Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • ELMHURST FIRE ALARM

    November 30, 2011
    fire.alarm

    Some of NYC’s fire alarms, now being gradually grandfathered and attritioned out of existence because of the mobile phone networks, have been in place since very early in the century. This one on Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, still sports an original shaft that formerly held an alarm light notifying passersby of the presence of an [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • SUBWAY SUN AD

    November 29, 2011

    In the 1940s and into the 1960s, a series of hand drawn, light hearted signs depicting proper subway etiquette appeared in the ad strips in the subway cars, usually under the “Subway Sun” banner, all of them drawn by  an artist named Amelia Opdyke “Oppy” Jones. I’ll have more of these signs on a future page. [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains

  • R1/9 IND CARS ON 6th AVE LINE

    November 27, 2011

    The MTA is running a trainset of R1/R9 cars on the 6th Avenue Line on Saturdays during the holiday season. I have a number of interior and exterior shots but will try to get a few more before doing a lengthier FNY page. Here’s the schedule if you want to catch one: The Holiday Special [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains

  • ALONG HARLEM RIVER from the Stadium to Inwood

    November 27, 2011

    On Thanksgiving Friday I decided to walk the Harlem River area from Yankee Stadium north into Inwood, the most northerly neighborhood on Manhattan Island. Understand, though, access to the Harlem River is limited, as it’s lined with warehousing, industry and the twin barriers of the Major Deegan Expressway and the NY Central, now Metro-North, Railroad. [...]

    Categorized in: Walks Tagged with:

  • ROWAN STREET

    November 26, 2011

    A head-scratcher at the 65th Street station on the IND Queens Boulevard line (R and M trains) has a modern sign showing the exit at Rowan Street and Broadway. 65th Street hasn’t been known by that name since the 1920s, when most Queens streets were grouped under one numbering system. Early IND signs, installed in [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Signs Subways & Trains

  • SMITH INFIRMARY

    November 26, 2011

    Sadly, this view looking north on Cebra Avenue in Stapleton, Staten Island will no longer be available next month as the Samuel R. Smith Infirmary, formerly Staten Island Hospital, is being razed after over 30 years of abandonment. Let The Kingston Lounge tell the sad tale of why it wasn’t landmarked, as well as take [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • HELLGATE ARCHES

    November 22, 2011

    I have always considered the massive concrete arches that lift railroad tracks to the Hell Gate Bridge over the streets of northwest Astoria almost as imposing as the arch bridge itself. Tracks, arches and bridge were constructed from 1914-1917 and connect Pennsylvania Station, the Sunnyside Yards, and southern Queens with the northeast United States.

    Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

  • WORLD’S FAIR RELICS

    November 22, 2011

    A pair of unusually-shaped structures along the pedestrian walkway on Flushing Bay north of Citifield, now used mainly as relief from the hot sun in sumer, were originally designed for the World’s Fair Marina in 1964 and later found use as Coast Guard stations. Paul Lukas has the whole story.

    Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

  • SMITH TAVERN

    November 22, 2011

    Built before the Revolutionary War (1740), the Epenetus Smith Tavern, 211 Middle Country Road in Smithtown, originally stood just west of the juncture of Middle Country & North Country Roads.  This site was a popular stop on the Brooklyn to Sag Harbor stagecoach route during the 1770s, and during the Revolutionary War, the house often played [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

  • A WALK ON WAVERLY PLACE

    November 20, 2011

    Greenwich Village features four streets that run northwest to southeast, in a sort of subgrid set off against Manhattan’s general grid which runs west to east. The four are Bedford, Bleecker, West 4th and Waverly Place. Greenwich’s Village’s grid is rather complicated, as there are two separate orientations of northwest-southeast streets. Grove, Barrow, Morton, Leroy, [...]

    Categorized in: Walks Tagged with:

  • SIGNS OF BROOKLINE

    November 18, 2011

    Despite federal guidelines elsewhere that mandate green and white reflective street signs, Brookline, Massachusetts (the birthplace of John F. Kennedy) has always been permitted to retain its handsome set of bas relief street signs, with a silver background and black letters. Have the signs been landmarked?  11/18/11

    Categorized in: One Shots Out of Town

  • WOODSIDE CORNER

    November 18, 2011

    One of my favorite buildings in Woodside, at Laurel Hill Boulevard and 65th Place, is this frame house, with a deli on the ground floor. This type sign, with vinyl letters, was distributed to many mom and pops by the Coca Cola Company; Coke ads are invariably displayed in either side. Beats the vinyl awnings [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Signs

  • PAST THE ALCOL

    November 18, 2011

    This sign has been by the Manhattan-bound platform at the Woodside Long Island Rail Road station since I started using it in 1992, and probably long before that. These days the closest Alcol Realty is in Ornageburg, NY in Rockland County. IL stands for ILlinois.

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • TRIMBLE AND HICKS

    November 17, 2011

    The title card shows Trimble Road, a one-block street running from 62nd to 63rd Streets along the Long Island Rail Road main line north of Woodside Avenue. Trimble Road has a counterpart, Hicks Drive, a one block street running south of the LIRR tracks between 63rd and 64th Streets. The large building used to be [...]

    Categorized in: Alleys Forgotten Slices Tagged with:

  • LIGHTS OF LONDON

    November 16, 2011

    Over the years my pal Allen Dade has passed along several dozen images of the strange and varied lampposts found in the London area. I know next to nothing at all about them — except they’re in the vein of the wrought and cast ison Bishop Crook and Corvington lampposts that, in newly cast versions, [...]

    Categorized in: Out of Town Street Lamps Tagged with:

  • #58 TROLLEY

    November 16, 2011

    The #58 trolley, the Ridgewood-Flushing Line, ended service on 7/17/1949, but here on 60th Place and Kleupfel Court (near 67th Avenue) it’s like it never left. In Ridgewood, the line had its own right of way under the el train bound for Metropolitan Avenue (this is the Nassau Street line in Manhattan, Broadway Line in [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

  • WILLIAM JAY GAYNOR MEMORIAL

    November 15, 2011

    There it stands at the north end of Cadman Plaza in downtown Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Bridge entrance, a litle-visited memorial to a little-known NYC Mayor. William Jay Gaynor (1851-1913) was from upstate Oroskany, NY, served as the 92nd NYC Mayor after a stint on the NY State Supreme Court from 1910 to 1913, dying [...]

    Categorized in: Forgotten Slices Tagged with:

  • UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS BRIDGE

    November 14, 2011

    As you are going north on the Harlem River between the Bronx and Manhattan, the University Heights Bridge is the tenth in a series of eleven that includes the Willis Avenue Bridge, 3rd Avenue Bridge, Metro-North railroad bridge, Madison Avenue Bridge, 145th Street Bridge, Macombs Dam Bridge, High Bridge, Alexander Hamilton Bridge, Washington Bridge, University [...]

  • QUEENS 1921

    November 14, 2011

    In 1921, the numbering system in Queens, where most named streets were given numbers (a practice that strived to lessen confusion by eliminating different street systems in towns around the borough (ie. 2nd Street in Astoria and Flushing would thence have different numbers) had begun. As this excerpt from the list of Queens streets in [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • FORGOTTENTOUR 50

    November 14, 2011

    Thanks ForgottenFans (shown here at the Starrett-Lehigh Building) who made it through all 5 hours on Tour #50 at Hudson River Park, as well as Jessica DuLong and the crew of the John J. Harvey Fireboat, who gave us a thorough tour. A lengthier writeup will appear soon.

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • WHO AM I?

    November 14, 2011

    I’m considered to be the father of my country.

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • BERRY STREET, WILLIAMSBURG

    November 13, 2011

    In early 2010, just as spring was beginning to spring, I ambled slowly and haltingly north on Berry Street, the only one of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s major ‘north-south’ (in general; streets wind around to match the overall East River shoreline here) to be called a “street” not an Avenue. Before the 1900s or so, Williamsburg’s streets [...]

    Categorized in: Street Scenes Tagged with:

  • 5th AVENUE TWINLAMPS

    November 9, 2011

    Since I was hired to work in the Flatiron district in Manhattan in November 2011, I started sniffing around for places to eat lunch before actually beginning work. I will be doing a number of posts from the Flatiron as it has spectacular architecture; although boxy glass towers have now begun to dot the landscape, [...]

    Categorized in: Forgotten Slices Street Lamps Tagged with:

  • TRYON ROW

    November 8, 2011

    There are, or were, only two streets called “Row” in New York and wouldn’t you know it, they met each other. Tryon Row was a one block street between Centre Street and Park Row just south of the Municipal Building. Tryon Row’s space is now occupied by a modest sitting space with tables and chairs. [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Signs

  • BISHOP CROOK BRACKET

    November 8, 2011

    This Bishop Crook wall bracket lamp on Nassau Street near Beekman in the City Hall Park area is one of two remaining in New York City. The other one is on the 39th Street Bridge spanning Sunnyside Yards in Queens.

    Categorized in: One Shots Street Lamps Tagged with:

  • WABC

    November 7, 2011

    Anyone who knows me well knows that the job I always wished I could have had was a Top 40 disk jockey in the 1960s, with the jokes, the patter, the jingles and the greatest pop music in history. In the 1960s a variety of radio stations employed the Top 40 pop format, among them [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • SUBWAY ENTRANCE LAMPS

    November 7, 2011

    I took this photo on Montague and Clinton Streets in Brooklyn Heights, where a quartet of old-style subway entrance lamps have been preserved (or, as I suspect, made new to match the old styles). At one time all subway staircase entrances carried lamps like this, with the BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit) marked with green and Interborough [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains

  • PROSPECT CEMETERY

    November 7, 2011

    I just stumbled on a pile of photos I took in Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica, Queens in 2004. History under our noses has been pretty much left to the vandals, though cemetery caretaker Cate Ludlam’s tireless work has enabled the reconstruction of the cemetery chapel, which is now a concert and events hall. Still, the [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots

  • HANSON PLACE

    November 6, 2011

    Just a short Walk today that was part of a longer walk, from downtown Brooklyn to the edge of Williamsburg. Today I will cover the short span of Hanson Place, which runs from the confluence of Flatbush and 4th Avenues to the confluence of Fulton Street and Greene Avenue — some of Brooklyn’s longest streets. [...]

    Categorized in: Walks Tagged with:

  • INDEPENDENT SUBWAY

    November 4, 2011

    The removal of a newsstand at West 3rd Street and 6th Avenue has revealed the presence of an old-style enamel sign attached to a stairway rail. Signs of this type were once prevalent in the subways before the current Unimark white on black signs appeared in the late 1960s. The Unimark syle gradually spread throughout [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains Tagged with:

  • 2nd and 9th

    November 3, 2011

    I’ll have to break my one-photo rule on the ONE SHOTS category, which I haven’t previously done. Above is a photo taken sometime in the Fab 50s by previously unheralded photographer Vivian Maier, showing a huge throng facing a speaker who is apparently standing in the middle of 2nd Avenue. The photo isn’t captioned, so [...]

    Categorized in: One Shots Tagged with:

  • ELMHURST LIBRARY

    November 1, 2011

    Elmhurst will be losing one of its historic buildings in the near future, as its 105-year old library on Broadway, funded, like many of its brother libraries in the 5 boroughs, by steel industrialist/philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, will soone be torn down to make way for a larger structure. The $27.8 million, 30,000-square-foot facility will span [...]

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