Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oradour-sur-Glane

Visits with my younger daughter who lives in France are fewer than I would prefer: once or, if I am lucky, twice a year. We plan our time together when I arrive serendipitously, choosing local sites, repairing things in her house side-by-side, doing laundry, cooking together and enjoying a normal and pleasant adult relationship. But […]


Picking a Beautiful Bronx Mansion’s Lock

[Acknowledgement: The author graciously acknowledges being introduced to the Keil Mansion described below by Frances Stern, some many years ago.] On a chilly November morning I knocked on the door of 381 East 165th Street in the Bronx, a short walk from the busy, modern stretch of the Bronx Judicial Center complex on 161st Street, […]

Also posted in A Walker in the City: Flaneur Pieces |

A Widow’s Mite: Virginia Penny and the Struggle for Equal Employment and Pay for Women in the USA in the Late 19th Century

Well-known social reformers of many a stripe are interred in Green-Wood Cemetery.  Single Taxer Henry George, anti-slavery leader Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, (known in his time as The Great Divine for his oratory and inspirational skills), and Henry Bergh, founder of the ASPCA and The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children […]


In Charles Yerkes’ Corrupt Footsteps: The Trilogy of Desire, Philadelphia Version: 2016

Walking down Broadway a few weeks ago, my cell-phone rang, and despite the caller’s number being unknown to me, and suspecting a sales call of some sort, I answered and was rewarded in spades. Visions of time-share re-purchasers and other cons jumped to mind, and I was far but not so far from wrong. An […]

Also posted in The Trilogy of Desire |

The Measure of a Man

The size of a funeral is the measure of a man, and in 1932, Upper West Sider Sol Brill’s departure from this earth was larger than life.  An, honest, dignified, gentle soul was cut down by cancer at age 54, at the height of his career as a movie-theater builder and operator.  Brill’s funeral was […]

Also posted in A Walker in the City: Flaneur Pieces, Lost New York, Sol Brill, Sol Brill, Yiddish Land + Jewish Themes |

A Review of “East in Eden: William Niblo and His Pleasure Garden of Yore”

From New York Irish History Volume 28 (2014), released November, 2015: East in Eden, William Niblo & His Pleasure Garden of Yore by Benjamin Feldman (The Green-Wood Historic Fund in association with New York Wanderer Press, 2014) William Niblo (1790–1878), an Irish immigrant who amassed an entertainment and real estate empire in New York City […]

Also posted in William Niblo biography |

All that remains….

Embarked on another difficult voyage, I thought I finally spied land from afar, in a quest to repatriate to its rightful heir yet another found object, in this case a trove, rescued from the trash, of family pictures and memorabilia.   I’ve searched for Kathy Denton Saville for a good four years, my only clues […]

Also posted in Found Objects |

The Trilogy of Desire…

Most of us know Theodore Dreiser as the author of An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie, and Jennie Gerhardt, but in his lifetime, Dreiser was known for much more. A master story teller and cultural historian, Dreiser’s Trilogy of Desire has fallen off the cliff of popular consciousness, relegated to the academic world.  Even more obscure […]

Also posted in Lost New York |

The Way of All Flesh

America’s Centennnial Year: 1876 was a time of booming fortunes, and New York was bursting with post-Reconstruction fervor, the metropolis burgeoning, robber barons feeling their oats. Thriving since the Civil War’s onset as a manufacturer’s paradise, the New York region’s many tentacled rail system and giant natural harbor fostered a cornucopia for commerce of all sorts. […]

Also posted in A Walker in the City: Flaneur Pieces |

FLOURISH…

FLOURISH Since my teenage years I’ve been an early and baroque music devotee, attending sacred music at New York’s many churches  I’ve thrilled to organ recitals in St. John the Divine’s vast sanctuary where the pipes envelope one with overwhelming sounds, inhaled Monteverdi and Rameau and Scarlatti and Schutz with the incense at Smokey Mary’s […]

Also posted in A Walker in the City: Flaneur Pieces, Personal Politics | Tagged , , |