Category Archives: Uncategorized

Making Moxie from Misery With a Pit Stop in Between

Here at the northeast corner of 36th Street and 7th Avenue, the massive structure at 485 Seventh Avenue is undergoing yet another transformation, and a sorry one at that.  The entablatured M (see below) memorializes a benevolent history, one that slowly deteriorated after War II, and then sank into the swamps of capitalistic greed and […]

Also posted in Lost New York |

Among the Stones

My friend Russell shares my taste for all things historical, but he’s a hard man to visit, in the recent past working two jobs to pay the rent.  Notwithstanding the pressures of his life, his brain remains as big and always open as a barn door. A complicated relationship he has, with memory and honor, […]

Also posted in Lost New York |

A SAD GOODBYE [First published in The New Partisan 2006]

After a years-long adieu, the last major food exchange in lower Manhattan disappeared. some 11 years ago.  The Fulton Fish Market is no more, moved lock, stock and barrel to a barren industrial park in the East Bronx. A site that nourished our souls for generations has vanished. The loss in incalculable.   No longer […]


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 |