) around the five boroughs of New York City, in case you missed them.
Madison Square Park during Fata Morgana exhibit. Photo via Madison Square Park Conservancy
We’ve uncovered the secrets of a lot of the major “squares” in New York City – Times Square, Herald Square, Union Square, and Washington Square Park. Next on our list is Madison Square (and Madison Square Park). Madison Square Park was named for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. It has been an urban public place since 1686 but officially became a public park in 1847, when the area was a bustling, trendy shopping district. Without further ado, here are our top ten secrets of Madison Square.
Woodhaven Post Office. Photo via Queens Brownstoner
New York City has more than its share of art. Works of art can be found throughout the city, in museums, galleries, and even scattered across its parks. However, an often overlooked venue for art in New York City are post offices. During the Great Depression, federal agencies including the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, often confused and conflated with the WPA, hired painters and sculptors to “secure suitable art of the best quality available for the embellishment of public buildings.”
Between 1934 and 1943, the Section, as it was known, commissioned works of art for more than 1,100 post offices across the United States. While some of the murals and sculptures have been lost or destroyed, most of the ones created for New York City post offices can still be viewed in situ. With the USPS closing and selling off a large percentage of its post offices, highlighting these works of art commissioned for the public is more important than ever.
Treat House in NYC specializes in Rice Crispy treats. Image via Noah Fleck/Gothamist
New York City is full of unique eateries for people with all appetites, and as we’ve continuously explored on our series about places that only sell one thing, the city is dense enough to support a plethora of single-food spots. Using Mitch Broder’s new book New York’s One-Food Wonders, a follow-up to the book Discovering Vintage New York, which we used for our guide to NYC’s Vintage Restaurants, Bars and Cafes), we compiled our top fourteen one-food eateries.
Marjorie Sewell Cautley Way, on 45th street in Sunnyside
While walking around New York City, you might have noticed that some streets are labeled with names other than their numerical or primary ones. These names, often located on signs directly under their primary ones, honor a variety of individuals, groups or organizations who have made lasting impacts or have special significance to a community. For instance, part of Church Avenue from Remsen Avenue to East 98th street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, is called Bob Marley Boulevard. There’s also Joey Ramone Place in the East Village, Humphrey Bogart Place on 103rd and Broadway, two Harriet Tubman Avenues– one in Brooklyn and one in Morningside Heights, and Gershwin Way on West 58th and Broadway. About one-fifth of honorary street names are dedicated to 9/11 victims.
As reported by the New York Times last month, a retired city planner named Gilbert Tauber created an unofficial master list of these honorary street names in New York City, along with locations and descriptions for each. We decided to make a map of the streets from the list (1,672 of them), to make it easier for you to visualize, scope out, or find some that are in your neighborhood.