Gracie-Mansion full-NYCOriginal front entrance. Image via City Parks Foundation

Gracie Mansion, New York’s own White House, is most known for being the residence of the Mayor of New York City. But before Mayor La Guardia moved in, the house had been through its own history. The house changed hands multiple times creating a colorful history since its construction in 1799. Not only that, but the piece of land it stands on has its own interesting past previous to the mansion being built. Here are 10 fun facts about Gracie Mansion located in the Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that we learned on a recent tour.


Smoking Ban-Mayor Michael Bloomberg-NYCImage via NPR

History remembers bold moves. Mayor Michael Bloomberg called his 2002 restaurant and bar smoking ban one of the most important things he had done in his life. It took effect 12 years ago, on March 30, 2003.


The city’s High Line, a major project undertaken during Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor

From the High Line to Citi Bikes to rezoning developments in New York City, the projects of Michael Bloomberg and his staff during his tenure as mayor helped to craft the city as a leading 21st century urban center. But who was left out of this grand reshaping of New York City, over the course of an unprecedented three terms?


Photo Credit: Flickr user exakta Photo Credit: Flickr user exakta

If you live or work in Manhattan, you are bound to see people selling things on the street. Winter-wear, umbrellas or even art. We’ve also seen the shuffle vendors make to gather their wares when a police officer approaches. For New York City artist Robert Lederman, the founder of Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics (ARTIST), this shuffle became routine as officers procured him 42 times for selling his artwork without a license or in a restricted area. Newsweek called it “New York City’s War on Artists” because unjust regulations prohibit artists like Lederman to sell in most high-volume areas, but allow street performers, or “buskers,” greater privileges for soliciting money in the city.  (more…)

Remix the Mayor-WNYC-LaGuardia-Wanger-O'Dwyer-Impelliteri-Beame-Guiliani-Bloomberg-Koch-Dinkins

WNYC’s Soundcheck is hosting this amazingly fun challenge called Remix the Mayor, just in time for the NYC Mayoral Election. Using archival soundclips from Mayor LaGuardia to Bloomberg (as El Bloombito, of course), you can combine as many mayors as you like (but at least one), manipulate them however you wish, and add any of your own musical elements.


The following is an op-ed by Julia Vitullo-Martin, a senior fellow at Regional Plan Association and Untapped Cities writer. 

East Midtown: Park Avenue

Many of the sleek Modernist buildings in which the advertising “Mad Men” toiled decades ago are now shabby and tired, their once glamorous tenants dispersed to neighborhoods to the west and south. The advertising industry has been gone from Madison Avenue for so long—its exodus started in the early 1970s—that only people of a certain age automatically understood the play on words behind the title of the smash hit “Mad Men.”