Mary-Lindley-Murray-Park-Ave-Plaque 36th St-Murray-Hill-NYC-2Plaque commemorating Mary Lindley Murray’s contribution to the Revolutionary War.

In a traffic island at the intersection of Park Avenue and 37th Street, recent gardening work has a revealed a forgotten piece of colonial era history: a plaque commemorating Mary Lindley Murray, whose family the neighborhood Murray Hill is named after. Recently, writer Laurie Gwen Shapiro pointed us in the direction of the recently revealed memorial which honors Murray’s service during the American Revolution, using cake and tea, as the story goes.


Indian-Consulate-NYCImage via The Indian Panorama

Walking down the streets of Manhattan, you many notice many buildings marked with flags of foreign countries. Often characterized with unique architectural features, these buildings could be consulates, permanent UN missions, administrative offices or residences for foreign ambassadors who work and reside in New York City. Some of them may be designed by foreign architects, but most of them have interesting stories of families who were prominent figures of New York. Next time you are strolling down Fifth Avenue, make sure to look out for the waving flags and take a moment to admire these architectural gems. (more…)

The United Nations was created to replace war and bloodshed with dialogue and compromise. But the five avenues west of the UN’s East River location have been home to over 350 years of war history. From decapitations to anti-war rioting, these five avenues are a reminder of the violence that the UN was established to prevent.

1. Park Avenue, 1919

german-helmets-pyramid-victory-park avenue-war bonds-NYCA pyramid of 85,000 German army helmets from WWI. Photo via Smithsonian Institution.

Five avenues west of the United Nations is Park Avenue, today the home of Grand Central Terminal and a slew of corporate headquarters. In 1919, it was the home of two enormous pyramids made of German army helmets. 85,000 German army helmets, to be exact. After the Allies won the First World War, American soldiers captured the helmets in a supply depot in Europe and brought them back to the States. Then the American government displayed them outside Grand Central Terminal to convince New Yorkers flush with pride to buy war bonds. German helmets were also awarded as prizes to government workers who successfully sold the bonds.

Bedroom Arcade NYAC-NYC-Untapped CIties-jinwoo chong-03A Manhattan apartment bedroom converted into an 80s video game arcade to the tune of $32,000.

Wouldn’t life be sweeter if all of us just took a little bit of time and money and spent it on something just for us?

At least, that’s the principle for New York resident Chris Kooluris, a 37-year old public relations executive who retrofitted the bedroom of his Murray Hill apartment with thousands of dollars worth of vintage arcade games.


The Old Print Shop located at 150 Lexington Avenue

The Old Print Shop located at 150 Lexington Avenue

When The Old Print Shop first opened its doors in 1898, it was located on Fourth Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets, behind Wanamaker’s. In 1925, it moved to its current location on Lexington Avenue and in 1928, Harry Shaw Newman, who had been a patron of the shop, bought it from the original owner’s widow. Three generations later, The Old Print Shop is still a family run business specializing in American graphic arts, antiquarian maps, atlases, and artist books (livres d’artist).


Consulate General of the Republic of Poland-233 Madison Avenue-CPH Gilbert-Beaux-Arts-Murray Hill-NYC-006

Last week, we joined the New York Adventure Club on a private tour of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, led by the Consul and Vice Consul themselves. This tour covered the first two floors of the Joseph Raphael De Lamar Mansion at 233 Madison Avenue built in from 1905 to 1906 by C.P.H. Gilbert in the Beaux-Arts style, whose other work include the Harry F. Sinclair House (now the Ukrainian Institute), the Morton F. Plant House on Fifth Avenue (now Cartier), the Otto H. Kahn House (now the Convent of the Sacred Heart).