Month :

Nov ,2016

from Spoiled NYC:

All Aboard Nostalgia! The Vintage Subway Cars Are Back in NYC for the Holiday Season

With the window displays, the twinkly lights everywhere, and all the holiday markets, it’s easy to get into the Christmas spirit here in New York City.

The MTA is also resuming it’s duties serving up some holiday cheer for commuters.

The “Shoppers Special” rides on vintage subways will be coming back later this month to shuttle New Yorkers and tourists between Lower Manhattan and Queens for four consecutive Sundays.

The “City Cars” are a squad of R1/9 subway cars that originally ran between the 1930s to the 1970s. They have rattan seats, drop-sash style windows, ceiling fans, incandescent bulb lighting, and roll signs.

As usual, they will also be decorated for the holiday season.

“We owe a great deal to these City Cars, because they were durable work horses that remained in our fleet for 40 years. …They continue to serve as a reminder of our past and how far we have come in design and customer comfort,” says Wynton Habersham, NYC Transit’s Senior Vice President of Subways.

“Our customers love riding these vintage classics every year, and we love showing them off.”

You can take a ride on one of these special subway cars, still just for a normal swipe of your MetroCard on the following Sundays: November 27th, December 4th, December 11th, and December 18th. The trains will be running via the 6 Av Line between 2 Av and Queens Plaza.

The “Shoppers Special” departs from 2 Av at 10:05 a.m., 11:13 a.m., 1:03 p.m., 2:33 p.m., and 4:03 p.m., and leaves Queens Plaza at 10:44 a.m., 12:14 p.m., 1:44 p.m., 3:14 p.m., 4:44 p.m.…

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OPENS Thursday, December 1, through Monday, January 9
Exhibition –
arles Dickens Performs ‘A Christmas Carol’ in New York, December 1867

In December 1867, Charles Dickens arrived in New York City for a month of sold-out performances of his beloved 1843 holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Dickens performed at the 2,500 seat Steinway Hall on 14th Street, the center of cultural life in the city, and just a few blocks from the Tredwell home. And the critics raved: “The Christmas Carol becomes doubly enchanting when one hears it performed by Dickens.” (New York Herald, 1867)
Exhibition in conjunction with A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the MERCHANT’S HOUSE, December 7-24.
Guest curator, Dayle Vander Sande…

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At The Merchant’s House Museum:

All exhibitions are included with regular admission.

OPENS Friday, November 25, through Monday, January 9
Exhibition –
Christmas Comes to Old New York: Holiday Traditions of the Tredwell Family

Scenes of holiday preparation recreated in the period rooms throughout the house show how many of our modern holiday traditions originated in mid-19th century New York. From table-top Christmas trees decorated with candles and handmade ornaments, to poinsettias and evergreens decking the halls, Christmas songs and carols, presents and stockings. And, of course, Santa Claus. On display, rarely exhibited Christmas presents from the Tredwell collection.


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from Spoiled NYC: #Blessed: After 50 Years of Service, Di Fara Pizza Now Delivers

Di Fara Pizza has been serving up their unbeatable pizza for half a century.

When you visit Di Fara, you know two things– you won’t leave hungry but yeah, you better get ready for the wait, which can sometimes be up to 90 minutes during peak hours.

However, the pizza gods must be smiling down on us, because Di Fara just added delivery from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. through UberEats.

The delivery extends to anyone living between Ditmas Park to Bay Ridge right now and they’re still working out the kinks.

As reported by Eater, Di Fara’s WiFi is a little whack, but now, Uber lets patrons know when their order doesn’t go through.

Also, a writer for The Daily Meal tried out the delivery service last Friday and received her pizza in less than an hour (!) but the slices were in individual boxes.

A representative also explained that for now, they’re using bicycle messengers, but plan to have Uber cars delivering whole pies.

Going to Di Fara to wait for your pizza, and watching Dom Dimarco snip basil like it’s the lord’s work, is a right of passage itself but seriously, a whole Di Fara pizza in less than an hour without leaving our couches?…

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The people who make New York New York can often be said to be living landmarks.  One such individual passed away recently…

from The New York Times:

“For decades, if there was an empty bench on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Leonora Russo was there to take it. With her electric dresses, chunky jewelry and oversize, Elton John-esque sunglasses, Ms. Russo was a familiar sight in the neighborhood’s ever-changing landscape.

If there is a tale of two Williamsburgs, Ms. Russo occupied the realm alongside the waiters and the shopkeepers. At Vinnie’s Pizzeria, on Bedford Avenue near North Ninth Street, a photograph of Ms. Russo in a bright red dress still hangs on the wall.

As the neighborhood became more popular, she was featured in short documentaries, magazines and blogs. Some referred to her as the Queen of Williamsburg.

… Up and down Bedford Avenue last week, Ms. Russo’s death this month was announced on pink fliers taped to lampposts. She died at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan after a short illness. She was 91.

Karen Holley recalled the first time Ms. Russo sauntered into her clothing shop, Lawanna’s, about 10 years ago. There had been a young man eyeballing a $50 silver skull ring he could not afford.

“She bought it for him,” Ms. Holley, who now lives in New Orleans, said in an email. “They didn’t even know each other. That was the type of woman she was, generous. She was a true wild gem of a woman.”

“She was our Iris Apfel,” she added, referring to the fashion icon.

Ms. Russo was born and raised on East 28th Street in Manhattan. Her parents were Sicilian immigrants. She had lived in her third-floor, rent-controlled railroad apartment on North 11th Street in Williamsburg for 68 years. Her sister, Marie Coradetti, 90, lives in Queens, and her brother, Ignacio Ferraro, 93, in Pennsylvania. Neither attended a memorial service for her on Monday night. Their mother had lived to be 102.

The service, organized by Ms. Russo’s nephew, John Labarac, who lives on Long Island, was held at Arthur’s Funeral Home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The crowd was sparse but diverse, a snapshot of both old and new Williamsburg. Many loved ones, who had left the city years ago, could not make it. Others were stuck at work, just down the street.”…

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from Ephemeral New York:

The Thanksgiving ragamuffins of old New York

November 23, 2015

It’s one of the strangest holiday traditions in late 19th and early 20th century New York City.


On Thanksgiving day, kids (and often adults as well) used to dress up in costume (cowboys, pirates, and princesses were big) or in their most threadbare clothes and go door to door in the neighborhood, asking, anything for Thanksgiving?

How the tradition started isn’t all that clear. Though New Yorkers had been celebrating Thanksgiving as an official holiday since 1817, it was only nationalized in 1864.


Somehow, a day to feast on turkey (and later watch football games) became associated with a practice that was part Mardi Gras, part modern-day Halloween.

These ragamuffins, as the kids were called, charmed (and sometimes irritated) New Yorkers; they begged for nickels and pennies and played jokes.


In some areas, these “masqueraders” even won prizes for the best getup.

“In the old days,” a policeman recalled in a New York Times article from 1930, “the Hudson Dusters, and the Rangers and the Blue Shirts used to get all dressed up and their girls did, too, and they’d have prizes for the best costume and they’d come uptown for the parade, with horns and bells. And they’d get free drinks in the saloons.”


Of course, this old-school tradition couldn’t last. In the 1930s, the schools superintendent discouraged the tradition. Soon, only kids who lived in neighborhoods where the “subway lines end,” as the Times put it, continued to dress up, beg, and play pranks.


As another policeman the Times spoke to in 1947 remarked, “I remember the fun we had when we used to go out all dressed up for Thanksgiving and the people dropped red pennies out the window.” (Red because they were heated on the stove, intended to burn little kid hands.)

“But they don’t have any real fun like that anymore,” he added.

[Photos: LOC; Brooklyn Daily Eagle; NYPL Digital Collection; NYPL Digital Collection; LOC]

This tradition is shown in a modified form in the novel A Tree Grows In Brooklyn: the children, who ordinarily run errands and shop, do this type of thanksgiving treat begging from the local merchants, who, for this purpose, give away broken candy and other things they could not sell.





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