By Seth Kamil
I first arrived in Manhattan in the summer of 1989, but it was very much a homecoming. With deep family roots in New York, I felt more comfortable here than almost anywhere else in the world. My parents were born here. All four grandparents spent most of their lives in the City and its suburbs. My fondest memories involved driving across the 59th Street Bridge in my grandfather’s Lincoln Continental. We would hit the Horn & Hardart Automat on 42nd Street & 2nd Avenue (or, if “Poppy” was flush, Katz’s Deli) and then drive or walk around Manhattan. See Times Square. Visit his sister who lived in the Amalgamated Houses in Chelsea. The day often ended with egg cream sodas at Moishe’s on the corner of Bowery & Grand Street. Having struggled his whole life economically, my grandfather always had a kind word and some pocket change for the homeless who gathered there. But, only a child, I remembered the men who tried to wash our car windows, the grime, and graffiti, as somewhat scary. This was the mid-1970s.
By Gerard Koeppel and Jason M. Barr
Today, the image of Manhattan is as a vertical city — a place that, as E. B. White saw it, “has been compelled to expand skyward because of the absence of any other direction in which to grow.” With our eyes focused skyward, we think little of the city’s horizontal expansion, as the grid plan seemingly set Manhattan in stone, literally and figuratively.
This is the final installment of the authors' series The Manhattan Street Grid: Misconceptions and Corrections.
Click above to read them all.
We are delighted to announce five new members of the Gotham editorial board. Since the blog launched two years ago (nearly one decade after the Blotter, its semi-regular predecessor, began), we've seen very healthy growth, steadily ticking upwards each month. In our personal travels and conversation, we've also been continually delighted to learn about our readers — a fine, discriminating lot.
Gotham introduced a variety of new material which the Blotter had not covered, including original work by independent and professional scholars and reviews of many interesting books the Gotham Center could not spotlight in its public events. But we are eager to diversify our content much further. Like our sponsor, The City University of New York, we have a strong civic mission: not just to advance research and provide scholarly forums of debate and exchange, but to make that knowledge accessible, and useful, to all. History matters. It is not, as they say, "academic." And it is not simply for academics.
With that in mind, we are eager to increase our coverage in various areas, to discuss New York City history everywhere one finds it: not just in higher education, but in the "public square" (or, squares), where most learn about it. That means schools, museums, libraries, journalism, tourism, the arts... you name it. It also means providing an historical perspective on contemporary debates. If you have a subject you would like to discuss or see explored, please write us. With this expansion, nearly doubling the size of our team, we are looking to increase not just the chronological and thematic diversity of scholarship featured on Gotham, but the way New York City history is represented, taught, and experienced in our lives, and the perennial question of why it matters. We invite you to the conversation.
Click here to learn more about our new editors: Kelly Morgan, Andrea Mosterman, Kate Papacosma, David K. Thomson, and Molly Rosner.
This is the latest in a series of posts based on the letters of the New York socialite, Julia Gardiner Gayley (1864-1937), to her eldest daughter, Mary Gayley Senni (1884-1971), a countess who lived on the outskirts of Rome. In 2010, the author purchased a trove of the letters in a Roman flea market. This mother-daughter correspondence spanned the years 1902-1936 and provides an intimate and unfiltered view of life in New York during the early twentieth century. You can find the earlier posts on our homepage.
By Brooke Kroeger
Key to the momentum that propelled the 70-year-old women’s suffrage campaign to victory was the support this “despised” cause attracted from members of New York City’s media establishment, both in their public behavior and in the pages of the mainstream publications they wrote for or controlled. Trolls on the parade line took aim at their masculinity, but what today might be called their “liberal media bias” passed without apparent notice. In the 1910s, editorial dispassion as a value was not quite yet a thing.
From Funding Feminism: Monied Women, Philanthropy, and The Women's Movement, 1870-1967.
Copyright © 2017 by Joan Marie Johnson. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.
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