Foggy or clear, twenty-four hours a day the ferries toot their diesel horns once as they depart the ferry slips at St. George on their five-mile voyage for Whitehall. The old names remain. Ferrymen are traditionalists. Sailing ferries were traveling the Upper Bay before the War of 1812, long before the five-borough City of New York was even a dream. Hence Whitehall and St. George, rather than Manhattan and Staten Island.
The senior ship on the United States Navy list and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world last visited New York in August 1931. Her arrival was reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire: the square-rigged wooden man-of-war being nudged along by the minesweeper USS Grebe. Freshly
Among the stories recently published in the dailies about past transit strikes, I saw none about the brief strike by motor-men employed by the privately owned Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) in November 1918. It led directly to the Malbone Street wreck, in which a strikebreaker lost control
Acommercial for the last season of Sex and the City showed Sarah Jessica Parker doing an elegant balancing act in stilettos along old steel rails set in a Brooklyn cobblestone street. I recognized the location: I had been there myself.
Around 1994, attending to business down in the old
Acentury ago, the railroad was the cutting edge of practical technology, moving freight and people as the Internet now moves information and thought. One of the last and most spectacular railroad promoters was Arthur
Demonstrations and riots had torn New York for over a year. The legal government had fled and nearly three-quarters of the population with it. Committees of public safety dominated by radicals ruled the streets. An army of 23,000 insurgents held lower Manhattan.
On the morning of July 9, messengers from Philadelphia crossed the Hudson with a document for the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary army. Five days before, Congress had approved a clear policy statement that coincidentally clarified his personal position. Until now he had been a rebel. Now he was a traitor.
Occasionally, we think about investments we could have made that might have made us rich. Armed with clairvoyance, who would not have sunk the farm into Microsoft, back when Bill Gates was a nebbish? But we probably would have put our money into AT&T, U.S. Steel or Western
Phoebe Snow started here. I mean the train, not the singer–although she started here too, come to think of it. Born in New York City, she borrowed her stage name from the premiere express train of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, “The Route of Phoebe Snow,” “The Road of Anthracite,” which passengers boarded by taking a ferry boat from the railroad’s lower West Side ferry terminal to the massive Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey.