Month :

Jul ,2015

From The NY Times:

Tempting Offer Could Mean End of a Brooklyn Longshoreman’s Bar

“… Montero’s is hardly as busy as it once was, even if Ms. Valentino still draws a crowd. The bar used to open at 8:30 in the morning, to serve dock workers getting off their midnight shifts, and kept going well past last call. …

Having inherited Montero’s and the three apartments above it from his parents, Joseph and Pilar Montero, Mr. Montero recently agreed to join six neighbors, including his brother Frank, in a possible sale of all their buildings. For $56 million — or $7 million per property, three times what each is worth on its own — someone could acquire the whole row, from the bar down to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

“Everyone else on the block wants to sell, so I said O.K.,” Mr. Montero said, sitting at the block-glass bar that came over from the original Montero’s across the street, where it opened in 1939. “Even my brother Frank said, ‘Try it, Pepe.’ So I tried it.”

The classic neon sign hanging over the bar, at 73 Atlantic Avenue, is a testament to the Monteros themselves. The bar survived the master builder Robert Moses, who bulldozed the original in 1947 to make way for his expressway; the migration of ships to container ports in New Jersey; crime and recession; and the influx of money into the neighborhood.

Now it may be too much to ignore. Brooklyn Bridge Park has opened, Long Island College Hospital across the street has closed, and hundreds of luxury apartments are already opened or in the works. Crowds not seen even in the waterfront’s heyday stream by to enjoy the piers, with some of those visitors sidling up to the bar on their way back. With 160 feet of uninterrupted storefronts up for grabs, and the likes of Barney’s nearby, it could prove a tantalizing opportunity for a major developer.

“This could be the next South Street Seaport,” said Stuart Venner, who bought No. 71 in 2008 for $1.6 million.

… The décor at Montero’s is as lively as the regulars, an attraction unto itself: above the antique register hangs a “Montero’s Bar” sign made in Brazil by a Danish sailor entirely out of butterfly wings; the beret traded by a British naval officer for a Montero’s baseball cap; a pair of ornamental parrots; photos and sketches of Joseph and Pilar, of Pepe and Linda, of Nick and all the regulars, all smiling.”…

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from Gothamist:

“The last remaining steam-powered lighthouse tender in the country is currently berthed (and slowly being restored) at Pier 25 in Tribeca. Her name is Lilac, she was built in 1933, and you can clamber around her steampunky chambers as much as you want, all summer long.

There’s art, too! For the second straight season the Lilac functions as a gallery as well, with more than a dozen site-specific pieces throughout the vessel, from the deck to the galleys to the dank depths of her rusty heart. And this isn’t the the first time the Lilac was used for cultural purposes; last year it was a floating library, and in 2009 the phenomenal site-specific play The Confidence Man was performed throughout the vessel.

The art’s pretty cool—Jackie Mock’s cleverly humorous conceptual stuff, Rhys Hecox’s video down in the hold, and Lavinia Roberts’s Mad Max-esque masks were the standouts for me—but the real attraction here is Lilac herself.

A lighthouse tender was responsible for resupplying and repairing lighthouses and buoys, and Lilac did her job in these waters for nearly 40 years before being decommissioned in 1972. That was also the last time her steam engines were fired up, and by none other than
Pratt Institute’s Chief Engineer Conrad Milster, who knows a thing or two about steam power. As does the Liliac’s amiable engine-room docent Gerry Weinstein, who will be happy to give you a tour of the area when you visit.

And visit you should! Boarding the Lilac, poking around, checking out the art, relaxing on the deck… it’s all completely free, though donations are graciously accepted for the long-term restoration of the vessel.

The Lilac is berthed at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, across West Street from North Moore Street. The Liliac is open starting May 23 and running through October on Thursdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sunday from 2:00 until 7:00, weather permitting.


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Though this Secret Summer Cocktail Festival seemed to be a promising, if expensive event ($75/per ticket, $150 for two), “all the decadence and hedonism of a Gatsby party, with top mixologists creating scintillating concoctions for you to try”.   And there are “aerialists”. However, be advised that one of the evening’s attractions, “oversize beer pong”, can hardly be said to have been historically accurate to the Gatsby era. No word on whether it would be out of place or just right to show up in a Jazz Age-type outfit.

Sunday 2 August, 16:00
The Foundry LIC, Long Island City

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from Gothamist:

Have You Walked Through This Midtown Waterfall Tunnel From The 1970s?

It reminds me a bit of a Habitrail tunnel for a hamster cage. Apparently, it’s a wonder of stone and Plexiglass, and still in decent structurally sound condition.  I’ve never been there, (it’s behind the McGraw-Hill building, at 1221 6th Avenue, between 48th and 49th Streets ) but now I want to go.…

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Film and Discussion: Wild Style Reunion

July 30, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Join us for a screening of Wild Style (Charlie Ahearn, 1983, 82 min.), after which the director talks about the experiences of artists living in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s contemporaries. Free with Museum admission.

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From, which has an MTA video showing an antique (1930s vintage with replacement custom-built or refurbished parts) train traffic control system still in use at the west 4th Street subway:

“We are not joking when we say that the current traffic control system has not changed since the subway opened a hundred years ago. The same equipment and the same methods are still in use, mainly a master switchboard, hand-written charts updated as trains pass checkpoints, levers used to move tracks in the tunnels, and even an employee relaying announcements through the intercom in a machine-like affectation.

Each control tower houses a relay room with equipment that dates back at least to the 1940s. There, thousands of wires, control panels, and switches, all electromechanical relays that are more than 50 years old, are still in use. The equipment is not supplied by the railroad industry. Instead, the MTA maintains its own repair shop to replace the ancient wires and switches”.

This represents only part of the MTA’s current subway system, which, as the video also shows,  is currently being swapped out for more modern equipment: the long shutdowns and extensive trackwork subway riders are currently experiencing are the side effect of the installation of more advanced and modern computerized train-control systems, which are in use in many other parts of NYC’s subway system.…

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Follow the link below to get to Brooklyn Brainery site and book tickets:

The History of Gin at the Brooklyn Brainery Thursday, July 30, 6:00-7:30pm

From the debauched slums of Victorian London to dry martinis and fancy cocktail parties, gin has had a remarkable journey, a story that reflects the ever changing moods and sensibilities of society at large.

Like many other spirits, it began life in the alchemist’s workshop as a medicinal cure-all, a link it would retain as a mainstay of European Battlefields and colonial outposts.

Gin has had many moments in the sun, but it has had it critics: mothers’ ruin was seen by the puritanical as the scourge of the working classes, and this imagery has informed much of our opinions on its history. But, every time it was proscribed or looked like vanishing it bounced back, re-invented. No time is that more true than today, with a raft of new distilleries popping up – including here in New York.

Join me as I take you on the most incredible voyage across the globe and through every facet of life as we explore the history of Ginand prepare to be surprised! 


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Get tickets for Colin Quinn in The New York Story now through August 16th.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday @ 8:00 pm
Saturday @ 5:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Sunday @ 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Monday Performance Added July 20th @ 8:00 pm
75 minutes. No intermission

In Colin Quinn The New York Story, Colin bemoans the rise and fall of his hometown, the city formally known as NY, from its modest beginnings as Dutch outpost to the hipsters of modern Williamsburg to the vermin below and above ground. Quinn is once again at his satirical best, taking aim at the prejudices, paranoias and peculiarities that make New York City the crossroads of the world.

“I’m doing this show because I’ve already covered the world with ‘Long Story Short,’ the country with ‘Unconstitutional’ and now the city. I’m working my way down to the most fascinating subject: me!”

— Colin

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Here we have an e-mail with details about Denny Daniels’ Secret Speakeasy party Sunday Night 7/27. The theme of this particular party will be toys, primarily of the wind-up variety. As always, a $10 admission fee is charged to help with the support of the Museum of Interesting Things, which lacks a permanent physical home.

Hi hi!

This has been a nutty month! Summer has been super hot and we got some great new things and fun shows!

– The next Secret Speakeasy is one of one of the favs, The Windup Circus – The History of Toys and we will have some great guest speakers too.

With 16mm short films, interesting antiques, Vinyl LPs, refreshments and demonstrations.
Below are more details.

– If you would like to book the Museum for a school, event or camp email or call. We have some great themes listed below like Eureka & the 16mm Sing-A-Long, 212 274 8757

– We are back at Coney Island! Yay!  The Museum will debut the 3D VHS festival there Sat Aug 1 at 8:30pm. Details below and the website.

– There is also a sweet article from DailyOffBeat for the Coney Show:

– There is also info below on booking the museum and details of some of the themed shows/exhibitions we do like Eureka! The History of Invention. the 16mm Sing-A-Long, The Civil War/Prohibition/Suffragette exhibition, The history of Photography show, The Windup circus, Edison/Tesla exhibition and our history of voting exhibition. And of course the doomsday show on the Cold War and Space Race.

More details for everything below  🙂

Do not forget the new acquisitions also below for you to see.

Hope to catch ya sooooon!
Find the Museum on Facebook too, I place new items up there all the time.


212 274 8757


Windup Circus Secret Speakeasy – The Museum of Interesting Things

Sun July 26th 6pm-11pm

The Museum of Interesting Things
takes over a Soho loft for a special
Circus/Windup toy themed party for the Museum.
16mm short movie fest & party!
Drinks, music, food & beautiful visuals!

In the spirit of a true Speakeasy
Anything can change so…
Please check this website before leaving.

We have Special Guest Speakers too this time

Tom the head of SeriousToyz auction house will speak and show things!

Paul of Mattel / Fisher-Price will also talk and show their new toy

The Thomas & Friends™/DC Super Friends™ MINIS engines

and there may be more so check the website!

You are part of a select few receiving this website.
Please only spread to people you know and love!
Yes, the rumors are true, we are shooting part of
a pilot for a possible show at the gig. smile 😉

This is kind of a green energy thing too ya know!

All eras of history some over 100 years old!
See Old 16mm circus, animations, vaudville and more

The Museum has a show featuring
Original Rare short 16mm films from the
1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s

We’ll even show Dr Seuss!

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