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Posted: May 20, 2013 | 12:43 AM
by Jared Goldstein

May 20th in NYC History


took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y.,

the Spirit of St. Louis on the first nonstop solo flight across
the Atlantic Ocean.

1939Regular trans-Atlantic air service began as a Pan American Airways plane took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Europe.

1954David Paterson, Former governor of New York

1895...The first commercial movie even shown in New
York City premieres in a converted store on Lower Broadway. The
four-minute film features a boxing match between world heavyweight champ
"Gentleman" Jim Corbett and Peter Courtney, a heavyweight from New

1970...About 100,000 Construction and office workers demonstrated peacefully at City Hall in support of President Nixon's Vietnam War policies.  This was in contrast to the May 8th Hard Hat Riot.

1972:  Busta Rhymes born in NYC as Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr.

1989 Comedian Gilda Radner died of cancer at age 42.
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Posted: May 19, 2013 | 12:25 AM

May 19th in NYC History

1885Swimming instructor Robert Odlum was the Brooklyn Bridge's 
first jumper into the East River

He thought that if he pointed his toes and arms, while tucking in his head, like a human needle, he would pierce the waters. 

Instead, his organs exploded upon impact. 

This must have been the prop for the best water safety lesson of his life.

I share stories of the Brooklyn Bridge's elephants, Steve Brodie who thrived from his legend jumping the bridge, Steve Brodie's Ball, "Young" Chuck Connor's Ball, Sandhogs, the Bends, Brooklyn Bridge Disease, the family that engineered the bridge, and more, on private Brooklyn Bridge walking tours.

1925:  Malcolm X born as Malcolm Little in Nebraska.  He died in 1965.

We explore the legacy and lives of Malcolm X on Harlem walking tours and Washington Heights private tours.

1930:  Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote "Raisin in the Sun," Broadway's first play by an African-American, born in Chicago.  She died in 1965.

1934:  Jim Lehrer, Broadcast journalist, born.

1935: Happy Birthday, TV Personality David Hartman

1952:  Grace Jones, singer, actress, and model should be celebrating her birthday.

1962:  Actress Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry "Happy Birthday Song" for 'Mister President' John F. Kennedy
during a fundraiser at New York's Madison Square Garden.

First Lady Jackie Kennedy was not in attendance, which was probably for the best.

We go by the 3rd Madison Square Garden MSG3 on Midtown walking tours, and MSO coach bus tours.

1994:  Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at her Fifth Avenue apartment at age 64.  Nee' Jacqueline Bouvier, she grew up in Manhattan's high-society, then
returned as young widow in 1964 following living through the assassination of JFK after it unfolded across her lap.  She used her moral force to preserve landmark buildings.

We explore her landmarks legacy at her plaque on Grand Central private walking tours. 

We learn why the Metropolitan Museum would light up the Temple of Dendur whenever she had a party as we drive down 5th Avenue on Manhattan Step On coach bus tours.

2011:  Katie Couric, the first regular solo anchorwoman of a network evening newscast, signed off the "CBS Evening News" for the last time after five years.

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Posted: May 17, 2013 | 10:59 PM

May 18th in NYC History

1883: Walter Gropius, Architect of

Pan Am Building, born in Ge

The Pan Am Building is now one of the three

"Met Life" Buildings.

Stories of the Pan Am Building on 42nd Street walking tours, Grand Central private walking tours.

1931:  Actor Robert Morse, of "Mad Men" and

"How to Succeed in Business ...," born.

:  Night baseball is banned for the duration of World War II.  Games are played during daylight hours.

1946:  Yankee Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson born.

1951:  The United Nations moved from Lake Success, N.Y., to its permanent home in Manhattan.

We see the and learn about the UN on 42nd Street Tours.  Here is their official tour, which is quite good if you are interested in world problems.

1970:  Actress and Comedian Tina Fey, of "30 Rock," and "Saturday Night Live," born.

We see where 30 Rock is and where Saturday Night Live happens on my Rockefeller Center tours.  These links are to the official tours.

2003:  "Les Miserables," the third-longest running Broadway show, closed after
6,680 performances over more than 16 years.

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Posted: May 17, 2013 | 4:13 AM
by Jared Goldstein

Sidewalk Etiquette for National Etiquette Week


Pedestrian Etiquette 101: How Not To Be A Jerk On The Sidewalk

Sometimes we're all just in our own little world out there, walking into people and other obstacles like one of those little silver pinballs on its way down. Life, it's deep stuff. But there are a few things you can do in order to not look like someone who thinks they are the only person that matters in this world—keeeeeep reading. For day four of National Etiquette Week, we're talking about pedestrian protocol.


Let's start simple. You know how when you drive a car in America, you keep your car in the right lane, and the oncoming car is to the left of you? This is exactly how it should work on sidewalks. Keep to the right! Remember when that Park Slope mom berated an elderly woman who told her "...there’s a rule. When you stand on the left, I have to deviate from my path and walk around you. The rule is, you’re supposed to stand on the right.”
The Park Slope mom replied, "I have lived in cities all over the world and I can tell from experience, THERE’S NO RULE.” To paraphrase a different gadfly, we don't care how people walk along the Seine: in New York City, you walk on the right.


What is worse than someone who screws up the entire sidewalk system by walking on the left? The people who come at you in a group and refuse to disband. Last year a Redditor noticed the phenomena, which was leading to frequent instances of sidewalk chicken:
"There will be 2-3 people walking side by side, taking up the entire width of the sidewalk. We'll be walking towards each other and, without fail, they won't 'shrink' to make room for anyone to pass. Is this a 'chicken' kind of thing? First person to move loses?" Groups, you MUST
DISBAND. Couples, unbreak the chain and give your hands a moment to de-clam (and yes, we take great pleasure in breaking you up).


This is not cool, man. Unless there's all cobblestone or no bike lane on a dangerous roadway, or you're a tragically hairy comedian, keep it on the street. Likewise, if you are a pedestrian, please look both ways before stepping into the bike lane, and if you see a bike as you're walking, juking doesn't help—just stay in a straight line and be predictable. (More bike etiquette here.)


Puppies and babies are super cute, especially yours... but
please keep them both under control on the sidewalk. Keep dogs it on a tight leash, don't let them roam all over the place and start some Beethoven 2 shit that will trip fellow pedestrians or block the sidewalk for them completely.

And if you have children: keep an eye on them. Like, an actual eye on them—murmuring while you choose your Instagram filter as little Tennyson Jr's soft, gifted head gets ever closer to our swinging shopping bag does not count. Are they recklessly barreling down the sidewalk on a scooter running over toes and into people? Back in the Grimm days this was grounds for Pabulum Punishment. Stay alert—you asked for those sleepless nights.


While Texting Zombies have created some great YouTube hits throughout the years, running into one out of captivity is infuriating. They don't just walk into things and people, they also have an inconsistent pace which makes them infuriating to walk behind, like a drunk who's drunk on solipsism.

If you must text, slow your roll and find a spot out of the sidewalk traffic while you attend to what is surely a very important matter. When you are done, you may re-enter the sidewalk flow, and life in general.  Don't make us bring out the professionals with leashes.


And finally, don't throw your garbage or your food on the sidewalk. Monsters.

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Posted: May 17, 2013 | 2:21 AM
by Jared Goldstein

May 17th in New York City History

1697The city's first streetlight law ordered residents to hang lanterns on poles outside their homes.

1792:  Happy Birthday, New York Stock Exchange

Two-dozen brokers gathered under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street to sign an agreement establishing rules for buying and selling stocks and bonds, including earning commissions.  This exchange would become the NYSE, and it is incorporated as

The Buttonwood Tree Agreement.

If you don't think you have seen a Buttonwood Tree lately that's because

they are now called Sycamores.

One is planted outside the NYSE on Broad Street.

A seat on the NYSE has been held as a valuable property since the 1860s, although, it is said that during the recession of 1973 that a NYC Taxi Medallion was more valuable.

We learn about finance and capital on Wall Street walking tours, Colonial NYC private walking tours, Downtown tours, Wall Street private walking tours.

1829:  Great New Yorker, John Jay, the first Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, died
at 83.

We see where Jay went to college on Downtown walking tours, what became of his college on Columbia University private tours, where he signed the British surrender of New York in New York Harbor on Downtown private walking tours, and Staten Island Ferry tours, and Harbor tours.

1971:  The musical "Godspell" opened off-Broadway.

1998:  Yankees Pitcher David Wells became the 13th player in major league baseball history to pitch a perfect game.  It was a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

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Posted: May 16, 2013 | 8:05 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Testimonial from my Client's Client:

"Spoke to E_ today.  She said you did a good job last night.  [Thank you for working so hard on this job.]"
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Posted: May 16, 2013 | 2:40 AM

May 16th in NYC History

1624:  Happy Birthday, Nieuw Amsterdam / New Amsterdam.  30 families from Holland settled on Governor's Island, then called Nutten Island.  These were the first immigrants of 2000 that would arrive and settle in Lower Manhattan.

Let's go on my Nieuw Amsterdam tour aka New Amsterdam Walking Tour. 

1801:  The greatest Secretary of State, William Henry Seward, born.  He kept Europe out of the Civil War and got the US to purchase Alaska from Russia for a pittance.  See March 30th.  He was nearly assassinated during the series of attacks associated with the Lincoln Assassination.  He was also Governor of New York State and Senator.  

We see Seward's controversial sculpture on Madison Square Park tours, or Flatiron District walking tours.

1882:  T
he first woman on the editorial board of The New York Times, Journalist Anne O'Hare McCormick, born. She died 1954.

Excellent baseball player and
controversial  and contentious and

sometimes very successful
New York Yankees Manager,

Billy Martin born. 

He died in 1989.

1966:  Bob Dylan's album, "Blonde on Blonde," released.

We experience some Bob Dylan history on Greenwich Village walking tours.  I frequently conduct these as private walking tours.

1977:  A helicopter collapsed on the Pan Am Building's rooftop helipad, killing several passengers expecting a five minute ride to JFK airport.  A chopper blade fell, killing a pedestrian on the streets

Landing helicopters on top of buildings in the middle of crowded Manhattan is soon cancelled, and such service will then be relegated to the water's edge.

Here's a personal story from the excellent Tour Guide, Harry Matthews:  "I was walking up Madison Avenue at the time. I later learned that a woman waiting at a bus stop I had passed a few minutes earlier was one of the victims. There but for fortune..."

The Pan Am Building is now one three Met Life towers in New York City.  We experience this one on Grand Central walking tours.

1990:  "Muppets" creator

Jim Henson died at 53
He was born in 1936.

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Posted: May 15, 2013 | 12:30 AM
by Jared Goldstein

May 15th in New York City History

1812The new City Hall building, New York's fourth, is dedicated. It replaces the old Federal Hall on Wall Street as the seat of city government.  It is America's oldest.

Federal Hall was sold for $500 in scrap, which would probably be $500,000 today.

1918...Daily airmail service begins between Washington and New York. But the service gets off to an inauspicious start, as the inaugural flight gets lost and its shipment of mail is later delivered by train.

1936:  Wavy Gravy, Greenwich Village alum, born.

1940:  Roger Ailes, Media Consultant for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush I and George W. Bush II, and founding Chairman and CEO of Fox News born
in Ohio.

Here is Ailes' "Orchestra Pit Theory:"  "If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, 'I have a solution to the Middle East problem,' and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?"

We go past Fox News on Midtown MSO tours and Rockefeller Center walking tours.

1952:  Actor Chazz Palminteri born in the Bronx.

Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler from "The Sopranos" born.
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Posted: May 14, 2013 | 1:17 AM
by Jared Goldstein

May 14th in NYC History

1959:  President Eisenhower broke ground on the West Side, in the San Juan Hill ghetto, for a new performing arts complex that will be Lincoln Center.  Leonard Bernstein in attendance will later use the condemned neighborhood as the backdrop for his West Side Story.
[ Eisenhower breaking ground ] [West Side Story]

We experience Lincoln Center on Upper West Side tours.

1967:  Yankee Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home runThis one was against the Baltimore Orioles.

1995:  Drunken NYC harassed hotel guests, trashed hotel rooms at the D.C. Hyatt Regency Hotel, pulled false fire alarms, and one slid naked down the bannister of a hotel escalator, which cost him his job.  They were representing the NYPD in Washington D.C. to honor police officers killed in the line of duty.  It was good to be in the NYPD during Giuliani time.

1998:  Singer Frank Sinatra died at 82.

1998:  "Seinfeld" the sitcom aired its final episode.

2011:  Dominique Strauss-Kahn, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief and a comer for president of France, was charged for sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid
.  He went to house arrest at a $9000 a day hotel.  On my SoHo tours, there was a huge media and curiosity-seeker presence for weeks. Strauss resigned from the IMF; the charges against him were dropped.)
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Posted: May 14, 2013 | 12:54 AM
by Jared Goldstein

may 13 in new york city

Gil Evans 5/13/1912 - 3/20/1988
Canadian-born composer and arranger

1914...It's an early form of teleconferencing, as employees at Manhattan's Wanamakers department store use Marconi's wireless telephone to talk to staffers at their store in Philadelphia.

??  1914, Joe Louis, the American boxer who was world heavyweight champion for a record-setting 12 years, was born. Following his death on April 12, 1981  ??

1939  1939Harvey Keitel, Actor born

1964  TV host Stephen Colbert ("The Colbert Report") birthday

1965...Manhattan Congressman John Lindsay announces he will run for mayor. Six months later he defeats Democrat Abe Beame and Conservative William Buckley, and goes on to serve two terms in the city's top post.

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