Month :

Jul ,2013

The Butterfly, a restaurant in Tribeca, is tailored to look and taste “mid-century modern”. (The middle of the 20th Century, otherwise known as the Mad Men era.) The menu of main dishes and cocktails were selected as evocative of mid-century middle-America, but much like the TV show Mad Men, both the restaurant’s carefully orchestrated ambiance and its high-end riffs on traditional cocktails, and entrees, replete with exotic ingredients, are an improvement on the truth.

According to Tasting Table e-newsletter, Michael White’s The Butterfly lands in Tribeca, “(Michael) White has infused the space with a stylish take on his Wisconsin memories (and a retro-delicious menu of patty melts and sundaes to match), while cocktail whiz Eben Freeman turns those reminiscences into 10 easy-drinking beverages.

It’s not just the drinks that make The Butterfly a destination: A big dash of Midwestern nice seems to have gone to the entire staff’s heads. The waiters are genuinely friendly, the soundtrack is extra-snappy, and shrimp toast ($12) with sweet-and-sour sauce is especially gratifying.”
The Butterfly
225 W. Broadway

Continue reading

From Buzzfeed:

1. Katz’s Delicatessen
Katz’s Delicatessen

Located in the Lower East Side, Katz’s has changed little since it was first opened by Russian immigrants in 1888. Although the deli has seen some notable changes (like moving across the street when the subway was being constructed), the famous pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs have stayed true to their original recipes (though you’ll probably be in line a lot longer than back in the 19th century!). Still, the queue at 205 E Houston St. is definitely worth it.
Source: / via:
2. Gin Palace
Gin Palace

In the 1800s, “gin palace” was a broad term for any particularly lavish bar that also specialized in gin. Though this genre of bar has inexplicably never been as popular since, recently New York got its very own—aptly named “Gin Palace.” Not only do they offer almost every type of gin imaginable, the decor mimics the Victorian style AND they have G&Ts on tap. Like, have you ever even heard of such a thing?! Order up a round of G&Ts at 95 Avenue A promptly, please.
Source: / via:
3. McSorley’s Old Ale House
McSorley’s Old Ale House

At McSorley’s, you can sit down and grab a drink at the same place former presidents Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt once did. Opened in 1854, every wall is adorned with relics of New York’s past. The bar is so tied to its past, in fact, that it still only offers two beers on tap—McSorley’s Light and McSorley’s Dark. So pick a side—light or dark—and grab a draft at 15 E. 7th St.
4. A.T. Stewart Company Store / 280 Broadway
A.T. Stewart Company Store / 280 Broadway

Alexander Turney Stewart first opened his mercantile business across from what became the famous “280 Broadway” back in the 1840s. It was immediately successful, and over the course of the next decade he gradually expanded it down the block, eventually making it New York’s first department store. While it encompasses a variety of stores nowadays, its astounding architecture remains one of the most reminiscent of a time period now long gone.
5. Pete’s Tavern
Pete’s Tavern

When you first see this Gramercy Park institution, you’re greeted with a plaque denoting its official historic landmark status. Most of Pete’s original furniture hasn’t stood the test of time like the building has, but the most important thing has—its in-house brew, 1864 Ale, follows the same recipe it did when it was first released that same year. If you’re unsure whether beers from 200 years ago taste as good as Natty Ice (hint: yes), you should swing by 129 E. 18th St.
6. The Old Homestead Steakhouse
The Old Homestead Steakhouse

Remember when the Meatpacking District was, you know, actually about meatpacking? Well, the Old Homestead Steakhouse is a testament to that past. Founded in 1868, Homestead has maintained close relationships with local butchers ever since, and as a result they get the first pick of meats for their famously large cuts.…

Continue reading

As Copper: Season One, Copper constitutes a look back at the state of New York City during the Civil War periods. While a superficial look would initially give the impression that the police force of NYC of the time is corrupt to the core, when an opening scene shows uniformed policemen pursuing bank robbers only to stuff their pockets with some of the cash themselves; they are hardly alone in this: corruption pervades all levels of society, from the vote-buyers who pack ballot boxes for “Boss” Tweed to the peddlers of patent medicines. The then-primitive police force do have an outstanding virtue, they do their best to keep a lid on violent crimes and to find out the truth behind complicated situations, and they recognize that sometimes justice for the parties involved is not necessarily the same as adherence to the letter of the law.
New York City, and particularly Five Points, the slum area where the police station is located, and in which much of the action is centered, is rife with unsolved murders, openly operating whorehouses, and livestock walking the streets. In this more libertarian society, drugs such as morphine and tincture of opium which are now illegal (though unfortunately more available than they should be) are freely obtained over the counter in legitimate pharmacies. Metropolitan Police plainclothes detective “Corky”, Kevin Corocoran, through whose eyes we see the NYC of his time, takes morphine to ease the pain of the leg he lost in the war, and experiences hallucinations and vivid dreams while off-duty.
Though the show focuses on the largely white ethnic and particularly the Irish population of Five Points, the racial tensions of the time and place are portrayed, too, as black people play a role as well. One who is unjustly accused and suspected by NYC’s Metropolitan Police spends time in the Tombs but is released when they determine the real culprit, who has eluded them. Others fear a return of the lynchings which occurred during the Draft Riots and are still in recent memory. One man attached high hopes to his prospective immigration to Liberia. Perhaps thanks to the pervasiveness of the corruption, racial segregation has proved unenforceable in NYC, though a number of black people are seen to live in Five Points and similar slum areas, Dr. Matthew Freeman, who consults for Corcoran, and his wife Sara move far uptown from Five Points to a place called Carmansville, then a more rural and spacious community where Hamilton Heights is today.
Alas, a German Jew who runs a pawnshop in the area is the target of racial epithets and stereotyping, while little to nothing negative is said about the ethnic background of a Prussian Madam. (Maybe they figured a modern American audience wouldn’t know or care about Prussia, and that she was one who had gone very far from the mold).
Alas, since little of the old “Five Points” survives beyond some radically altered buildings and the street configurations, according to IMDb, Copper is filmed in Canada, and, to mimic the iconic ‘Five Points’ of New York, the show runners created an entire replica in an old car factory.

Continue reading

Staten Island’s own Civil War Cannon Brigade to participate in 150th anniversary of the battles of Gettysburg and Fort Wagner
By Virginia N. Sherry/Staten Island Advance
on July 17, 2013 at 9:37 AM, updated July 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – GRANITEVILLE – Take in some Civil War history tomorrow afternoon, July 18, at historic Lake Cemetery, on Forest Avenue at Willowbrook Road, when there will be a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the battles of Gettysburg and Fort Wagner. Staten Island’s own Civil War Cannon Brigade will participate.

Presented by the nonprofit Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries and the Staten Island 150 Civil War Anniversary Committee, the free, child-friendly event will run from noon to 1:15 p.m.
150th anniversary of the battles of Gettysburg and Fort Wagner

July 18, at historic Lake Cemetery, on Forest Avenue at Willowbrook Road
Event will run from noon to 1:15 p.m.
Groups over 10 people must RSVP; call 917-545-3309, or email:
This is an opportunity to experience and learn about Staten Island’s participation in the Gettysburg and Fort Wagner battles, and about the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the African-American unit with a connection to the borough.

Seating will not be provided, so bring your own mats or lawn chairs.

Summer camp programs are welcome.

Regiment led by colonel with borough ties

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers to be raised in the North during the Civil War. Prior to 1863, no concerted effort was made to recruit black troops as Union soldiers. The passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in December of 1862 provided the impetus for the use of free black men as soldiers and, at a time when state governors were responsible for the raising of regiments for federal service, Massachusetts was the first to respond with the formation of the Fifty-fourth Regiment.

The formation of the regiment was a matter of controversy and public attention from its inception. Questions were raised as to the black man’s ability to fight in the “white man’s war.” Although Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew believed that black men were capable of leadership, others felt that commissioning blacks as officers was simply too controversial; Andrew needed all the support he could get. The commissioned officers, then, were white and the enlisted men black. Any black officers up to the rank of lieutenant were non-commissioned and reached their positions by moving up through the ranks. On May 28, 1863, upon the presentation of the unit’s colors by the governor and a parade through the streets of Boston, spectators lined the streets with the hopes of viewing this experimental unit. The regiment then departed Boston on the transport De Molay for the coast of South Carolina.
– Massachusetts Historical Society website


On July 16, 1863, serving as a diversion for the intended attack on Morris Island, S.C., the Fifty-fourth Regiment saw its first action on James Island, losing 45 men.…

Continue reading

One Very Modern Brooklyn Neighborhood’s Little Reminder of Yesterday
Once an area of giant warehouses and Jehovah’s Witnesses watching you from a tower, DUMBO has slowly become a haute destination for the well-heeled urbanite. And with the NY tech scene now narrowing its sites on this area “down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass,” hoping to turn it into the next Silicon Valley (complete with hot air balloons, naturally), it could be about to skyrocket straight into the 22nd Century.
But as the condos go up and the wifi signals boldly march into four bars, one corner of the ‘hood, pristinely located just under the Brooklyn Bridge, is joyfully holding its ground as a beacon back to a simpler, more bygone era. And it’s all thanks to Jane Walentas and her carousel.

A former art director for Estee Lauder and wife of real estate heavy weight David Walentas (who’s had a big hand in Dumbo’s transformation, conveniently), Jane purchased the carousel back in 1984 from an Ohio theme park and spent the next 20-plus years restoring it to its original glory. Just, yanno, a little pet project that slowly consumed her life.
From the free hand pin striping on the bridles, to the gold leafing with actual gold leaf, no expense was spared or detail overlooked when returning each of the 48 wooden horses back to show readiness.
Once you’ve settled in on your mighty stead, you’re treated to the HD tunes of real snare drums and pipe organ music as you casually ride by bucolic scenes of a simpler time, back when fishing skills far outweighed stock portfolios when it came to impressing the ladies.
But alas, as this is still Dumbo, what you’re seen in still holds weight. Luckily, the carousel sits inside of what is essentially a $9 million clear acrylic box, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Protecting the horses from the elements while giving it year-round accessibility and not obstructing panoramic views of the city, Jane’s Carousel can comfortably show its face at the block party.
Once she and her team finished restoring it, Jane actually donated the carousel to the city of New York where, for $2 a ride, you can find joy in the simple things again. So while the world swiftly builds up around it, and Dumbo moves along with NYC and the rest of the world in its bold march on into modernity, this jewel of of the city will sit proudly, happily accepting anyone who wishes to unplug and go for a spin. …

Continue reading

7/4 7pm: dances of vice’s second annual ’50’s themed rockabilly night market features live music from jittery jack with miss amy and the susquehanna tool + die co., plus burlesque, vintage cars, a pinup photobooth, vintage + craft + food vendors, more. srb brooklyn, $10.…

Continue reading

7/4 5pm-late: the vintage-themed liberty belle extravaganza takes over two manhattan rooftops with live music (the hot sardines, gelber and manning and the star spangled orchestra, more), patriotic-themed burlesque (the maine attraction, medianoche, more) and food available for purchase. the dl and the empire hotel, $25 adv until 7/2 with promo code ‘starsnstripes’, $35 without, $40 door. ($40 adv combo ticket also includes lincoln center’s midsummer night swing starting at 6pm.)…

Continue reading

7/4 2pm: revolutionary new york walking tour: the 4th of july isn’t just about bbq and fireworks – get the history behind downtown manhattan sites and the city’s role during the revolutionary period with stops @ fraunces tavern, alexander hamilton’s grave, more. meet @ city hall park, $20.…

Continue reading

Copyright © 2011-2013 Bygone NYC - All Rights Reserved