NEW YORK MEANT FREEDOM
“I didn’t need any entertainment. . . . It was beautiful going to Washington Square or Tompkins Square Park and seeing people gathered to read poetry or sing or play chess. For me, New York meant freedom.”
- Poet & songstress Patti Smith on moving to New York broke, 1966
A NEWCOMER'S PERSPECTIVE OF MANHATTAN
"I lost my fear of the city the day I flew over it . . .Two miles below you, Manhattan seemed but a lizard lazing in the sunlight of a September noon."
- Journalist Gene Fowler, who moved to NYC from Denver, c. 1915
AN ENGLISH POET'S VIEW OF NY
"An architecture conceived in a child's dream ... glittering clamor of myriad windows set like colored diamonds."
- Mina Loy upon sailing into the harbor and seeing the skylilne, 1916
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
Opening Reception Last Night
- New York Herald, Feb. 21, 1872
"At last we have something to represent to us what the Louvre is to Paris and the National Gallery to London," said the Herald after a private showing 3 days earlier.
[Image from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, March 9, 1872]
A RUSSIAN'S VIEW OF NY
"More than any other city in the world, it is the fullest expression of our modern age … a city of prose and fantasy, of capitalist automatism, its streets a triumph of cubism, its moral philosophy that of the dollar."
- Leon Trotsky, 1916
A NATION’S ANNIVERSARY
Impressive Exercises at St. Paul’s and the Sub-Treasury – The Monster Parade from the Battery to the Park – Fifty Thousand Men in Line and a Million Looking On
- New York Times, May 1, 1889
The occasion was the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Pictured below is the Reverend Dr. R. S. Strong offering a prayer on the site of the Old City Hall where Washington took the oath.
HANGING OUT IN TIMES SQUARE
"The most fascinating, the most comic, the most tragic living, breathing movie in the world."
- Description of Times Square by Kitty Marion, c. 1918, Marion spent weeks there handing out birth control info for Margaret Sanger.
"SHE DESERVES IT"
"Mrs. Margaret Sanger, founder of the Birth Control League, has been awarded the annual medal of the American Woman's Association ... for the qualities of 'vision, integrity and valor' ... Such is the common sense of what she has been saying ... that people have at last begun to listen and believe. Her victory is not by any means complete, but the dragons are on the run."
- New York Herald Tribune, Nov. 13, 1931. Sanger opened America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916.
PROFESSOR CLEARS EVE OF ADAM'S DOWNFALL
- New York Times, Jan. 1, 1920
Evidence showing that a woman did not cause the downfall of the human race was produced by Dr. Stephepn Langdon. His translation of Babylonian tablets from the ruins of Nippur indicates Noah ate the apple, perhaps fed by a feminine deity who saved him from the deluge.
LAND DREADNOUGHT "RECRUIT" "LAUNCHED" IN UNION SQUARE
- New York Daily Tribune, May 31, 1917
Built in 1917, this wooden battleship in Union Square served as a recruiting station in WWI.
DON QUIXOTE DEFENDS THE DOVECOTE
- New York Herald, Jan. 6, 1872
Henry Bergh, founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, considered the sport of pigeon shooting “cruel and unmanly” and “a bad omen for our civilization.” On this day, “the dreaded name of Bergh threw a damper over the spirts” of the Jerome Shooting Club, who had gathered 200 strong to watch eleven of their number vie for a silver cup. Fortunately the gentlemen with the guns capitulated with loud swearing rather than noisy blasts.
ON HEARING NEW YORK
"I then could hear it two thousand miles away, or so it seemed. The distant chant seemed both repellent and alluring, a siren's chorus that even now I seem to hear. I listen to it once again across the many miles and the many years, not with the pathos of yearning for gone days but with the gladness of having known the springtime."
- Journalist Gene Fowler, after moving back to Denver, c. 1915
A Novel of New Amsterdam
The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan
"[A] romp through the history of New Netherland that would surely have Petrus Stuyvesant complaining about the riot transpiring between its pages."
- de Halve Maen, Journal of the Holland Society of New York