We have been loosing our city at a rapid speed since the 12 year Bloomberg administration. Our new mayor Bill DeBlasio didn’t make things any better. A shill and phoney sell-out as our city’s history continues to be torn down left and right while being raped by an overbuilding of glass towers where they ought not to be.
As a tour guide I am supposed to tell people how wonderful New York City is...I do. But they don’t see that Harlem is now only 40% black, overrun by self-righteous white yuppies renovating Harlem’s brownstones pushing the original residents out. Greenwich Village once an epicenter of gay culture, dance clubs, cool quirky shops, cutting edge boutiques is now devoid of anything gay, buried in GAP, Polo, Starbucks, Sephora, Michael Kors, more GAP, more Polo, more Michael Kors. (Btw, Michael Kors being a screaming queen doesn’t count.)
The mushroom rate of the ‘space needle’ über high, über rich residential high rises on 57th and 58th Streets will put parts of Central Park’s south end into permanent shadow at certain times of the year. Jackie Onassis is turning in her grave.
Jackie O. would also be horrified to discover that grand Central Terminal is to be encased in super tall, super glassy high rises, therefore dwarfing the spectacular station, reducing it to a needle in a haystack.
Tribeca and Soho once filled with artists and art spaces are now filled with tourists artfully shopping. Times Square has become a 2nd rate shopping mall filled with Elmos badgering your for $5 photos. The lower east side aka ‘the Bowery’ is rapidly loosing any trace of our large immigrant history. It IS filled with our ‘new immigrants’ the young rich, spacey Millennials, trust fund babies and tech company millionaires. Apartments costing $1 million in the Bowery are cheap.
Little Italy is nothing but 6 or so blocks of Italian restaurants trying to hang on while the Chinese and the stores of Soho eat up their once large thriving Italian neighborhood. Fuggedaboudit.
New York’s harbor was once the busiest harbor in the world. Today, with a combination of damage from hurricane Sandy and the sheer greed of the Bloomberg/DeBlasio real estate ‘developers’, in South Street Seaport nothing will be left but a few gratuitous red brick buildings and only one old sailing ship to be now surrounded by a mirror glass ersatz ‘Pier 17’ and two gigantically tall mirror glass ‘luxury towers’ encroaching on America’s historical land mark the Brooklyn Bridge.
Go to Brooklyn then you say? Oh no, that is being gentrified at a hyper speed such has been never witnessed before in America. The foot of the Brooklyn Bridge is now being encased in a towering glass apartment building in DUMBO and the once spectacular view of the bridge from the Brooklyn Heights promenade is now obliterated by a gigantic apartment complex. If anyone would have told me that one day the views of the Brooklyn Bridge will be gone, I’da said you’re nuts.
Further in Brooklyn, whites buying $1+ million town homes in Bedford–Stuyvesant is now the norm. What was once our largest African American neighborhood, now has it’s residents being forced to go back to their Southern roots where they might be able to afford the rent. Meanwhile ultra hipster Williamsburg battles it out with ultra orthodox Satmar Jewish Williamsburg for real estate, who will win is anybody’s guess.
Hey, but Hans you’re safe in Queens. Not so, as my neighborhood fights off the flood of ‘poor upper middle class’ who can’t quite afford the $500,000 to $1 million dollar glass towers of the East River’s Long Island City. One by one we are seeing the affordable shops disappear, street vendors forbidden and a slimey corrupt councilman like Jimmy Van Bramer sign off on real estate deals wiping places like the spectacular 5 Pointz Graffiti Museum and the immigrant’s car-repair shops of Willet’s Point off the map while he brown noses his way up in the mayor’s administration.
If anyone has noticed, I haven’t posted daily “Photos of the Day” since mid June, I needed time to reflect. I will continue to tell people how ‘wonderful’ New York is, but I will also tell them that the city is an illusion, a big grand, sparkling, smoke & mirrors illusion. With my camera I will try to find something worth capturing that someone’s cell phone camera has not. My main concentration will be on researching and writing a book about my Von Rittern land baron roots in Bremen, Germany, and a second book on my Broadway stage door memories.
In the meanwhile, my German guests, while taking my tours say to me, “Sadly, it’s happening in Germany too, capture it while you can.”
October 31, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "WHITEWASH", 5 Pointz, 5 Pointz destroyed, 5 Pointz Graffiti Museum, 5 Pointz white washed, 7 train, architecture, arts, Bedford-Stuyvestant, Bill DeBlasio, Broadway, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights promenade, Chinatown, destruction of South Street Seaport, DUMBO, Experiencing the destruction of 5 Pointz, gentrification, German tourists, Germany, Grand Central Terminal, Greenwich Village, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Hypergentrification, Jackie O., Jimmy Van Bramer, Little Italy, loosing New York's history, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Michael Kors, SoHo, Times Square, TRIBECA, Willets Point, Williamsburg Brooklyn | Leave a comment
125th Street, Harlem, 9am
Photo of the day: EARLY SUNDAY MORNING IN HARLEM – 125th Street, 9am. This church usherette in her nurses uniform ignores the sinful life of late night Harlem night clubbing portrayed by the great Harlem muralist Franco (Gaskin) the Great as she heads to volunteer at her local Baptist church. It has been a long standing tradition to have nurses serve as usherettes in gospel services just in case one of God’s flock feels the spirit to such a height that they may pass out and faint. Many of my European guests have been bemused by the sight of a nurse greeting you at a church’s entrance, kindly and warmly with a smile. “God bless this Sunday morning, right this way..”
“…I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God….” – Psalms 84: l0b
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Benjamin Franklin
June 4, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 125th Street, 125th Street Harlem, 1920's Harlem mural nightcllubbing, arts, Baptist church, Benjamin Franklin, church nurse and street art, Franco Gaskin, Franco the Great, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Harlem 125th Street murals, Harlem gospel tours, Manhattan, New York City, New York photo, nurse tradition in Baptist churches, nurse usherettes, nurse volunteer usherettes Baptist churches, nurses uniform, Photo of the day, photography, Psalms 84: l0b, street art | Leave a comment
Postcard story from New York: “STOMPING AT THE SAVOY IN HARLEM”
New York, October 15, 2:00pm, 1954
The Savoy the showplace of Harlem, has acquired an international reputation for its unique styles of dancing. Such dances as the Lindy-Hop, Big Apple, and the latest of all sensations the Mutiny Swing, had their origin at The Savoy.
To: Mrs. M. A. Ryan
U.S. Army Air Corps
8505 W. Warren Ave
“Hi Marg: We arrived in NY Monday at 9:30p.m. are having a swell time here. Say hello to the girls for me
Connie + Bob”
Sadly Connie & Bob’s adventures at the famed Savoy were never received by Mrs. M. A Ryan at the U.S. Army Air Corps since the postcard is stamped “FOUND IN PACKAGE BOX COLLECTION”.
It is guaranteed that Connie & Bob had a ‘swell time’ since The Savoy nightclub was dubbed the swingingest hot spot in Harlem and all of New York City. The first non segregated club allowing blacks and whites to swing together. The famed Cotton Club was for white patrons only with famed black musicians on stage. At The Savoy – real hep cats dug some cool jive on the be-bop side! They were jammed packed every night from March 12, 1926 to July 10, 1958. Often thousands had to be turned away. The Savoy is deeply rooted in our dance, music and culture. Music united all at the Savoy !
Read about it’s wonderful history here and see the link to the YouTube videos below.
See a brief video history:
With swing’s rise to popularity and Harlem becoming a connected Black community, The Savoy opened at a perfect time, giving the rising talented and passionate Black dancers an equally beautiful venue. The Savoy’s ballroom, which was 10,000 square feet in size, was on the second floor and a block long. It could hold up to 4,000 people. The interior was painted pink and the walls were mirrored. Colored lights danced on the sprung layered wood floor. In 1926, the Savoy contained a spacious lobby framing a huge, cut-glass chandelier and marble staircase.
The Savoy was extremely popular right from the start. A headline from the New York Age March 20, 1926 reads “Savoy Turns 2,000 Away On Opening Night – Crowds Pack Ball Room All Week”. The ballroom didn’t go dark a single night of the week.
The Savoy even participated in the 1939 New York World’s Fair, presenting “The Evolution of Negro Dance”.
The Savoy was unique in having the constant presence of a skilled elite of the best Lindy Hoppers, known as “Savoy Lindy Hoppers”. Occasionally, groups of dancers such Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers turned professional and performed in Broadway and Hollywood productions. Whitey turned out to be quite a successful agent, and in 1937, the Marx Brothers’ movie A Day at the Races featured the group. Herbert White was a bouncer at the Savoy who was made floor manager in the early 30s. He was sometimes known as Mac, but with his ambition to scout dancers at the ballroom to form his own group, he became widely known as Whitey for the white streak of hair down the center of his head. He looked for dancers who were “. . . young, stylized, and, most of all, they had to have a beat, they had to swing”. The Savoy held a yearly dancing festival called the Harvest Moon Ball featuring lindy dancers. The first Ball was held in 1935, and the contestants introduced the Lindy Hop to Europe the next year.
Unlike many ballrooms such as the Cotton Club, the Savoy always had a no-discrimination policy. Generally, the clientele was 85% black and 15% white, although sometimes there was an even 50/50 split. Lindy hop legend Frankie Manning noted that patrons were only judged on their dancing skills and not on the color of their skin: “One night somebody came over and said, ‘Hey man, Clark Gable just walked in the house.’ Somebody else said, ‘Oh, yeah, can he dance?’ All they wanted to know when you came into the Savoy was, do you dance?”. Virtuosic dancers, however, excluded others from the northeast corner of the dance floor, now referred to as the “Cat’s Corner,” although the term was not used at the time. This part of the floor where the professional Lindy dancers ruled was on the 141st street side of the room and was then referred to just as “the corner”. Only Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers could dance and work routines there. Competition was huge in “the corner” and every serious hopper awaited the nightly “showtime”. Other dancers would create a horseshoe around the band and “ . . . only the greatest Lindy-hoppers would stay on the floor, to try to eliminate each other”. On 140th street was the opposite, mellow corner which was popular with dancing couples. The skilled Tango dancer known as The Sheik frequented this corner.
Many dances such as Lindy Hop (which was named after Charles Lindbergh and originated in 1927) were developed and became famous there. It was known downtown as the “Home of Happy Feet” but uptown, in Harlem, as “the Track” because the floor was long and thin. The Savoy earned the nickname “Home of Happy Feet” from Lana Turner who remarked of the dancers, “What happy feet these people have”. The Lindy Hop is also known as The Jitterbug and was born out of “. . . mounting exhilaration and the ‘hot’ interaction of music and dance”. Other dances that were conceived at the Savoy are The Flying Charleston, Jive, Snakehips, Rhumboogie, and variations of the Shimmy, Mambo, and many more.
It is estimated that the ballroom generated $250,000 in annual profit in its peak years from the late 20s to the 40s. Each year, the ballroom was visited by near 700,000 people. The normal entrance fee was 30 to 85 cents per person, depending on what time a person came. 30 cents was the base price, but after 6pm the fee was 60cents, and then 85cents after 8pm. The Savoy had made enough money by its peak of business in 1936 that $50,000 was spent on remodeling it.[
The ballroom had a double bandstand that held one large and one medium sized band running against its east wall. Music was continuous as the alternative band was always in position and ready to pick up the beat when the previous one had completed its set. The bouncers, who had previously worked as boxers, basketball players, and the like, wore tuxedos and made $100/night. The floor was watched inconspicuously by a security force of four men at a time who were headed by Jack La Rue, and no man was allowed in who wasn’t dressed in a jacket with a tie. Besides the security staff, the Savoy was populated by “Harlem’s most beautiful women”: the Savoy Hostesses. They would be fired for consorting with patrons outside the ballroom, but inside the hostesses would teach people to dance and were dance partners for anyone who purchased a 25 cent dance ticket. Roseland Ballroom hostesses often visited the savoy on their night off; this inspired Buchanon to create Monday-Ladies-Free Nights. Other special events began during the week, including the giveaway of a new car every Saturday. The floor had to be replaced every 3 years due to its constant use.
“Stompin’ at the Savoy“, a 1934 Big Band classic song and jazz standard recorded by Chick Webb, was named after the ballroom. The song was featured in an episode of I Love Lucy in which she performs the Jitterbug.
Chick Webb was the leader of the best known Savoy house band during the mid-1930s. A teenage Ella Fitzgerald, fresh from a talent show win at the Apollo Theater in 1934, became its vocalist. Floating World Pictures recently made a documentary called “The Savoy King” about Webb, Ella, and the ballroom. It was shown at the 50th New York Film Festival.
The Savoy was the site of many famous “Battles of the Bands” or “Cutting Contests“, which started when the Benny Goodman Orchestra challenged Chick Webb in 1937. Webb and his band were declared the winners of that contest. In 1938, Webb was once again challenged by Count Basie Band. While Webb was officially declared the winner again, there was a lack of consensus on who actually won that night. Earle Warren, the alto saxophonist for Basie reports that they had worked on a song called “Swingin’ the Blues” for the purpose of competing and says, “When we unloaded our cannons, that was the end”. Webb’s “unbeatable” band had been bested.
The Savoy participated in the 1939 New York World’s Fair, presenting “The Evolution of Negro Dance”.
Despite efforts by Borough President Hulan Jack and others to save it, the Savoy and the nearby Cotton Club were demolished for the construction of a housing complex, Bethune Towers/Delano Village. The Ballroom was shut down as a result of “charges of vice filed by the police department and Army”. The mayor was the target of protest by angered members of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The ballroom was auctioned off for $25,000 to a “middle-income housing project”. Count Basie was quoted in the paper saying “With the passing of the Savoy Ballroom, a part of show business is gone. I feel about the same way I did when someone told me the news that Bill (Bojangles) Robinson was dead”. On 26 May 2002, Frankie Manning and Norma Miller, surviving members of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, unveiled a commemorative plaque for the Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue between 140th and 141st Streets. The tradition of swing has lived on today and many surviving dancers from the Savoy still dance when they can. As Norma Miller says in her memoir, “Although Harlem created it, the Lindy belongs to everyone”.
May 8, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "The Evolution of Negro Dance", 1939 World's Fair Savoy dancers, 1954, 1954 postcard, Big Apple dance, collecting postcards, Cotton Club Harlem, Detroit Michigan, entertainment, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, history of modern dance, history of The Savoy Ballroom Harlem, Lindy Hoppers, Lindy-Hop, Manhattan, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, postcard collecting, Postcard Stories from New York, Roseland Ballroom, Savoy Ballroom Harlem, the first integrated dance club, the Mutiny Swing, U.S. Army Air Corps, vintage NYC postcard | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: THE DIVINE AUDACITY ~ CATHEDRAL IN NEW YORK CITY TO START CHARGING ADMISSION – Over the weekend New York City’s gothic treasure, St. John the Divine had the ‘divine’ audacity/necessity to send a memorandum out to the tour guide industry advising us that as of February 1st of this year tour groups will be charged admission. Brace yourselves – $5.00 (4€ euros) – to enter a church! The 9/11 memorial charges a cover charge of $2.00.
For the many, many of you that I have taken there on my tours, you well know it is one of the mostly undiscovered treasures of the city. They are fascinated to see the unfinished towers and dome. They love the story of the center doors only opening three times a year for Easter, the blessing of the bicycles and the blessing of the animals. To see the World Trade Center Towers on the columns in front begins to fascinate the wonderful mixing of old and new history inside.
Inside there is always a sense of awe. I advise my guests to take a brochure and put a donation in the donation box at the entrance. You then pass wonderful hand carved 15th century German wooden choir stalls and enter this magnificent world of surprises. The fireman’s memorial, the American history stained glass window that has the prototype of the first television of 1926 in it as well as movie stars Jack Benny and Mary Livingston. Another stained glass window shows the sinking of the Titanic. I tell the touching story of how the cathedral cared for the AIDS patients of NYC when no one else dared to as we look at the AIDS memorial. I show them the plaque dedicated to the horrible bookstore fire that damaged the church in 2001, ruining the organ’s pipes for 10 years. I show them the ‘zipper’ of the church marking the finished and unfinished part of the cathedral. I show them such wonderful worldwide gifts as the 17th century Barberini tapestries, the golden chests donated by the King of Siam, the urns given by the emperor of Japan, the Keith Haring graffiti triptych in the Asian chapel donated by John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono. I lead them through the 7 chapels dedicated to the main 7 languages spoken in NYC in 1892. I take them up near the altar for one of the most breathtaking views of the front stained glass window containing 10,000 pieces of glass, 40 feet in diameter. I show them menorahs on the altar as well, explaining the church welcomes all faiths.
Well – they welcome all faiths, but they now do not welcome groups unless you pay to get into the house of god. Never at no time in New York has there been a house of god that has had the need to charge admission into what I thought is the house of the people. St. John the Divine is desperate for money, last year having sold off precious adjacent land to the church and allowing god awful high rise apartments to be built, therefore obstructing the rays of sunlight into the north side of the church. Now they are obstructing the tourists of New York.
As a fellow tour guide Tom said: “What they really, really, need is help to grow their endowment. Presumably they have an endowment, like Universities and Museums. With a massive old building that must have massive maintenance costs, there is no longer a massive congregation as in the old days to keep up the place. That’s where smart and competent money-managers take hold of the finances of the institution and go on a major campaign to grow a big endowment, sufficient for maintenance. This is how Carnegie Hall was saved. The famed Koch Brothers have contributed literally hundreds of millions of dollars: $100,000,000 EACH to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to Lincoln Center and The American Museum of Natural History, total $300,000,000. So, who’s in charge of this program at The Cathedral?”
They are nickel and diming, almost literally, a huge problem. It will have the most unfortunate and unintended consequence of keeping some likely visitors O-U-T. The sudden sticker shock of $5.00 will leave many at the door. I can understand starting at $2.00 – but $5.00?! A full bus of 55 guests would cost $275!! The biggest losers here are the young visitors to New York, the student tour groups. My student tour groups from Virginia, Tennessee, the Carolinas and all along the coast. They are already on a tight budget, eating at McDonalds to save money on the big trip from their home town. They enter St. John the Divine starry-eyed and filled with wonderment at this magnificent gothic structure, the likes of which most will not get to see unless they are privileged enough to go to Europe. Sadly, it is simply adding itself to the list of those famous cathedrals of Europe all forced to do the same out of necessity. Notre Dame in Paris charges €3/$4.10 to see the treasury of riches. The Basilica in Rome charges 12€ euros/$16.00. The Cologne/Köln Dom in Germany charges 4€ Euros/$5.00. Seville cathedral in Spain charges 8€ euros/$10 dollars. St. Paul’s cathedral in London charges 16€ euros/$21.85. The wonderful art-filled little adobe churches in poor Tucson, Arizona do not charge at all. St. Patrick’s cathedral on the wealthy Fifth Avenue here in NYC does not need to charge. St. John the Divine in New York now wants to be added to the world wide list of those charging admission.
Perhaps St. John the Divine got the idea from the very recent surprising November 2013 decision of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. to charge $10/7 € euros admission and perhaps I should feel I am getting a bargain. (In comparison, The Museum of Natural History’s full price adult admission charge is $22/16€ euros). But is this the beginning of a possible disturbing and disheartening trend in the famed churches New York City? Where the declining parish necessitates charging at the door? Most of the churches in Harlem are only surviving on the Sunday gospel tour dollars. It is no longer ‘the fashion’ to go to church in most large cities, therefore the declining membership results in declining donations. These grand cathedrals were built for the masses – church going masses who today – are tourists. A sad trend.
I am only a New York City tour guide and have no idea how this cathedral functions. But, what is needed at St. John the Divine is a professional, knowledgeable, experienced, committed, well paid, position of fundraiser to grow a serious endowment. Considering their list of well connected parishioners, their current plan seems like nothing more than a high school-level accounting class solution…if that.
Here is the memo:
To: Professional Guides, Tour Operators, and Guest Lecturers
From: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Department of Public Education and Visitor Services
Please note the following updates in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s visiting group policy, effective February 1, 2014.
• Self-guided groups are encouraged to schedule their visit at least two weeks in advance. Groups are defined as ten or more visitors. Scheduling requests can be made through a web site request form, or through the Public Education Office by phone or email below. The group will receive confirmation of a one-hour time period to visit the Cathedral.
• Group arrivals are permitted between 9am and 5pm daily.
• Groups should enter through the Cathedral’s southern door at Amsterdam Avenue. The group leader or guide must check in at the Visitor Center upon arrival.
• Payment of the discounted group admission of $5 per person must be made upon arrival. One group leader or guide receives complimentary admission.
• Groups that do not pay group admission may only enter the Cathedral as individual visitors.
• The Cathedral accepts cash, checks, and Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Checks should be made payable to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
• Tour companies are encouraged to join the Cathedral’s voucher program to obviate admission payment on arrival in exchange for discounts and quarterly billing. To join the voucher program or receive more information please contact the Public Education Office.
• Scheduled groups will be given access to the entire Cathedral, including restrooms, as well as brochures for their participants. Confirmed groups will be alerted of changes to access as soon as possible. Groups that schedule to arrive during times of limited access will be notified in their confirmation.
• Late or early group arrivals will be accommodated as best as possible, however we do not
guarantee access to all parts of the Cathedral.
January 14, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 9/11 memorial $2 admission fee, AIDS, architecture, arts, Barberini tapestries, blessing of the bicycles, Carnegie Hall, chapels of the 7 tongues, churches desperate for money, churches need to raise money, declining church goers, Department of Public Education and Visitor Services, endowment program needed, endowments and conributions to churches, Guest Lecturers, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Harlem gospel tours, Jack Benny and Mary Livingston, John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono, Keith Haring graffiti art, Koch Brothers contributions, Lincoln Center, little adobe churches in Tucson Arizona, Manhattan, massive maintenance costs, National Cathedral in Washington D.C., New York City, New York photo, Notre Dame in Paris, Photo of the day, photography, politics, Professional Guides, Seville cathedral in Spain, St. John Divine new $5. admission fee, St. John the Divine, St. John the Divine architecture, St. John the Divine blessing of the animals, St. John the Divine is desperate for money, St. John the Divine new admission policy, St. Patrick's cathedral, St. Paul's cathedral in London, student tourism in New York, The American Museum of Natural History, The Cologne/Köln Dom in Germany, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the sinking of the Titanic, Tour Operators, tourism in New York, World Trade Center | 5 Comments
Apollo Theater, 125th Street Harlem. 12-6-2013
|“The Apollo Theater mourns the loss of civil rights leader, educator and revolutionary politician Nelson Mandela. In 1990, Nelson and Winnie Mandela visited Harlem, New York shortly after his South African prison release. His triumphant story of fighting against the South African government for their racist policies resonated deeply with the Harlem community.
It was an honor to have Mr. Mandela visit us in Harlem and we send our condolences to Mr. Mandela’s family, friends and supporters around the world.”
© 2013 Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Apollo Theater, June 27, 2009
December 6, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 125th Street Harlem, Apollo marquis, apollo theater, Apollo Theater Foundation, civil rights leader, Dec. 6 2013 Harlem Mandela, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Harlem Apollo Theater, Harlem community, Inc., Manhattan, Michael Jackson death 2009, Nelson Mandela, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, The Apollo Theater mourns, Winnie Mandela | Leave a comment
Nelson Mandela mural 125th Street Harlem
Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013. Thank you for changing the world peacefully. May you now rest peacefully.
(Harlem mural by Franco Gaskin, seen on 125th Street. Malcom X, Obama, Mandela, Dr. King)
December 5, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: arts, Dr. Martin Luther King, Franco Gaskin, Franco the Great, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Malcom X, Nelson Mandela, New York City, New York photo, Obama, Photo of the day, photography | 2 Comments
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Photo of the day: HANS CRUISES NEW YORK – I spent five days taking 35 Germans and one American on a total sightseeing tour of New York City! They saw the whole big apple from top (Harlem) to bottom (Battery Park/World Trade). The minuses: getting up at 4:30 am to travel from Queens so I can meet them at their hotel in Seacaucus, Jersey at 8:00am. Dropping them off in Jersey at night and that long, long cold mass transit bus ride back. The pluses: The wonderment in their eyes seeing Times Square for the first time. Taking the famed Circle Line Manhattan boat cruise at sunset. Their eagerness to walk along Fifth Avenue decorated for the holidays. The giddy Empire State building visit. The look in their eyes the next morning after they visited the places I had recommended. The hugs and German home made cookie I got at the airport as they sadly said goodbye…makes all worth while 🙂
Can you tell it was cold?
December 4, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: Christmas, Circle Line Cruises, Circle Line Sightseeing, Empire State Building, five days in New York, German tourists explore New York, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Liberty sunset, Manhattan, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, Statue of Liberty, touring New York City, transportation, World Trade Center | Leave a comment
The menorahs on the altar of Episcopalian cathedral St. John the Divne Cathedral, NYC.
Photo of the day: WHEN HOLIDAYS COLLIDE, HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HANUKKAH – This is the altar of the Episcopal church, St. John the Divine in Harlem. It contains a cross, a chalice for communion, the holy bible and two giant menorahs. Not your ordinary “Christian” altar? You’re right. St. John the Divine, since it was built in 1892 has always believed that all religions should be welcomed there, after all – isn’t that the ‘Christian’ thing to do? Don’t we all believe in a “god”? Don’t we all try to lead a ‘god fearing’ life? In 1930 Aldof Ochs, the founder of the esteemed New York Times newspaper was so impressed and taken by the idea of St. John’s open arms, he donated two 11.5 feet tall golden menorahs to the church. They grace their altar and welcome all faiths as they and we celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same day. The last time it happened was 1888 and the next is 79,043 years from now – by one estimate widely shared in Jewish circles.
So, happy Thanksgivukkah!
Welcome all to the table, after all . . .
isn’t that the Christian thing to do?
November 27, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 'the Christian thing to do', 1888, 1930, 79043 years from now, Aldof Ochs, architecture, Episcopal cathedral, golden menorahs, Hans Von Rittern, HANUKKAH, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Harlem, Holidays in New York City, Manhattan, menorahs on episcopalian altar, mix of Jewish and Episcopalian religions, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, St. John the Divine, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, Thanksgivukkah, The New York Times | Leave a comment
Photo of the future: VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE DeBLASIO! – GO out there and vote! I want a real human being in City Hall. A man whose family looks like the rest of us. A man with feelings and a heart. Not ice in his veins. I don’t care if all his promises can’t be reached, or if he will screw up and falter – I want a mensch, a human being I can approach and relate to. I want my city back! I got rid of Christine Quinn, one of the most cold calculating, selfish, power mad, destructive politicians of modern times, lets make sure MTA-thief Joe Lohta losses by a huge margin!
YOU can make history and get rid of the elite detached nanny-rule of this Bloomberg tyranny. In my born and raised 57 years as a New Yorker I have never seen a mayor do as much to destroy and harm my beloved city as bastard Bloomberg. We have NEVER lost as many long time established stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, historical neighborhoods and places and business places as with his greedy rule of allowing quadruple rent increases to squeeze (in some cases) 100 year old businesses out of business so he could build yet another mirror glass ivory tower for his billionaire friends. He has done more damage than 9/11 and hurricane Sandy combined, both of which we are rebuilding from. You cannot rebuild from the onslaught over priced glass ivory towers, the destruction of historic neighborhoods, the squeezing out of the middle class, the invasion of chain stores in even the most historical of neighborhoods, the racial and socioeconomic division of this city, the genocide of the middle class as what has occurred in the last 12 years of Bloombergistan.
Bloomberg is a thief. Oddly enough he went from being the 18th richest man in the country to 10th richest man as the zoning laws, historic district laws and street patterns changed and Citi-bikes have invaded and devoured our city. All those deals went into his back pocket. The zoning commission is working around the clock to cram through all of Bloomberg’s excessive destructive plans such as encircling Grand Central Terminal and the iconic Chrysler building with glass super towers!
I am tired of the little dwarf who is about as much a part of the rest of us as a cold rock from outer space. His Napoleonic syndrome of dominant power over every little aspect of New York went too far.
DON’T “ASS-U-ME” DeBlassio will win or win big: May I remind you , that is how bastard Bloomberg got this third term because of the anger and apathy that let everyone assume he would win his bought third term. Apathy and laziness looses you your city. VOTE! – Take 15 extra minutes before or after work, take the dog on a voting walk, turn off the TV, grab a warm coat, take your children with you and let them know they are a part of something great, take someone you love and share this exhilarating chance, but most of all, know that this vote is one of the most crucial votes you will cast in the last 100 years of this city’s glorious history and certainly determine our next 100 years.
HELP SAVE NEW YORK – VOTE BILL DeBLASIO ! ! !
November 5, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 2013 mayoral election, 9/11, Bill DeBlasio, Bloomberg back room deals, Bloomberg corrupt, Bloomberg's tyrannical rule, Bloombergistan, Bronx, Brooklyn, chainstore invasion, Citi-bikes, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, CRUCIAL VOTE, GO OUT AND VOTE!, Greenwich Village, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, homeless, Hurricane Sandy, Joe Lohta, loss of historical buildings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, nanny Bloomberg, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, Queens, re-zonning laws, socioeconomic division of New York, Staten Island, Sunnyside, the destruction of New York | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: 9/11/2013 SO MANY LOSES / SO MANY GAINS (and…karma is a bitch!) – On this day in New York when we remember the over 3,000 loses of loved ones at The World Trade, a work place I once called home on the 102nd floor, we also last night gained so very much back! A dedicated group of individuals who sought to stop the hemorrhaging of this city, banded together and defeated one of the most corrupt, cold hearted, and scheming politicians since Boss Tweed in 1853, councilwoman Christine Quinn last night.
Donny Moss and 91 year old Natasha
The mighty Quinn: For the past twelve years, Quinn and Bloomberg have systematically destroyed New York City as the city has become a city of the über rich and the very poor, 45+% now live near or at the poverty level. We have lost over 12 hospitals during their term in office, glass luxury apartments replace them. Quinn ruled the city and controlled the zoning laws with her slush funds making the city open season for the greedy real estate developers as zoning law changes have become the norm. South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 is being torn down, neighborhoods like Harlem, Greenwich Village and Soho are loosing their soul. Her tearing down of St. Vincent’s Hospital, it’s church and the 9/11 memorial is the most egregious. As the years passed, she became the most powerful politician only second to Bloomberg, a power that was had by vitriolic temper outbursts and control of the city funds.
How much is that doggie in the window? To show her lack of character, she was against all animal rights activists to the point of refusing to pass a bill that would now make it mandatory to require sprinkler systems in pet shops. Let the puppies and kittens burn, along with the workers.
Daniela and ABQ friends
Karma is a bitch! In 2011, I lost my Gray Line tour guide job of seven years thanks to Quinn. She single handedly destroyed the double decker tour guide industry by pushing through a ‘headset bill’ in order to please a few well heeled residents of Greenwich Village who had complained that tour guides on the open mics were “too loud”. The original bill did not provide for the headsets to be connected to a live tour guide, me. Councilwoman Gail Brewer added the proviso in the bill that a live guide must be giving the tour. Since Twin America the monopoly that owns the double decker tour bus companies City Sights and Gray Line are heavy contributors to her Christine Quinn’s campaign, miraculously the ‘live guide’ proviso was taken out of the bill in the middle of the night. No sound tests were ever done as required. I headed a group called “Keep New York Live” and protested at every TV station and at city hall with the help of my fellow tour guides. On the final day of our fight we had a twelve noon rally planned on the steps of city hall. No press showed up. At 12:15 I called friend and transit reporter Greg Mocker of WPIX11 and asked ‘where you all?’ Greg’s response “well it’s canceled isn’t it? Quinn said it was canceled.” The bill passed with Quinn’s single authority. Over 200 tour guides were no longer ‘allowed’ to come to work or were given insulting low buy out packages. No work, no health care, nothing.
Well Ms. Christine Quinn – karma is a fierce bitch. YOU took MY job away in 2011 and now I have taken YOUR job away in 2013 ! ! !
2011 TOUR GUIDE PROTEST at NBC STUDIOS
The heir to the throne: With an arrogant sense of entitlement as covered in the New York Times, she also had the ’empty chair syndrome.’ At many of the local mayoral forums chairs were set up on stage for all the mayoral candidates, hers – was usually empty. If she did deem to show up, her head never looked up from her blacberry.
NEW YORK TIMES AND PRESS COVERAGE
The cowardly lioness: Donny Moss became the monkey on Christine Quinn’s back, she could not leave her house without Donny trailing her as he held up his signs and calling out the truth about her record. No matter what camera angle she tried, there were either Donny or the ‘ABQ’ people behind her. It came to the point that Quinn would not enter any venue through the front door, she had security sneak in her the back door for fear of bad publicity photos and press. What sort of beginning is it to your term as office when you run and hide from your public? Too yellow, spineless and cowardly to face your constituents.
The awesome DONNY MOSS & DANIELA watching DeBLASSIO’S victory
Rag tag group takes down Quinn – Crazy cat ladies, people who dress up their dogs, horse lovers, gay activists, passionate New Yorkers like the incredible Donny Moss, Arthur Cheliotes, Allie Feldman & Wendy Kelman Neu formed groups “Defeat Christine Quinn” and “NYC Is Not For Sale” respectively which then morphed into the “ABQ – Anybody But Quinn” campaign, unprecedented in New York’s political history. We canvassed subway stations every night, manned phone banks and hounded Quinn wherever she made and appearance, Donny Moss being the most wonderfully persistent of all of us! In that time Quinn went from leading in the polls by wide margins to plummeting weekly. No greater plummet than election night when, as other candidates percentages went up….hers went down from 26% to 18% to an embarrassing 15%.
Brian Gari “cat calls” republican mayoral candidate Catsimatidis
Picture election night: Each candidate had their large expensive venues filled with their high paying donors and political strategists in their expensive suits with the media tripping over them. Yet here we were, in a little bar called Mustang Sally’s on the west side, fifty of us in the back room, in our sweaty t-shirts and jeans, none of us rich, only rich in passion and conviction. It wasn’t the Bloomberg/Romney-like dollars that Quinn had, it wasn’t all the New York newspaper’s endorsements, it wasn’t the political pundits who said she would win, no, it was the people with pet hair on their now iconic red ABQ (Anyone But Quinn) t-shirts that had all the might. It was volunteers like 91 year old Natasha and my 87 year old mother Ursula. We have changed the course of New York’s history. Never underestimate the passion and the anger of the crazy old cat lady!
AUNT MIA AND HANS
DONNY MOSS AND HANS VON RITTERN
September 11, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 2011, 9/11, 9/11/2013, Allie Feldman, animal cruelty, animal lovers, animal rights activists, ANYBODY BUT QUINN ABQ, architecture, arrogant politicians, Arthur Cheliotes, Bill DeBlasio, boss tweed, Boss Tweed in 1853, Brian Gari, City Sights tours, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, crazy cat lady fights city hall, Defeat Christine Quinn, dog lovers fight city hall, Donny Moss, Gail Brewer, gay activists, Gray Line tour guides, Greenwich Village, Gregg Mocker, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, headset bill, horse lovers, job loses, KARMA IS A BITCH, Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mustang Sally's, NBC, New York City, New York is not for Sale, New York pet shop sprinkler law, New York photo, pet lovers fight city hall, Photo of the day, politics, September 11 2013, South Street Seaport, St. Vincent's Hospital, The New York Times, Twin America, Ursula Von Rittern, Wendy Kelman Neu, World Trade Center, WPIX11 news | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: MILLION YOUTH MARCH FOR TRAYVON MARTIN SEPT. 7 HARLEM –
Sept. 7 is the 15th anniversary of the Million Youth March. This year, the march is being held in Harlem in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell St. and 125th Street. The National Black Family Convention is also being held from Sept. 5-8 in Harlem. This year’s march will honor the memory of Trayvon Martin.
September 6, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 125th Street, Adam Clayton Powell Street, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Manhattan, MILLION YOUTH MARCH FOR TRAYVON MARTIN SEPT. 7 HARLEM, New York City, New York photo, old African woman holding sign, Photo of the day, proud African face, The National Black Family Convention, Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin rally | Leave a comment
Heath Ledger as The Joker, Batman 2008
Photo of the day: THE HIDDEN ART TREASURES OF TIJUANA, MEXICO – (Part of my new ‘Tijuana Tuesday’ series). Most tourists know Tijuana, Mexico for it’s allure of inexpensive souvenirs, leather goods, bountiful food & drink, the colorful streets and the bargain ready store keepers. Most tourists arrive after the stores officially open at 10 am, which, since it’s Mexico…means 10:30, 10:45, 11:00 in the land of ‘mañana’. Other tourists choose to arrive at sundown just for a night of drinking and partying. But what happens if you arrive early in the morning instead?
Last week on my visit to Tijuana, I decided to visit the main shopping thoroughfare Revolution Avenue (or Avenida Revolución) early, taking advantage of my body clock being three hours ahead on New York time to photograph the colorful buildings. Believe me, they don’t ‘do mornings’ – I was practically the only one on the main street. But, being so early reveals a hidden treasure most tourists don’t get to see – the wonderful murals painted on the steel gates of the closed store fronts! Just as New York’s Harlem 125th Street has painted murals of African history and heritage done by 85 year old artist Franco the Great only to be seen before the stores open at 10am and lift and hide the gates.
The same wonderful hidden treasures are revealed here in Tijuana in the early morning hours too. The art styles on the steel gates range from pop culture references, traditional Mexican folk lore to street graffiti. As I wondered down the sunny avenue in wonderment at all the wonderful colors, old architecture and design, I didn’t even realize I was photographing a recurring theme of the steel gates so I didn’t get to photograph them all, but these are some that just fascinated me. There is such beauty in the rustic old buildings, you never really see their old age, rust or need of care. The imaginative designs, the vintage signs, the brightly colored walls, the charming old cast iron gates and the swaying palm trees create a colorful illusion of charming perfection. How wonderful to see no chain stores and glaring modern electronic billboards, instead just “art”, however you interpret “art” to be – it is all around you. Then as 10:30-ish rolls around, you start to hear the clankering of the metal gates, one by one, being lifted up as the stores keepers prepare their shops for the day, only to reveal more colorful treasures inside!
“Tijuana makes me happy.”
September 3, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "Tijuana Tuesday", art in Tijuana Mexico, Avenida Revolución, commerical art, early morning walking tour in Tijuana, folk lore art, Franco the Great, graffiti art, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Harlem 125th Street murals, Heath Ledger The Joker Batman, hidden art reasures of Tijuana, New York City, painted steel gates, painted store gates, Photo of the day, photography, pop culture art, Revolution Avenue, shopping district of Tijuana, street graffiti, Tijuana Mexico, tourism in Tijuana Mexico | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: I HAVE A DREAM – 50 years and still dreaming . . .
August 24, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: "I have a dream", African American celebrities, African American figure buttons, Americana, Black entertainers, black political figures, Black politicians, Dr. Martin Luther King, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, March on Washington, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day | Leave a comment
Mondays on Memory Lane: MICHAEL JACKSON 8-29-1958 TO 6-25-2009 – On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson was murdered by his so-called doctor, Conrad Murray, by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication and suffered a heart attack in his home on North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In August of 1967 Michael (age 7) and The Jackson 5 auditioned at the famed Apollo Theater’s talent contest and easily won first prize. Diana Ross introduced the Jackson 5 to the American television viewing audience on her TV special in 1969, the rest is history. Forty years later the story horrifically came to an end on a day in June of 2009. The news was shocking. On the west coast fans had several places to mourn, the hospital, his home and Hollywood Blvd’s Walk of Fame. On the east coast fans surged to New York’s Apollo Theater on Harlem’s 125th Street where Michael was discovered.
It was one of those summer heat waves where you felt like you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, but people came by the thousands. You had to stand in line for two blocks to get to the front of the theater to leave flowers or leave mementos behind. Street vendors lined the street with everything ‘Michael’ for sale, his music blared from every stand. Worldwide TV crews were everywhere.
Directly to the left of the Apollo was an empty lot surrounded by a blue wooden wall. Fans instinctively took out their felt tip pens and started writing messages of love to Michael. Within a few days the wall started to turn black from all the signatures. But the Apollo theater brought out plastic sheeting to cover the wall so that fans could continue to sign, day after day, the sheets filled up rapidly.
On July 1st, I came to pay my respects and watch the phenomena. After I had left a few messages on the wall, I stood back and watched the people. Hour after hour in the heat and then it struck me. As I watched people signing the wall, I noticed – there was an old black woman next to a young white woman, an old white woman next to a young black woman. There were people of all colors, all ages, all genders, all persuasions. So many different languages could be heard: Finnish, German, French, Russian, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, all dialects.
Hans Von Rittern and the signature wall
Music had brought them all together. Through Michael’s music they were all one, united, if only for that brief period in time. The love of music unites. Michael united all. Rest in peace Michael.
. . . Doctor Murray received the maximum sentence of four years. . .
June 24, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 125th Street, 2009, 8-29-1958 TO 6-25-2009, all colors, all creeds, all persuasions, apollo theater, Diana Ross, Dr. Conrad Murray, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Harlem Apollo Theater, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson fans, Michael Jackson memorial at the Apollo, Michael Jackson's death, Michael Jackson's mourners, Michael was discovered, music unites, New York photo, North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills, On June 25, propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, the Jackson 5, worldwide fans | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: JOY! What is joy to you? The warm rays of the spring sun with promises of the summer to come? Celebrating a day off from work? Spending the day together with one of your best friends? Discovering a new part of town together on a noon day walk? Seeing a red breasted robin carrying a twig to his new nest? Smelling the heady perfume of hyacinths in bloom? Feeling the soft breeze on your face? Hearing the birds singing in the trees? Shadows playfully changing shapes on the ground? White puffy clouds that look just like the ones you saw in your fairytale books? The almost ‘Oz’-like green of newly grown grass? Seeing a tulip tree in full bloom illuminated by the afternoon sun?
My dear friend Deborah Blau and I experienced all these things while being alone at George Washington’s haunted Morris-Jumel Mansion.
Or – is joy listening to this: One Of The Best Instrumentals Of All Time From The British Studio Group “Apollo 100” Featuring Keyboardist Tom Parker. This 1972 Hit Made It To #6 On The American Hot 100 And Is Based On The Bach Composition Titled “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring”.
April 28, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 1972, Apollo 100, Bach, bach composition, Deborah Blau, Feeling the soft breeze on your face, good friends, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, haunted mansion, hyacinths in bloom, Jesu - Joy Of Man's Desiring, Keyboardist Tom Parker, Manhattan, Morris-Jumel Mansion, nature, New York City, newly grown grass, outdoors, tulip tree in full bloom, warm rays of the spring sun | Leave a comment
Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip and Marvin Traub
Mondays on Memory Lane – Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip ‘shop’ Bloomingdale’s 1976: It wasn’t your average advertisement in the local papers ‘Come Meet the Queen at Bloomingdales’! This being 1976, the height of the disco era it could have been any one of dozens of queens. Divine, Sylvester, Craig Russell, Holly Woodlawn, Rollerena, Charles Pierce, Danny LaRue, Jim Bailey?
No, this was THE Queen to beat out all other queens, The one that always carries her handbag wherever she goes. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip. (As Bette Midler once famously asked: “What has she got in that handbag?! A card that says ‘I am the Queen?!’) Bloomingdale’s then CEO and president Marvin Traub had pulled off the media stunt of all stunts and convinced the Queen to visit his store. This was quite a coup for him. She wasn’t visiting Macy’s, SAKS, or Bonwitts, Tiffany or Bergdorf’s, she was visiting the store that was so hotly in vogue at the time. The Queen “didn’t choose Saks, and she didn’t choose Bergdorf — she chose Bloomingdale’s,” Traub once boasted in an interview with The Post.
As part of the city’s 1976 bi-centennial celebrations, on Friday, July 9th, 1976, the Queen first decided to participate in a little historical reenactment herself. Most famously, the Queen graced the steps of Trinity Church to receive back rent owed the crown — 279 peppercorns. A bronze plaque presently marks the spot at Trinity where she accepted the peppercorns.
After a luncheon at the Waldorf, the royals fit in a couple unusual stops. The first was a spot of afternoon tea at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, accompanied by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Afterwards, they sped downtown for a tour of Bloomingdale’s, not only stopping traffic, but reversing it on Lexington Avenue, to allow the Queen to exit her vehicle from the right side.
She quietly moved from floor to floor, admiring the many displays of products of British make, particularly the pottery and furniture. She was also greeted to a private fashion show, as Her Majesty was led through a room of mannequins garbed in the latest stylish trends from 1976. Along the way, a few American designers made appearances to greet Queen Elizabeth, including Calvin Klein.
I recall it was in the mid afternoon and many office workers made it a long lunch to see the famous couple. I got there several hours early to get a good viewing spot on one of the upper floors where a museum exhibit had been set up. The aisles were narrow here so therefore the best spot to snap a picture with my little instamatic camera with the square flashcubes. The buzz on the floor was heightened but polite, no shoving or pushing – after all, it was the Queen! She graciously perused the exhibit but her eyes and his swept across the crowd as they truly tried to connect to the people of New York, it was quite remarkable. (Remember, this is before John Lennon’s 1980 assassination and security was still very lax in those days.) A representative of Bloomingdale’s remarked, “we thought — and the Queen agreed — that it would be a very American experience for her to go amidst all the crowds and just pretend she might be shopping.”
It was a surreal ‘pretend shopping excursion’ but it was a thrill for me, but alas…no…she didn’t do the royal hand wave 🙂
Story told in honor of her 87th birthday yesterday April 21.
April 22, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 1976, 1976 bi-centennial, 279 peppercorns, Bette Midler, Bloomingdale's CEO and president Marvin Traub, Bloomingdales, Calvin Klein, Charles Pierce, Craig Russell, Danny LaRue, Daughters of the American Revolution, disco era, Divine, fashion show, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Her Majesty, Holly Woodlawn, Jim Bailey, John Lennon, July 9 1976, Lexington Avenue, Macy's, Manhattan, marvin traub, Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York City, Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth II, Rollerena, SAKS Fifth Avenue, shopping, Sylvester, Trinity Church | Leave a comment
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR $10. BILL! – Take a look at an American $10. bill and you will have Alexander Hamilton staring right back you! So what would you give your dad on his 258th birthday? For Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, it will be a couple of open house celebrations in upper Manhattan.
Born on January 11, 1755, on the Caribbean island of Nevis, Alexander Hamilton, ascended from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential figures in United States’ history. He was a protégé of the country’s first president, George Washington. But in his own right, Hamilton was a distinguished statesman, soldier, economist, newspaper founder, lawyer and the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, therefore his place of honor on our $10 bills. A scandalous extra-marital affair clouded his reputation; a political rivalry led to his violent death in a deadly dual with our third vice president Aaron Burr, sound just like politics in 2013! He is buried in the cemetery at the oldest Episcopal church in New York City the Trinity Church located at the entrance to Wall Street.
On Saturday, January 12, Alexander Hamilton’s birthday looms over two great uptown houses. As one would guess, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial (seen above, his summer home) will toast its original owner on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues. But a concurrent tribute will take place at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, at West 160th Street between St. Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues as well. It is there that both men planned their defeat of the British. So happy 258th birthday Mr. Hamilton, you don’t look a day over 40!
(Did you know you can’t xerox/photocopy money, newer copy machines have some sort of block built into them.)
January 11, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: $10 bill, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, American currency money, American history, Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues, current-events, Edgecombe Avenue, George WaSHINGTON, Hamilton Grange, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, historical homes, Manhattan, Morris-Jumel Mansion, Nevis, New York City, oldest Episcopal church, politics, Secretary of the Treasury, St. Nicholas Avenue, Trinity Church, Wall Street | Leave a comment
‘Phil’ is an albino peacock who lives in the gardens of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Harlem NYC with his brothers Jim and Harry who are the standard green/purple colors of a peacock. St. John the Divine is the largest gothic style cathedral in the world, two football fields long. Built in 1892, it is still in the process of being built. When attending an organ concert at the cathedral you will hear Phil chime in, he screeches along to the music.
October 19, 2012 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: albino peacocok, cathedral, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem, Manhattan, nature, New York City, St. John the Diviine | Leave a comment