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Upper East Side

Island Historical Tour (North)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

6:00 p.m.7:30 p.m.

This event repeats on the 1st Thursday of every 2 months between 5/4/2017 and 9/7/2017.

Did you know that the Randall’s Island was once three separate land masses? The island has a rich and unique history. Come learn more about the influential people, the bridges, and the landscape changes that transformed the Randall’s Island into the beautiful park it is today!

Location

Randall’s Island Connector in Randall’s Island Park
Manhattan

Directions to this location

Cost

Free

Event Organizer

Randall’s Island

Contact Number

(212) 860-1899

Contact Email

info@randallsisland.org

Categories

Education, Nature, History, Tours, Waterfront

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Thu 08 2017 , by

Bygone Stables

From The New York Post:

The fascinating history behind NYC’s stables-turned-real estate

Washington Mews, a little alley north of Washington Square Park, is an urban gem. Still paved with Belgian block and lined with quaint cottages, it’s a Greenwich Village street that might as well be in Europe. In fact, cities like London and Paris are filled with these tiny picturesque thoroughfares, whose cute little homes once stabled horses, carriages and sleighs.

Due to quirks in New York’s history and design, these mews are exceedingly rare in the city, making carriage-house living both scarce and coveted. Often disguised behind modest, original facades, many converted carriage homes contain architectural wonders hidden from view.

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Washington Mews: One of Manhattan’s rare alleys lined with former stables, this stretch was designed to service a row of 1830s homes along Washington Square Park.Annie Wermiel/NY Post

Take investor David Aldea’s home at 23 Cornelia St., which Taylor Swift rented in 2016. The 5,500-square-foot West Village pad was asking $40,000/month then, and is on the market with Corcoran for $24.5 million. Walking down the street, the home’s massive, arched wooden doors hint at its 1912 carriage house origins, but the unprepossessing facade might not stop passersby in their tracks.

Upon entering, however, it’s clear this is no ordinary stable: today, the garden level is graced by a 25-foot swimming pool, while an ornate Murano glass chandelier hangs from double-height ceilings. But, as Aldea notes, despite these modern touches, original details abound, particularly in the living room, where there are “24-inch square windows that would have been for the horses to stick their heads out for ventilation.”

Considering the fact that New York was a horse-and-carriage town for so many centuries, it’s surprising that there aren’t more such conversions. That’s in part because most remnants of the city’s colonial days are long gone. Also, Manhattan’s populated areas used to be far more compact; their borders barely extended north of today’s City Hall until the 1820s. The majority of New Yorkers, it seems, walked almost everywhere nearly two centuries ago.

A new street layout in the first decades of the 19th century helped the city expand, and travel by private carriage became more common — but only for the city’s elite. So few New Yorkers could afford to maintain a horse that when a commission laid out the city’s famous grid in 1811, the plan purposely excluded rear alleys for stables. Even by the Civil War, a mere 3 percent of NYC residents owned their own horses and carriages.

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Annie Wermiel/NY Post

A few early mews still exist. Take Washington Mews, which was erected behind the stately homes of “The Row,” one of New York’s first planned “terraces” of homes — a clear sign that the 1832-built Washington Square townhouses were only for the well-heeled.

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In: 19th Century , Architecture , Art and Music , Civil War , Colonial Period , Native American , Transit , Visual Documentation , World War I | Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our New Exhibit begins : July 11

Controversial  elections, voting rights, abolition and slavery!  In 1820s New York, while these issues burned in  the minds of the public—newspapers exploded  and competed  as  forums for debate!    This exhibit looks at the newly exploding  newspaper industry  of the 1820s –and the entry of  women and African Americans into the business of print.

At Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

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From The Museum of The City of New York: Gilded New York exhibit info

Explore the visual culture of elite New York in the late-19th and early- 20th centuries.

Inaugurating the Museum’s Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery, Gilded New York explores the city’s visual culture at the end of the 19th century, when its elite class flaunted their money as never before. In New York, this era was marked by the sudden rise of industrial and corporate wealth, amassed by such titans as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould, who expressed their high status through extravagant fashions, architecture, and interior design. The exhibition presents a lavish display of some 100 works, including costumes, jewelry, portraits, and decorative objects, all created between the mid-1870s and the early 20th century. The dazzling works in the exhibition will illuminate an era when members of the new American aristocracy often displayed their wealth in storied balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and hotels. It was a time when New York became the nation’s corporate headquarters and a popular Ladies’ Mile of luxury retail establishments and cultural institutions helped launch the city to global prominence.


Continue the Gilded New York experience outside the Museum by taking a walk through Gilded-Era New York with actress Grace Gummer as your guide. Download the Gilded NY App on your iPhone or Android device today!

1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St.
Open Daily 10am–6pm

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from Eater New York:

Le Perigord Shutters After 53 Years to De-Unionize

Owner Georges Briguet plans to reopen it as a new restaurant later this year

Update: Local 100 organizer Mike Feld tells Eater that he’s been negotiating with Briguet since last year, and the owner’s been clear that he’s not happy with the increases.…

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There was a free chocolate tasting and a meet-and-greet by the current president of Louis Sherry chocolates at
Bloomingdales (E 59th St & Lexington Ave) on Saturday, December 17th, 2016, 12:00PM – 4:00PM. Pulsd also informed the public that another aspect of the celebration of the company’s anniversary was that they would be selling chocolates in the packages with the original 19th century design.

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Sun 12 2016 , by

Jim’s Shoe Repair

Old-School Charm at Jim’s Shoe Repair

from The New York Times: On a recent Thursday afternoon, Jim’s Shoe Repair, at 50 East 59th Street between Park and Madison, was packed. Customers — surrounded by old-school shoeshine chairs with brass pedestals and other objects from bygone eras like an oversize gold register from the 1940s — waited to speak with Joe Rocco, 58, or his son Andrew Rocco, 27. Interactions were unhurried and convivial.

Michael Kahn, a substitute teacher who lives on the West Side of Manhattan, was there to collect his too-tight black sandals he had taken in for stretching. He saw Joe, smiled, and asked, “How’re you doing Joe?” Handing Mr. Kahn his sandals, Joe said, “All good here, and always good to see you.”

Mr. Kahn went to try them on in an individual waiting booth, one of six vintage seating areas, each with a padded chair and a half-door. The booths, lined up against the wall, were part of the original store, which used to be just across the street. Vito Rocco, Joe’s grandfather and an Italian immigrant, opened it in 1932, and it has remained a family business.

The sandals were still lightly snug, and more stretching was needed. But a return trip didn’t seem to bother Mr. Kahn. “I’ve been coming in since 1970,” he said, “and I come for the company as much as I do for the craftsmanship.” …

It was in 2014 when the adjoining Duane Reade was set to expand into the shop. A longtime customer and lawyer, Bill Brewer, organized an effort to save the place. In early 2015, Joe signed a new eight-year lease. “Shutting the store would mean saying goodbye to my grandfather’s dream,” Joe said.

That dream — owning a cobbler shop with the highest quality repairs — came to fruition for Vito Rocco over 80 years ago. He called it Jim’s, thinking an American name would bring in more business than a shop named Vito’s. It moved to its current location in 1940 and now handles a few thousand pairs of shoes at a time, with the help of 10 craftsmen.

Joe’s father, also named Joe, now 86, works part time attending to customers while his aunt Cordelia, 82, handles the register. Meanwhile, the next generation is training to take over: Andrew’s two younger brothers, Thomas, 20, and Joey, 19, come in on school breaks and some Saturdays.

A few days later, Giovanna Federico-Becker, a jeweler from TriBeCa who discovered Jim’s six months ago, waited patiently in a line that extended to the door. “This is a genuine place that’s not trying to be fancy, and my shoes come out of here looking like I just bought them,” she said. “I’m new here, but I consider myself a regular.”

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from DNAinfo:

Mimi’s Pizza Priced Out of the Upper East Side After 51 Years, Owners Say

By Shaye Weaver | June 30, 2016 10:45am

 Mimi's Pizza, which was a favorite of people like Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and others, closed on Sunday.

Mimi’s Pizza is closed due to too high costs, the Vanacore family says. View Full Caption

UPPER EAST SIDE — The Vanacore family watched as the final remnants of Mimi’s Pizza were taken away after a public auction on Tuesday.

The longtime pizzeria — which over the 51 years it’s been on the Upper East Side was frequented by big names like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Bobby Flay — served its last slice on Sunday after the family and the landlord couldn’t agree on terms for a new lease, they said.

“It seems like the Upper East Side is no longer a place for a family business,” said Lisa Vanacore, who owns the shop with her husband, Stephen. “It’s very difficult.”

The couple and their 19-year-old daughter Christina Perrotta were gathered at the restaurant on the corner of East 84th Street and Lexington Avenue to hand off the remains of their kitchen equipment and furniture on Wednesday afternoon.

They compared losing the restaurant to mourning a family member. From 2000 to 2003, Stephen Vanacore lost his mother, brother and his father, Dominic, who went by Mimi and whom the eatery was named after.

“It is like losing them all over again,” said Perrotta, adding that she had worked at Mimi’s Pizza with her parents since she was 2 years old. “I feel bad for my step-dad. His heart and soul was in this business.”

“This was the last piece of us,” Lisa Vanacore added, tearing up.

The family said they could not negotiate an affordable rent with their landlord, and will have to be out of the space by Friday. They declined to say how much they were being asked to pay. The landlord did not respond to request for comment.

Lexington Avenue was all mom-and-pop shops when Stephen Vanacore was growing up and working at Mimi’s, he said. There was a candy store, a butcher shop, an independent drug store and a print shop, Yorkville Copy, around the corner that was priced out two months ago, Vanacore said.

“We had a cleaners here that had to close and the pet store closed. The demographics are changing,” Lisa Vanacore said. “All we see now is Starbucks, drugstores and banks. We’re priced out of the neighborhood and I think it’s hard for a pizzeria to make these kind of rents no matter what kind of history we have up here.”

The Vanacores live in New Jersey now but used to live right across the street so they could see the bread being delivered every morning, they said.

Upper East Side resident James Tang, 32, was a regular at the pizzeria, having gone there since the time he was a child.

“When I had chicken pox when I was 4, it was the only thing I wanted,” he told DNAinfo New York on Wednesday. “It’s really sad and actually a travesty.

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