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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

High Bridge

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The High Bridge, completed in 1848 and now New York City’s oldest standing bridge, spans the Harlem River at 173rd Street in Manhattan. It officially closed sometime during the early 1970s — the Parks Department, mysteriously, isn’t certain of the exact date — but remained open for ranger tours until the late 1990s, when the gates were shut to all but Parks employees after engineers discovered structural flaws. (more…)

Park Slope Armory

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We first visited the Park Slope Armory on a rainy afternoon in May.  I was immediately struck by its details – from the lanterns to the brickwork, the armory seemed like a medieval castle from a different time. Entering through the Park Slope Armory YMCA’s entrance on 15th street, it felt as though we’d gone from night to day. (more…)

Staten Island Greenbelt

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Before we knew about the Greenbelt, we were looking for the Heyerdahl House, the ruins of an 1800s stone home in Bucks Hollow. Following directions found online, we made our way to a trailhead and proceeded to get lost in the woods. After about an hour of hiking through a forested swamp still wet in late spring, we realized that we didn’t need the house. The trails were special enough on their own. Secluded in the woods with nothing but trees in sight or earshot, we were impressed to find a place like this in New York City. (more…)

Hinchliffe Stadium

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

We emerged from an overgrown access path behind Hinchliffe Stadium into what would have been in days gone by right-center field. The vastness of the U-shaped structure from that vantage suggests not a baseball or football stadium but a raceway, as it was indeed used for from time to time. (more…)

Ridgewood Reservoir

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Ridgewood Reservoir is one of those places that defies the common imagination of New York City. A lake sits surrounded by reeds and two massive basins, each with its own habitat. Dirt paths lined with iron gates from previous centuries surround the basins, but this all hides within a chain-link fence that cuts off access. The fence is a patchwork in constant development, telling the story of repeated entries with wire cutters. A few people might circle the outer fence’s road on foot or bicycle, but for the most part the site is empty. (more…)

Kehila Kedosha Janina: The Last Greek Synagogue

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Tucked away on the corner of Broome and Allen Street on the Lower East Side, a relatively hidden historical treasure makes its home. The last Greek synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, Kehila Kedosha Janina remains a gathering place for the Romaniote Jews (Greek Jews) of the city nearly a century after its construction in 1927. (more…)

The Original Swing Street

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

We stood in the basement of 169 W. 133rd Street in Harlem shining a lantern at the rotted walls, saturated ceiling panels, and corroded fixtures. A lawn chair surrounded by discarded soda bottles occupied a corner of the room where the bandstand once stood. Who knows how they got there, or who would’ve wanted to spend time in so dank a space. Eighty years ago the Nest would have been throbbing with music, drinking, and dancing. The day we visited with our guide, David Freeland, author of Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure, we found the space as silent as a recording studio. Mushrooms sprouted out of the cold muck on the floor. (more…)

North Brother Island Bird Sanctuary

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

North Brother Island lies in the East River, between The Bronx and Queens, just west of Rikers Island and directly under the flight path of departing jets from LaGuardia. It was once the site of Riverside Hospital, a tuberculosis facility later converted to GI housing after WWII. Previously, it was home to the infamous “Typhoid” Mary Mallon during her years of quarantine. Throughout the 1950s, the city operated a drug rehab center for adolescents there, but the hospital closed in 1963, and North Brother was abandoned. Nature slowly reclaimed the island. (more…)

Freshkills Park Project

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was New York City’s primary landfill from 1948 to 2001. Thousands of tons of daily garbage composed the largest man-made structure on Earth. (more…)

United Palace Theater

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Putting this piece together, I often found myself trying to describe the United Palace Theater to people who had never seen it. “It’s sort of Neo-Classical Cambodian, with influences of Hindu, Mayan, and Moorish architecture. Gilded and covered in red velvet.” I sounded ridiculous, but my description isn’t that far off the mark. (more…)

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