Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

roaming charges may apply

The Smithsonian Institution was established in 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” 

And everyone goes to Google Earth to see where they live, right?

This link leads to the best of both, a Smithsonian interactive map that compares today’s New York City topography to that of 1836. 

Drag the map under the lens and watch hi-rises turn to grazing land and the Third Avenue bridge revert to it’s predecessor.

Or switch the view and realize our ClockTower was built in an orchard with a stream running through our backyard.

Go see what used to be.
And have a great weekend!

I can’t hear you

Thursday, September 19, 2013

just so you know

Joyce Kilmer was a poet and valiant man, born the same year as our ClockTower.

He died at only 31, shot in the head by a sniper while scouting for his comrades, fighting World War I in France.

For his valor he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the War Cross by a grateful French Republic.

In 1918 Joyce Kilmer left a wife, five young children,
 and one very well-loved verse. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

big hair begone

Americans were asked in a poll to rank the 49 states that were not their own home.

The results are fun. I think NY did okay!

We’re a close second in smarts.

No disagreement there. :-)

And the worst.

We have the best food. But we already knew that. 
And California's close.

We are also the most arrogant and the most rude.

Fuck you, fuhgeddaboudit and go figure.

But! The Land-of-Big-Hair is the least favorite. 
No surprise there.

And the one we’d kick out if we could!

In getting kicked out, Texas stands alone.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

nice rack


Monday, September 16, 2013


the dangerous classes

Library of Congress

Imagine this, the Civil War is about to explode and President Lincoln issues a call for a volunteer militia. It’s 1861.

Gilded Age families on the UES---wealthy even back then---immediately respond with a four acre brick armory along Park at 66th Street. The Park Avenue Armory opened in 1880, 6 years before our ClockTower. 

Our Bronx “militia in the hood” opened in 1917, and is chronicled here:

But this one is out in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. 
And it is huge, almost an entire city block.


The armories were modeled on castles and after the Civil War they continued in keeping the peace. 

The 13th Regiment was central to maintaining Brooklyn civility and so by 1890, the question was 

"Where should we house the National Guard?"

This building with 200 foot round towers was the answer. 

Initially budgeted at $300,000, it was finally finished in 1894 at over $700 thousand dollars.

That’s over $19 million bucks in 2013.

Militias were the police presence of their day.

The buildings were constructed with gunslots.

In 1886, (our ClockTower year), 
the Dictionary of New York said this of the National Guard:

That would be us, too, in Mott Haven. I guess.

The 1894 13th Regiment Brooklyn Armory, 
in Bedford Stuyvesant. With gun slots. 

Now behave yourself.