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Jared the NYC Tour Guide Blog

Posted: Jul 31, 2013 | 12:52 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Testimonial from a private walking tour-goer

Hi Jared:

We had a great time. I think the only limitation was that my mother in law’s feet were in poor condition, otherwise we could have gone all day! Michael and I had a great time and may reach out to you again for another tour for the two of us. It’s great seeing the city from a different perspective.

Thanks again, A_______ from NJ
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Posted: Jul 31, 2013 | 12:50 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Testimonial from a Dance Mom and Director of a Dance Center

"Thank you again for a great NYC experience for our dancers and parents."
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Posted: Jul 31, 2013 | 11:53 AM
by Jared Goldstein

July 31st in NYC History

:  Abram S. Hewitt, Mayor, industrialist and benefactor of Cooper Union and Columbia College, born.  He died in 1903.

1850:  Exiled Italian Revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi arrived in Staten Island, becoming a candle-maker to get by.  He would return to Italy to fight and become a nationalist leader.

Garibald statue in Washington Square Park

1923:  After a split from the New York Historical Society, The Museum of the City of New York opened in Gracie Mansion. Nine years later it would move to its present Museum Mile location.  Gracie Mansion became the official the mayor's residence in 1942.

1948:  JFK airport was dedicated as Idlewild Airport by President Harry S Truman. The airport was renamed for President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

1977:  "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz, the .44 caliber killer, slayed his final victim, Stacey Moskowitz, in Brooklyn. Berkowitz was captured ten days later due to a traffic violation.  He was sentenced to life in prison.  His year of terror personified the city as out of control, nightmarish, and hostile to the struggling middle class.  Berkowitz wrote a book, and, in reaction, the Son of Sam law was enacted to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes.  Berkowitz has been Born Again.
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Posted: Jul 23, 2013 | 10:13 PM

July 23rd in NYC History

1886...An unemployed Brooklynite named Steve Brodie
becomes a star when he claims to have jumped from the Brooklyn Bridge
and lived to tell the tale. Brodie is never able to prove his story, but
he does cash in on his fame by opening a bar on the Bowery.

Steve Brodie (December 25, 1861 – January 31, 1901) was an American from New York City who claimed to have jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived on July 23, 1886. The resulting publicity from the supposed jump, whose veracity was disputed, gave Brodie publicity, a thriving saloon and a career as an actor.

?? Harry Cohn ??  7/23/1891 - 2/27/1958
co-founder of Columbia Pictures

1940Don Imus, Radio personality,

1967Philip Seymour Hoffman, Actor ("Capote")

2003...A routine afternoon at City Hall is shattered when Brooklyn City Councilman James Davis is shot to death inside the council chambers
by his one-time political rival Othneil Askew. A plainclothes officer
then shoots and kills Askew. Askew had entered City Hall with Davis,
but didn't go through the metal detectors. The shooting leads to
increased security at City Hall.

2009... Thousands turn out to honor legendary newsman
Walter Cronkite as funeral services are held at St. Bartholomew's Church
in Manhattan.
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Posted: Jul 19, 2013 | 12:23 AM
by Jared Goldstein

July 19th in NYC History

1945:  A fire below Wall Street consumed over 300 buildings, causing $6 million in damages.

1967:  The F Line premiered air conditioned subway trains.  Not all trains were air conditioned even twenty years ago; it seemed.

2012:  Sylvia Woods, Harlem's Queen of Soul Food died at 86.

The following is adapted from a piece by an excellent tour guide, Peggy Taylor who conducts expert tours of Harlem and the Hamptons:

'Sylvia Woods descended from South Carolina farmers, washerwomen, midwives, and cooks.  In her time she was a bean picker, hairdresser, factory worker and waitress. 

Her mother mortgaged the family farm so she could buy a luncheonette in 1962.  She became a restauranteur with a personal touch, even as the service was a bit neglectful, as well as becoming an entrepreneur marketing food products and cook books based on her fame. 

Celebrities, politicians, governors, Presidents, heads of state all dined there.

In the 1960s the area was crime infested.  To keep criminals from harassing her customers, she opened an hour early to feed the drug dealers.  In the burning riots of the era, Silvia's was never torched.  The food was too good, reminiscent of grandmothers' southern cooking.'

Thank you, Peggy, for letting me adapt your piece that was part of a larger one in the Guides Association of NYC's Newsletter GuideLines.

Sylvia's food continues to be great, and her descendants have shown a lot of pride keeping the restaurant going strong.  In the era of Internet reviews, service has improved a great deal as well.

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Posted: Jul 17, 2013 | 4:58 PM
by Jared Goldstein

July 17th in NYC History

1763:  Manhattan Real Estate baron, fur magnate, drug dealer, America's first multi-millionaire, and philanthropist, John Jacob Astor born 250 years ago in Germany.

Academy-Award winning American actor James Cagney born. He died March 30, 1986.

1901:  Millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie pledged to build 65 public libraries for the city.

"Wrong Way Corrigan"Aviator Douglas Corrigan earned the nickname  after he took off from New York bound for California and ended up in Ireland the next day.

1941:  Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak ended
in a game against the Cleveland Indians.

1967:  Jazz Saxophonist John Coltrane died in Long Island.

1996:  230 people aboard TWA Flight 800 bound for Paris died, as their flight exploded and crashed off Long Island, after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport.

2009:  America's most trusted man, former CBS News' anchorman Walter Cronkite died at 92
in Manhattan.
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Posted: Jul 16, 2013 | 3:09 AM
by Jared Goldstein

July 16th in NYC History

Elizabeth Jennings, an African-American schoolteacher was kicked off a whites-only streetcar, leading to her suing the streetcar company.  With the help of her community and
Frederick Douglass, she won, which led to the desegregation of all New York City streetcars.  This was about a century before Rosa Parks desegregated the south.

1951:  J.D. Salinger's novel "The Catcher in the Rye" was publishedNew York City is almost a supporting character in this tale of alienation and difficulty with adjusting to adulthood.

1956: Tony Kushner, Playwright, born.

1963:  Pride of the Columbia School of General Studies, Phoebe Cates, Actress, born.

We see Columbia on Columbia University tours.

1968:  Will Ferrell comedian and actor from Saturday Night Live and Elf born somewhere.

1999:  John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and her sister died when his single-engine plane that he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Mass.  Crowds left tributes of flowers and candles at his TriBeCa home as the search was underway for the plane and its passengers.

2004:  Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of house arrest by a federal judge for perjury about a stock sale

We see the Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse of her comeuppance on Downtown NYC Tours, MSO tours, Manhattan Step-On tours, Manhattan Step on tours, and Manhattan Sights Orientation tours.

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Posted: Jul 15, 2013 | 12:57 PM
by Jared Goldstein

July 15th, a virtual NYC History Walking Tour

1779:  Clement Clarke Moore, the scholar, real estate developer, and benefactor who wrote "A Visit From St. Nicholas" or  "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" born.

We visit the Moore house on my Santa Claus NYC Tour.  We see Union Theological Seminary's old campus on High Line Tours, and Moore and UTS heritage on Chelsea Tours.

1850:  Mother Cabrini born in Italy.  America's first Catholic Saint founded the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and 65 hospitals, schools and orphanages.  She was canonized in 1946.

We see where she began her missionary work in the Italian part of today's Greenwich Village on Greenwich Village tours.

1933:  Aviator Wiley Post took off from Floyd Bennett
Field commencing the first solo flight around the world
, which he accomplished in seven days.

1992:  Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate at its Madison Square Garden convention.

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Posted: Jul 14, 2013 | 12:33 PM
by Jared Goldstein

July 14th -  a virtual NYC history walking tour

1853...The nation's first World's Fair opens in the
Crystal Palace, a huge iron and glass structure on the site of the
current Bryant Park.
42nd Street tour, Midtown tour, MSO tour, Manhattan Sights Orientation tour, Manhattan Step-On tour, Manhattan Step On tour.

Pancho Barnes? 7/14/1901 - 3/?/1975
American aviator and movie stunt pilot

Irving Stone? 7/14/1903 - 8/26/1989. Author.

?Woody Guthrie? 7/14/1912 - 10/3/1967
American folk singer and songwriter
Bob Dylan tour

1938...Thousands greet
Howard Hughes at Floyd Bennett Field as he completes his round-the-world
flight in a then-record time of just under four days.

1949 ?Tommy Mottola, Former music company executive

1966Matthew Fox, Actor ("Lost")

1976Jimmy Carter won the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in New York City.
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Posted: Jul 13, 2013 | 1:11 AM
by Jared Goldstein

July 13th in NYC History, another day of riots in different years

1863:  Rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City; about 1,000 people died over three days
.  Mobs of Irish immigrants destroy the Union Army draft headquarters on 46th Street at the start of New York City's most violent riots. Over four days, the rioters, angry over wartime conscription, loot and set fires all over town – and at least 1,500 people, many of them freed blacks, are killed in the clashes.

1895:  A cyclone tornado slamed Woodhaven, Queens, which destroyed buildings and uprooted trees. One person died and seventeen injured in the freak storm.

1921:  Book publisher Charles Scribner, Jr. born.  He died 11/11/1995.

1939:  Frank Sinatra made his first commercial recording, "From the Bottom of My Heart" and "Melancholy Mood," with Harry James and his Orchestra on Brunswick records.

1977:  25-hour blackout in the New York City area after lightning struck upstate power lines.  Looting mobs rack up $1 billion in damages and hundreds of arrests.

Here's the linked New York Times article.

Power Failure Blacks Out New York;
Thousands Trapped In The Subways; Looters
And Vandals Hit Some Areas

Lightning Apparently to Blame--Some Suburbs Affected

By Robert D. McFadden

State Troopers Sent Into City As Crime Rises: Some Civilians Assist Police --'65 Blackout Peaceful in Contrast
Some Led Others by Flashlight, Some Knocked on Doors to Help

No Panic Reported in Subways Among Trapped Passengers
Lightning Bolt: How It Struck
Westchester Dark; Long Island's Power Interrupted Briefly
Bellevue Patients Resuscitated With Hand-Squeezed Air Bags

A vast power failure plunged New York City and Westchester County into darkness last night, disrupting the lives of nearly nine million people.

Thousands of subway riders were trapped in trains that stopped between stations. Homes and apartments went black. Thousands of people were trapped in elevators. Others stumbled and streamed from theaters, restaurants, and late-closing shops and office buildings.

The power failed at 9:34 P.M., apparently when lightning struck a Consolidated Edison electrical transmission line in northern Westchester. Like dominos falling through Westchester and the city, circuit breakers and successively overloaded transmission lines went off automatically.

A Repetition of 1965

The result, for the utility's three million customers, was a repetition of the Nov. 9, 1965 power failure evening rush hour, cutting power to the city, parts of nine northeastern states, and two provinces of Canada. But this time the lights failed at night, with no daylight left to help people get to their homes.

Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports both closed, and flights were diverted to Newark, Boston, and other airfields. Hospitals switched to emergency power sources, but the emergency units failed at Bellevue Hospital. Police Headquarters in downtown Manhattan also used standby power.

Civilians with flashlights joined policemen all over the city at major intersections to help direct traffic on highways and streets left without traffic lights.

There were reports of widespread looting and vandalism, and police sirens wailed through the dark canyons of city streets. Calls for assistance flooded into the police emergency number, 911, and operators fell far behind in answering them. In addition, the
police communications system, operating on emergency power, had difficulty reaching radio patrol cars, especially in outlying areas.

Commissioner Michael J. Codd ordered all off-duty personnel to report to the nearest precinct or command, in effect putting his entire 25,000-member force to work. About 3,000 uniformed officers were on duty at the time of the blackout.

Mayor Beame, who was at Co-op City in the Bronx when the blackout struck, hurried back to Gracie Mansion and then to City Hall, where he summoned all of his major commissioners.

In a news conference at City Hall, Commissioner Codd and his chief of operations, James F. Hannon, said the police were trying to get buses to transfer units from Staten Island to Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Chief Hannon said that units were being dispatched to the most "critically needed areas" in those three boroughs.

In addition to the police, all firemen and corrections officers were ordered to report for duty immediately. Off-duty firemen were told to report to the fire station or police precinct stationhouse nearest their home.

While Police Headquarters had emergency power, City Hall did not and planning for the emergency unfolded in candlelight until the Fire Department brought in gasoline generators to supply light at about 11:30 P.M.

Power on Staten Island

Only some sections of Staten Island and buildings with their own emergency generators had power during the blackout.

When the lights flickered and then went out, there were some gleeful, spontaneous shouts from knots of people on the streets.

Rockefeller Center soon drew Christmas-like crowds, but they came not for a treat, but to stroll through the powerful and somber group of towers.

Across the city, candles flickered in homes and apartments. In the darkness the thoroughfares became rivers of lights as cars and buses moved at reduced speed, halting frequently at the waving flashlights of volunteers who were directing traffic. People in
the streets and aboard buses spoke to strangers and talked of the great blackout of 1965.

Along Fulton Street in Brookyn, "fairly severe" looting took place immediately after the blackout. Entire storefronts were ripped away and the stores looted.

There were so many arrests in Brooklyn that the police said they had lost count. The prisoners were left at the 84th precinct station by police officers who forgot about the paperwork of the arrests and rushed back into the streets.

At the Bronx House of Detention, a disturbance broke out shortly after the black-out occurred, according to Mayor Beame. The police and the Corrections Department rushed reinforcements to the scene.

Shortly after midnight, a police spokesman said that inmates at the Bronx jail had taken over the guard house. It was not immediately known if any guards were being held hostage or how many prisoners were involved.

Bellevue Hospital's backup emergency power went out shortly after midnight. Doctors and nurses squeezed bags of air with their hands to resuscitate patients when respirators stopped, and emergency generators were brought in.

The Red Cross set up emergency medical centers at Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal, and some armories were reported opened for first aid.

Some Trains Stranded

About a dozen Long Island Rail Road trains were stranded in Queens, according to a spokesman for the line.

A Transit Authority spokesman said that auxiliary power had been used to move subway trains into stations and that, as a result, only seven trains, carrying several thousand riders, had been trapped on the system. Two trains were on the Manhattan Bridge.

While the subways had emergency power to get trains into the nearest station, the subway system shut down during the power outage, and the auxiliary power was used to light some station platforms. In most instances, people emerging from trains were orderly, but others found it difficult to retain their composure in the pitch darkness of some stations.

In lower Manhattan at the IRT Fulton Street station, a train pulled in just after the blackout, and the passengers groped along the station wall in the darkness in search of an exit. In the confusion, some were whimpering, but there was no panic.

Looting appeared to be the worst public safety problem. In a stereo store called Tech Hi-Fi at 112th Street and Broadway, a crowd ripped away a metal grating and smashed the windows with a litter basket.

At the Radio Clinic, 13 blocks south on Broadway, looters took television sets, small appliances, and other items. A policeman said that he had grabbed a young boy and a girl outside but that "the bottles started flying . . . we got back in our cars and we went."

The police later came back in force and arrested numerous bottle throwers. Some of those taken into custody were still carrying television and hi-fi sets and stolen clothing when they were taken into the stationhouses.

Looting also was reported on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and bottle throwing was reported also in Harlem and downtown Brooklyn. At least four police officers were injured and hospitalized.

Fire Alarms Triggered

Fires were set in trash baskets in many parts of the city, and there was a heavy demand for fire equipment as alarm boxes were pulled all over the city.

Elsewhere burglar alarms clanged stridently in the darkness. Many people were said to have left restaurants without paying their bills.

Massive crowds gathered outside Lincoln Center and along Broadway in the Times Square theater district as people left darkened theaters. The blackout interrupted a Mets baseball game at Shea Stadium in Queens, and 15,000 fans groped their way out.

The police said the worst incidents of looting were in downtown Brooklyn, East Harlem and on the Upper West Side. A police officer said that Third Avenue in East Harlem "is demolished," and added, "it's like a bomb hit it."

Many Looters Arrested

Along Broadway between 96th and 106th Streets more than a dozen stores were looted, and at least 30 people were arrested and taken to the West 100th Street stationhouse.

A police officer at the Alexander Avenue station in the South Bronx said of the looting, "they hit every store in the 40-block area."

By 1 a.m., 70 people were under arrest at the West 100th Street station on looting charges, and the stationhouse began to look like a department store, with looted items--appliances, leather chairs, clothing--stacked up in the muster rooms.

The police said that as of 1 a.m. there had been 309 arrests throughout the city, nearly all for looting.

There were islands of serenity amid the confusion. The Statue of Liberty's lights continued to shine over the Upper Bay; people in their homes and apartments dined by candlelight, and no serious problems at all were reported in Westchester County.

"All's quiet," said Police Chief Charles G. McLaughlin in Rye. "We have a nice quiet community under any circumstances."


How does this blackout relate to the birth of Hip Hop?  Too many turntables.
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