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New York City



  • New York Needs Amazon

    by Kenneth T. Jackson

    History is clear: A city that rejects economic opportunity will lose its status as the center of the business world.



  • Subway Riders Scrub Anti-Semitic Graffiti, as ‘Decent Human Beings’

    The car’s windows and posters were covered in anti-Semitic graffiti. Messages like “Jews belong in the oven” and “destroy Israel, Heil Hitler,” had been written over subway maps, as shown by photographs taken on the train. Swastikas were drawn in black marker on the doors and windows.



  • NYC becomes archaeological site: 18th-century bone toothbrush, old champagne bottles unearthed

    NEW YORK — The city has become an archaeological site, with thousands of artifacts such as an 18th-century bone toothbrush with animal hair bristles and wine and champagne bottles corked centuries ago unearthed to prove it.A copper half-penny and a pair of children’s shoes are some of the other remnants of early New York life workers discovered in lower Manhattan while digging to install new utilities for the growing residential and business South Street Seaport area....



  • David Levering Lewis: The New York Public Library Must Be Saved From Itself

    David Levering Lewis, a university professor and professor of history at New York University, is the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies of W.E.B. Du Bois. Both books were researched at the New York Public Library. Guarded by two beloved lions familiar to generations of readers since it opened, the New York Public Library, at 5th Avenue at 42nd Street, is the second-largest public library in America, after the Library of Congress. Ever since the doors first opened, 102 years ago, the grand marble palace of learning has served all who come, rich and poor, immigrant and native, without charge. The venerable institution would have seemed in need of no more than upgraded maintenance, paired with prudent planning, to maintain its leading place in 21st-century research service.



  • Can JFK's Pan Am Terminal be saved?

    If you saw that blessedly short-lived television series called Pan Am a couple of years ago, you probably think, as I do, that the best thing about it was the Pan Am terminal at J.F.K., a cheerful, round structure with a gigantic overhanging concrete roof that seemed to emerge out of the naïve notion that flying could be fun: airport as midcentury modern circus. The building was certainly more exuberant, not to say more convincing, than any character in the show.



  • Mohawk history towers over New York

    MONTREAL—Generations of toil at dizzying heights have culminated in this towering achievement.Ironworkers from a Mohawk community were part of the team that installed the final section of spire at the top of the new One World Trade Center in New York last month.John McGowan was one of those involved as he and colleagues wrote a special page in a history filled with high-level triumph, and also with tragedy.“It was a clear nice day. It couldn’t have been a nicer day,” said the 48-year-old resident of Kahnawake, Que., near Montreal....



  • Gay landmarks, lost and found

    A year ago, if the old Portofino at 206 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village was remembered at all, it would have been as the restaurant where Elaine Kaufman cut her teeth in the early ’60s, before opening her own place uptown.This year, now the Malt House, it is a landmark in American history — minor, to be sure, but a landmark all the same. The case of United States v. Windsor, which culminated on Wednesday when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, can be traced to an evening in 1963 when Edith S. Windsor met Thea Clara Spyer over dinner at Portofino. After half a lifetime together, they were married in 2007.The rediscovery of Portofino is a reminder that social landmarks don’t make their significance readily apparent. A bit of context is often needed to appreciate the triumphs, disasters and dramas that have played out in these buildings.



  • Frank Lloyd Wright's NY showroom a memory

    A small landmark of New York City architectural and automotive history disappeared recently, almost without notice. The theatrical auto showroom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at 430 Park Avenue, at 56th Street, had displayed a number of European brands over the years, notably Mercedes-Benz from 1957 to 2012.The space, with a spiral ramp and turntable interior, was designed in 1954 for the pioneering auto importer Max Hoffman.In early April, the Wright interior was demolished by the owners of the building, Midwood Investment and Management and Oestreicher Properties. Debra Pickrel, a preservationist and co-author of “Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954-1959” (Gibbs Smith, 2007) wrote about the showroom’s destruction in Metropolis magazine....



  • Did a missile down TWA Flight 800?

    Former investigators are pushing to reopen the probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York, saying new evidence points to the often-discounted theory that a missile strike may have downed the jumbo jet.The New York-to-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, just minutes after the jetliner took off from John F. Kennedy Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.The effort to reopen the probe is being made in tandem with the release next month of a documentary that features the testimony of former investigators who raise doubts about the National Transportation Safety Board's conclusion that the crash was caused by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring....