City of Memory - Directory of Stories

City of Memory Directory of Stories:

City of Memory is an online community map of personal stories and memories organized on a physical geographical map of New York City.
Click on any title to go directly to the story or tour.

Newest Stories

Staff Favorites

Five Most Viewed Curated Stories

  • Brighton Beach Boardwalk

  • Rita Kagan and her husband, Jack, tell us a little bit about the history of the Brighton Beach Boardwalk and how it is utilized by the community today. Rita is joined by her friends Anna Malkima and Vita Lisina. Anna sings a favorite song of hers in English and Russian.

  • Birth of Hip Hop

  • Early breakdancer Bom 5 was filmed for the documenatary, "From Mambo to Hip Hop." In this scene, he speaks about the origins of hip hop held at the parties at the Bronx River Houses.

  • Macy's Information Lady

  • Since 1952, Bronx-born Edith Melvin has worked the Macy's ticketron, numatic tubes, telephone switchboards and finally, the information desk -- but she always knew "who slept with who, of course."

  • Delivery on the C Train

  • In 1989, transit worker Joe Caracciolo was on his way to the Rockaways when he heard a woman scream... In the late 1980s, not long after City Lore was founded in 1986, we joined forces with the New York City Transit Museum to conduct an oral history of New York City's transit workers.

  • The Most Diverse Zip Code

  • Signs from every part of the world!

Five Most Viewed Contributed Stories

Curated Stories

  • 52nd St. Jazz Clubs
  • 52nd St. was lined with jazz clubs on either side from the 1940s through the 1950s. Candido Camero relates his experience on this legendary street upon his arrival to New York City from Cuba.

  • A Bakery that Sweetens the Neighborhood

  • Located on Port Richmond Avenue, the busiest street in town, Cafe con Pan provides Latinos with a delicious taste of home, and tempts passers-by with its coloful displays and sweet aromas.

  • Abe Lass, Piano Player of the Silent Movies

  • At the age of 16, Abe Lass began playing piano to the silent movies at the Old Eagle Theater in Borough Park.

  • Amateur Night at the Apollo

  • Since 1935, Amateur Night at the Apollo has brought droves of hopeful artists out each Wednesday to test their talent at this legendary Harlem theater. Here we go backstage with one such 9-yr old amateur as he gets ready for the spotlight.

  • The Amato Opera

  • In 2008, the world's smallest opera company, celebrates its 61st season - and its last.

  • Among the Ruins: Paul Kronenberg, Local Character

  • Wasserman's documentary, "Brooklyn: Among the Ruins" introduces audiences to Brooklyn born and bred Paul Kronenberg.

  • Atlantic Oceana Restaurant

  • Rita Kagan talks to one of the owners of the Atlantic Oceana Restaurant. She recalls how Brighton Beach is known as "Little Odessa"--Odessa is the largest city in the Ukraine and is a major seaport on the Black Sea.

  • Avenue D Laundromat: A Nuyorican Tour

  • This laundromat on the Lower East Side was where the mothers of poets Miguel Algarin and Miguel Pinero would do their laundry.

  • B-Boy Dance Battle

  • In 1981, filmmakers Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant filmed one of the earliest breakdancing battles between the Bronx-based Rock Steady Crew, and the Queens-based Dynamic Rockers. Who won the battle is still a point of contention to this day.

  • Bingo!

  • For the past seven years, the wild and crazy street poet Bingo Gazingo (June 2, 1924-January 1, 2010) performed each week at the Bowery Poetry Club.

  • Birth of Hip Hop

  • Early breakdancer Bom 5 was filmed for the documentary, "From Mambo to Hip Hop." In this scene, he speaks about the origins of hip hop held at the parties at the Bronx River Houses.

  • Boccie in "Spaghetti Park"

  • Built in the late 1910s, and officially named for the neighborhood's first casualty in World War I, the William F Moore Park is better known by its local nickname - Spaghetti Park - and for its location, across from the Lemon Ice King.

  • Brighton Beach Boardwalk

  • Rita Kagan and her husband, Jack, tell us a little bit about the history of the Brighton Beach Boardwalk and how it is utilized by the community today. Rita is joined by her friends Anna Malkima and Vita Lisina. Anna sings a favorite song of hers in English and Russian.

  • Broadway Mall

  • Our tour guide to Chinatown is Amy Chin. Amy is a native New Yorker who visited the neighborhood frequently as a child, and has worked for many years as an activist promoting Chinatown's economic and cultural development. In these scenes she visits the Triple 8 Mall on East Broadway.

  • Bronx Bees: Apiary of Roger Repohl

  • In this audio clip, Roger explains how bees help the community grow food; he celebrates the Linden tree-lined streets of the Grand Concourse; and confesses that ladies' pantyhose are a beekeeper's best friend.

  • Brooklyn Elite Checkers Club

  • Pool checkers had long been playing in the parks, barbershops and alleys of New York City. The Brooklyn Elite Checkers Club was founded in 1973 in order to give pool checkers devotees a home. Club members now play in the Salvation Army library since their headquarters was accidentally demolished in 1986 by a nearby wrecking ball.

  • Bubble Tea in Chinatown

  • Chinatown shamelessly mixes the old and the new. Traditions are often re-imagined by new waves of immigrants. Tea originated in China, and now "bubble tea" is the newest incarnation of this ancient drink.

  • Butala Emporium, A South Asian Cultural Market

  • This is the story of a street side kiosk which made it to the big time. Butala Emporium, a South Asian cultural market, sells specialized items which Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal of Queens College can only find inside its walls. Furniture, literature, body products, bronze art work. It's all at Butala Emporium.

  • The Carillonneurs
    On October 25, 2009, City Lore presented a People's Hall of Fame Award to the City's premiere carillonneurs.

  • Casa Amadeo, Latin Music Store

  • Casa Amadeo (antigua Casa Hernandez) is the longest, continually run Latin music store in New York City. It was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 for its legacy to Latin music and the Puerto Rican community here in NYC.

  • Charlie's Calypso City

  • Rawlston Charles has operated his Calypso record store and recording studio, Charlie's Records and Rawlston Studio, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn for over 30 years. In that time he has become a central pillar of the Trinidadian community by providing a place to celebrate the island's culture and music.

  • Chelsea Jeans, in the Wake of 9/11

  • On September 11th, 2001, as the twin towers came down, an avalanche of dust and debris swallowed much of lower Manhattan, engulfing people, cars and buildings. In the hours and days following the attacks, everything near ground zero became gray, colors muffled by the ash.

  • Church of the Nativity

  • Margarita Larios describes her participation at the church used by the local Mexican community to celebrate the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

  • Christmas Displays from Dyker Heights and other Brooklyn Neighborhoods

  • Christmas season in New York City's outer boroughs is a time when homeowners transform the mundane into a nocturnal tapestry of festive landscape by decorating their house exteriors and front yards. Home owners ornament their property with mass-produced objects that draw on an array of Christmas symbols, from the sacred image of God incarnate's humble birth to the season's mythic brilliance of divine light, and to the overlapping literary, cinematic, and commercial iconography of Santa and snowmen, nineteenth century carolers and "wooden" soldiers, and the proliferation of franchised characters such as Mickey, Bugs, and Elmo. Thousands of multi colored lights twinkle, dioramas of motorized figures remain in constant motion, and the sound of recorded music blares from outdoor speakers.

  • Chinese Laundry 2

  • Childhood in a Chinese American Hand Laundry.

  • Club 845: Jazz in the 1940s-60s

  • Trumpeter Jimmy Owens, who has played with jazz musicians Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, and Duke Ellington, among others, was born in the Morrisania area of the Bronx, which happened to be an area which boasted a thriving jazz scene during the 1940s through the 1960s.

  • Cobi's Place, a Jazz Concert Hall

  • When Nobuko "Cobi" Narita moved from California to New York in 1969, she wandered into Central Park where she was entranced by a musician playing jazz for passersby. She spoke to him and he told her if she was interested in jazz to go to St. Peter's Church.

  • The Coney Island Polar Bear Club

  • The Coney Island Polar Bear Club was founded in 1903 by Bernarr McFadden, a man then known as the "Father of Physical Culture." His belief that an ocean swim during the winter can strengthen one's endurance and immunity was the inspiration for the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.

  • Conrad's Famous Bakery
    Conrad Iffel's bakery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn bakes a wide variety of Trinidadian foods.

  • Crack the Whip
    It was early twilight, the hour when homework was completed. I donned a roller skate key secured with a ribbon. After traversing up and down all of the Hills called Murray on roller skates, I was joined by my best friend, Margie.

  • Dancing a Mexican Heritage

  • Ballet Guadalupano was founded in 2004 by Port Richmond's Emma Tapia, Mon Olmedo, Pedro Guzman and Daniel Jesus Cabrera to present the history, cultural heritage and traditions of Mexico through music and dance on Staten Island.

  • The Death of Black Benjie

  • Benjy Melendez discusses the death of one of his fellow gang members and the repercussions for the gang community in 1971. In the 1990s, the directors of "Flying Cut Sleeves" filmed a group of gang leaders from the 1970s about their current lives and their reflections on the past.

  • Delivery on the C Train

  • In 1989, transit worker Joe Caracciolo was on his way to the Rockaways when he heard a woman scream... In the late 1980s, not long after City Lore was founded in 1986, we joined forces with the New York City Transit Museum to conduct an oral history of New York City's transit workers.

  • Dia de Guadalupe Parade

  • Through the backdrop of the Dia de Guadalupe celebration, "Running the Race" focuses on issues surrounding immigration, language, culture, and identity, both in and outside of the Mexican Mixtec community in New York City.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers Sym-Phony Band

  • The Dodgers Sym-Phony is a 1/2 hour documentary that presents the story of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers Sym-Phony Band.

  • The Dorothy Day Cottage

  • Jim O'Grady, an activist with the Catholic Worker movement in New York, and a frequent writer for "New York Times," wrote a biography of Dorothy Day, who founded the movement, and who has been nominated for sainthood in the Catholic Church.

  • Doughboy Park
    "My family and I always goes to Doughboy Park after school to take a walk or play there. Sometimes I always bring my ball. And sometimes I could bring my bike in the park so I could ride it on the hill. Other times I always fall and get hurt on the hill. My whole family sometimes helps me to ride down the hill. I always wear my helmet to be safe from that big hill." -Thomas

  • The El in East Harlem
    Whenever I cross Third Avenue and 116 Street, I think of the Saracino Sisters-and their last ride on the El.

  • El Puente

  • An Interview with Frances Lucerna, one of the founders of El Puente. El Puente is a community human rights institution that promotes leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members (youth and adult) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action.

  • Elevated Thoughts
    There it stood, looming large and tall, on Third Avenue, majestic and mysterious, from 1886 until 1955. This structure defined all the neighborhoods it ran through along Third Avenue from South Ferry to Tremont Avenue. Powerful black iron latticework girders held it all up.

  • Elizabeth's Deli & Grocery
    The Elizabeth's Deli & Grocery is on Roosevelt Ave. It has lots of things in it, like sodas, juices, sandwiches, pet food, coffee, and cookies. It has a train station on the top. It has lots of posters hanging on the window. It has a big house on the top. –Hanson
  • The Empire State Building Run-Up

  • Each year, stairclimbers from around the world gather at the Empire State Building for an 86-flight race to the top.

  • Extempo War Breaks Out in Brooklyn: A Trinidadian Calypso Tradition

  • "Extempo is a war. You must know your competition, find their weakness and use it against them; instead of using bullets, your ammunitions are rhyme, lyrics and repartee." ~Black Sage Calypso, a style of Afro-Caribbean music, originated in Trinidad sometime around the turn of the 20th century.

  • Faber Park for Rest and Celebrations

  • "El Centro," a storefront immigrant day worker center in Port Richmond, has sponsored many community events, such as the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Faber Park.

  • Federation of Black Cowboys

  • The Federation of Black Cowboys was created by a group of diverse people looking to share and promote knowledge of the "Black West." Seeking to create greater understanding of African American culture and heritage, they endeavor to provide educational opportunities for the young public of NY.

  • Ferry Tales: The Staten Island Ferry Powder Room

  • For hundreds of commuters, it's just another routine trip from the quiet of Staten Island into the frenzy of Manhattan. Some spend the half hour traveling across New York Harbor anxiously waiting, suffering through the boat's motions and sipping their third cup of coffee while burying their heads in the newspapers. Some attempt a hopeless nap. But not all.

  • Flushing Council of the Arts

  • Once a jail, this building now houses world-class concerts, exhibits and arts education.

  • Folksbiene Yiddish Theater

  • The Folkbiene Yiddish Theater is America's only surviving and the world's longest running Yiddish theater. It aims to both preserve and develop Yiddish theater by producing classic and often overlooked masterpieces while also creating and staging new works.

  • Friends Meeting House

  • Alvin Eng interprets one of New York's oldest houses of worship, home to a Quaker community.

  • Fung Wah Bus: New York to Boston, Chinatown to Chinatown

  • Before traveling to China in 2006, tour guide Amy Chin believed that the homegrown Chinatown commuter buses were a New York phenomenon.

  • Gathering of the Tribes, Arts and Cultural Organization

  • Tato Laviera, Miguel Algarin, and Bob Holman stop by and talk to Steve Cannon, founder of the organization, A Gathering of the Tribes. Steve Cannon is a poet, playwright, and novelist who started Tribes in 1991 and in 1993 was given the space, Tribes Gallery, on Third Avenue (between Avenues C & D).

  • Giglio Festival in Williamsburg

  • High above Williamsburg¬ís rooftops every July rises a gracefully tapering, gaily painted spire, sixty-five feet tall, called a giglio (pronounced jil-yo). The giglio is the focus of a fifteen-hundred-year-old feast honoring St. Paulinus, the southern Italian saint whose statue surmounts the huge tower.

  • Gleason's Gym

  • Hoping to appeal to the Irish New York fight crowd of 1937, Peter Robert Gagliardi changed his name to Bobby Gleason and opened up Gleason's Gym. Throughout the 40's and 50's, boxing in New York flourished. Yet, by the 60's the popularity of boxing declined. Gleason's Gym is the only remnant of the sport's "Golden Age" in New York City.

  • Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center

  • The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) is the only not-for-profit industrial developer in New York City. Between 1992 and 2001, GMDC rehabilitated five vacant North Brooklyn manufacturing buildings for occupancy by small manufacturing enterprises.

  • Greg O'Donnell, Red Hook Developer

  • Developer Greg O'Connell talks about the buildings he owns in Red Hook, the advantage to "cluster businesses" and his concerns for the future.

  • Growing Up Chinese

  • Alvin Eng tells tales of growing up in Flushing.

  • Haiti, NY: Au Beurre Chaud

  • This bakery in the heart of Flatbush has been serving Haitin cuisine for over two decades.

  • Haiti, NY: Gran Bwa at Prospect

  • Commemorations of the Haitian Revolution in 1791 continue today in Prospect Park.

  • Haiti, NY: Radio Soleil

  • Radio Soleil keeps Haitians in New York in tune with the happenings in the homeland.

  • Haiti in NY: Rara in Green-Wood Chapel

  • Traditional Vodou ceremonies in the Green-Wood Cemetery chapel.

  • Harlem Fish Cries

  • Songs from a fish market in Harlem.

  • Hawks Mas Camp
    The changes in the immigration laws in the mid 1960s encouraged many Trinidadians to immigrate to the United States in an effort to improve their quality of life. As Conrad Ifill, owner of Conrad’s Bakery in Brooklyn put it, sometimes a small island starts to feel too small.

  • Heart of Loisada: A Nuyorican Tour

  • Loisaida, a phrase coined by poet and writer Bimbo Rivas, and derived from the way the Puerto Rican community pronounced the name of their neighborhood, is the unofficial name of the Lower East Side.

  • Homeless Philosopher Tony Butler

  • "The whole world is my home. That's the way I look at it. The beautiful thing is that I don't have to worry about no freakin' landlord evicting me anytime he gets ready. The only way I get evicted from this world is when I die."

  • Horseshoe Crabs in Jamaica Bay

  • Horseshoe crabs have existed on earth for approximately 1.2 billion years. Residing in Jamaica Bay, creatures of this enduring species have what it takes to survive in New York: a hard exterior and a high tolerance for pollutants. (http://www.nycgovparks.org)

  • House Under Roller Coaster

  • Without warning, in the early morning hours of November 17, 2000, New York City bulldozers staged a surprise attack on one of Coney Island's few remaining monuments, the long-neglected Thunderbolt roller coaster.

  • I've Got a Home in That City Up Yonder: Gospel in New York

  • Since the 1970s, the songs of the No Name Gospel Singers have been heard at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Central Park's Summer Stage, arts and cultural organizations, and countless churches throughout New York City.

  • In the Wake of 9/11: Labib's Cafe

  • After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Egyptian cafe owner Labib Salama didn't think things could get much worse. That was before a bunch of guys came one night and smashed up his cafe on Steinway Street in Astoria. He shares his story with Judith Sloan, who co-produced it with Warren Lehrer.

  • India Sari Palace

  • Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal, a leading expert in the South Asian diaspora and a Professor at Queens College, talks about the fascinating culture and fabric traditions of the "sari," the iconic, traditional woman's dress in South Asia.

  • Jazz at The East

  • Jitu Weusi, one of the founders of The East, recounts why they started a music program at The East, then Saxophonist James Spaulding recalls how the first (and only) record was made for The East record label.

  • The Jazz Ministry at St. Peter's Church

  • The St. Peter's Lutheran Church had its beginnings on the second floor above a feed and grain store n 49th St. and 3rd Avenue. Around 1870 the church was moved over to Lexington and 46th St., and around 1900 moved to its current site (though in 1978 it was renovated to its modern look).

  • The Jewish Deli to a Chinese Boy

  • Alvin Eng tours Chinatown in Queens, remembering the Jewish Deli and community of his youth.

  • J'Ouvert: Daybreak at Carnival

  • Trinidadian traditions, West Indian Carnival and New York City combine to form J'Ouvert, the daybreak celebration marking the beginning of the Caribbean Carnival in Brooklyn. Before the sun rises on the morning of Carnival, the J'Ouvert procession begins to pass down Flatbush Avenue.

  • Juan Pablo Duarte Blvd

  • Born in 1813, Juan Pablo Duarte is considered one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. Juan Pablo Duarte Blvd. is the stretch of St. Nicholas Avenue from Amsterdam Avenue and West 162nd to the intersection of West 193rd St. and Fort George Hill.

  • Just Joe
    One of my household chores in 1946 was my family’s food shopping.  This job took me regularly to that great wreck of a store where I would select the freshest of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, escarole, apples, pears, grapes, and my favorite fruit, cantaloupe.

  • Kitchrie Festival of Indo-Caribbean Arts and Culture

  • The first Kitchrie Festival was produced by the Rajkumari Cultural Center in 1998.

  • Kool Herc and Coke La Rock Reunited
    Two icons of Hip Hop, Coke La Rock and DJ Kool Herc, perform together again in the Bronx.
  • Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute

  • The Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute of New York is one of the most renowned Asian performance groups in the world. Their outpouring of musical and dance heritage is nothing short of mesmerizing. Energetic drumming is met with equally powerful traditional choreography.

  • La Casita Rincon Criollo

  • As we approached Casita Rincon Criollo in our little bus, Hernandez improvised a decima (sung poetry) that brought tears to my eyes.

  • Lemon Ice King of Corona

  • Peter Benfaremo, or Pete, as he is affectionately called by his fans and staff, as been in the ice business since he came out of the army in 1945.

  • Leonard Bernstein & the Senior Citizens

  • Storyteller Roslyn Perry recounts a hilarious story about bringing a group of senior citizens to Lincoln Center to watch a rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein.

  • Liberty Avenue

  • Liberty Avenue in the Richmond Hill district of Queens is the main commercial drag of New York's Indo-Caribbean community.

  • Lindy at the Savoy

  • The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem opened on May 12th, 1926, staying open seven nights a week for dancers. It is said to have held 5,000 dancers on its floor. Actress Lana Turner visited it and called it the "Home of the Happy Feet" and that became an unofficial nickname of the dance hall.

  • Los Muralistas

  • El Puente Muralistas have completed over eight community murals, spanning over a decade, involving youth and community in expressing community issues throughout Williamsburg and Bushwick under the leadership of artist Joe Matunis. Here Joe explains some of the process involved in creating the murals. The murals seen here are the ones entitled: "Ashes to Ashes," at the corner of Berry St. and South 4th; "Living with Asthma," at the corner of Hewes St. and South 4th; and the Espiritu Tierra Community Garden on South 2nd.

  • M & I International Food

  • Rita Kagan talks to the manager of M & I International Foods, one of the busiest spots on Brighton Beach Avenue, where you find a whole array of Ukrainian and Russian foods. Rita also describes borscht, the hearty vegetable soup comprised mainly of beets, that is popular throughout Eastern Europe.

  • Macy's Information Lady

  • Since 1952, Bronx-born Edith Melvin has worked the Macy's ticketron, numatic tubes, telephone switchboards and finally, the information desk -- but she always knew "who slept with who, of course."

  • Man's Dead: A Story from Chinatown

  • Like all New York Neighborhoods, Chinatown has endless stories. Many old world traditions, like the Chinese customs of visiting the family graves to leave offerings for the ancestors, are adapted to contemporary life in New York. Amy's story humorously blurs the boundaries between the living and dead, between Chinese customs and NYC mores.

  • Manny's Music

  • During the past couple of years there have been many casualties in New York City's music scene; from the closing of small record stores such as the Record Shack across the street from the Apollo Theater in Harlem; to the Copa, the largest salsa dance club; as well as the loss of huge corporate music stores of Tower and Virgin.

  • Marjorie Eliot's Weekly Concerts

  • "The majesty within us is larger than any of us, so I can trumpet this and not blow my own horn." Marjorie Eliot Every Sunday for the past eight years, rain or shine, with no vacations, a jazz concert takes place in the parlor of Marjorie Eliot's home on what she calls the northern tip of Harlem.

  • Memories of Mean Streets

  • Donald Semenza, born in 1935, tells stories about growing up in and around the "wiseguy" social clubs in the West Village from around 1952 through 1971.

  • Mermaid Parade

  • The Mermaid Parade is the nation's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events. It celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt air and the beginning of summer, as well as the history and mythology of Coney Island, Coney Island pride, and artistic self-expression.

  • Miguel Algarin's Poetry Salon

  • In 1972 many poets such as Miguel Pinero, Lucky Cienfuegos, and Bimbo Rivas would meet in Miguel Algarin's living room to recite their poetry. In September of 1974, they bought what was the Sunshine Cafe, an Irish bar, and opened the original Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

  • Miguel Pinero Home

  • This is where poet Miguel Pinero at one time resided. It is now the store, Love Shrines.

  • The Most Diverse Zip Code

  • Some would argue that all of New York City converges on Times Square, but as Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal explains, it's on the streets surrounding this intersection in Queens near 74th St., the hub of the most diverse zip code in the United States, where people from almost every part of the world have made a home, and where many have set up shop.

  • My Sister on the Hood

  • A classic New York City story by one of America's greatest storytellers.

  • New Generation Mas
    Concentrating on the preservation of the masquerade tradition among youngsters, known as Kiddies Carnival, New Generation, led by Kathyann Hernandez, has been a dominating presence for the children’s Labor Day weekend Carnival.

  • Nightlife at Singh's Roti Shop

  • Singh's Roti Shop and Bar at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 131st Street in Richmond Hill is a very popular restaurant, bar and nightclub in the heart of the Indo-Caribbean community.

  • Nuyorican Poet's Cafe

  • Miguel Algarin, the owner of the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, gives a tour of the neighborhood and the places that were part of the Cafe's history. These sites are linked by Miguel Pinero's poem.

  • Papa Manteo's Marionettes

  • In 1983, Mike Manteo won a National Heritage award from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work with the Manteo Marionettes.

  • Park Plaza/Park Palace Jazz

  • Percussionist Benny Bonilla has played with many musicians in the Latin music and jazz fields, but he is most known for his role as timbalero in Pete Rodriguez's Latin bugalu band with its major hit, "I Like It Like That." Here he relates his first time attending a concert at the Park Plaza as a young man of 15 years of age.

  • Patel Brothers Grocery

  • Professor Madhulika Khandelwal of Queens College takes us on a tour of Patel Brothers Grocery, the largest South Asian grocery chain in New York City. She introduces us to some of the most common food items in the South Asia diet, as well as their preparations, cultural and religious uses.

  • Patrons Grocery & Flower Shop
    Students in the 2nd grade at PS 11 Queens explored their neighborhood and made personal connections to special places...

  • Peace Token Fishing Tackle Corp.
    Students in the 2nd grade at PS 11 Queens explored their neighborhood and made personal connections to special places...

  • Pelham Parkway Christmas House

  • Every year, for the past 30 years, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, the Garabedian family has decorated their home and property into a Winter Wonderland spectacle. Nearly one hundred figures make up the annual display, which is a combination of religious figures, Disney characters, Victorian-era characters, Christmas figures, ballroom dancers, and pop-culture icons.

  • Perico Ripiao

  • Interview with merengue musician Jos√ɬ© Mat√ɬ≠as and his wife Ana. The interview was recorded in the cellar of a bodega owned by their friend Felo, where they go to have parties and rehearse his band, Jos√ɬ© Mat√ɬ≠as y su Banda T√ɬ≠pica. Jos√ɬ© plays a type of merengue music called perico ripiao, which is a more traditional form than what is heard on the radio. This style of music comes from the Dominican Republic. Jos√ɬ© and Ana tell a story about the meaning of "perico ripiao" and how it relates to them. The song Jos√ɬ© plays at the end of the piece is about the former leader of the island, Rafael Trujillo. It is entitled "Padre San Cristobal" after the town where Trujillo was born.

  • Pier Glass in Red Hook

  • Mary-Ellen Buxton & Kevin Kuch talk about their business, Pier Glass, in Red Hook.

  • Piragua Stand: A Nuyorican Tour

  • In Puerto Rican and other Latino neighborhoods, the piraguero scrapes ice and flavors it with a variety of tropical flavors from coconut to tamarind.

  • PS 11 Queens
    Do you want to go to a great school? Well, PS 11Q is a great school. In PS 11 Queens, we learn a lot.

  • PS 11 Queens p.2
    I am writing about PS 11, where I can learn different kinds of things and sometimes I can find friends at school and it's fun to play outside in the playground.

  • Puerto Rican Day Parade

  • This clip contains interviews with various participants at the NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade, some of them singing the well-known song, "Que bonita bandera!" (What a Pretty Flag!). The parade turned 50 years old in 2007 and is one of the largest parades in the City.

  • Queens Community Garden

  • On May 15th, 2004 ground was broken for some garden beds on an acre of land owned and adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church of Newton. The garden beds grow strawberries, raspberries, beans, cucumbers, squash, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, herbs, and other greens which are donated to local food banks and homeless shelters. This project, called Greens for Queens Urban Farm Project, was started by Mary Sutak-Jenkins, the wife of Reverend Stanley Jenkins, and is a collaboration between the church, Green Guerrillas, and the South Asian Youth Action, a non-profit after-school program which operates out of the church's basement. The church (the oldest in Queens, dating back to 1652) donated more than 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables in its first year.

  • Quisqueya Park

  • Ivan Dominguez, music and cultural director at Alianza Dominicana, explains the significance of this park as well as the importance of the social service organzation Alianza Dominicana, which is right across the street. Quisqueya Park in Washington Heights is central to the Dominican community of that neighborhood.

  • Religious Shop: Mexico in the Boroughs

  • Religious shop owner, Jose Horiunchi, discusses the legend of Juan Diego associated with the Virgin of Guadalupe.

  • Rivington Park

  • When Margarita Larios lived at 42 Rivington St., local Mexican families would gather at Rivington Park on the weekends to play ball, eat, and relax.

  • RKO Keith's Theatre

  • A once bustling historic theatre in Flushing is in need of new life.

  • Rudy King and the Steel Drum

  • Rudy was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and took part in carnival and steel band music as a youngster. He moved to New York in 1949, anxious to pursue his music and teach New Yorkers about this new instrument.

  • Roy Pierre's J'Ouvert Mas Camp
    In this piece, the legendary Roy Pierre describes his 2008 presentation for the daybreak pre-carnival celebration J'Ouvert (a contraction of the French jour ouvert meaning beginning of the day).

  • Russian Purim Play

  • In March, 2008 the Russian Jewish community in Brighton Beach organized a performance at the Millennium Theater in celebration of Purim. Each year, the Jews enact the story of Purim to commemorate the heroism of Queen Esther in saving the Persian Jews from Hamen over three thousand years ago.

  • Saigon Bakery/Jewelry Store

  • Manhattan's Chinatown is teeming with small business entrepreneurs. The small, crowded spaces are often used for a multiplicity of purposes. The Saigon Bakery and Jewelry store is just one of the odd retail pairings that also include the travel agency and candy store on Mott Street.

  • The Scariest Thing

  • City of Memory takes off its hat to Brad Bonaparte, an artist, storyteller, Mohawk high steel worker, first responder, and friend of City Lore's who passed away on June 16, 2010.

  • Saint Petersburg Trade House

  • Saint Petersburg Trade House is said to be the largest Russian bookstore outside of Russia.

  • Searching for Chutney Music on Liberty Avenue

  • Pritha Singh went looking for CDs of the popular Indo-Caribbean music style known as Chutney.

  • Sesame Flyers Limbo Performance

  • Sesame Flyers, which was conceived primarily as a vehicle for involvement in constructive activity by Caribbean youth, has been in existence for 26 years.

  • Shaheen Sweets and Cuisine

  • Madhulika Khandelwal gets us inside the kitchen of one of the best Indian sweet shops in New York City! Follow her in Shaheen Sweets and Cuisine and meet the owner, Tariq Hamid, as he shows you how they make jalabee, burfee, and many of the other goods you see behind their counter.

  • Shopping for Puja Supplies at DJ's

  • DJ's, as it is popularly known, is the first puja store in the Indo-Caribbean community of Richmond Hill.

  • The Slave Gallery at St. Augustine's

  • If walls could speak...

  • Something Fishy in the State of Brooklyn

  • "I can't show them the fish - it's in the bathtub."

  • The Statue of Juan Luis Guerra

  • Ivan Dominguez, the director of music and cultural programs at Alianza Dominicana discusses the significance of singer Juan Luis Guerra and one of his most famous songs, "Ojala que llueva caf√©!"

  • Steamship Migration #1

  • For close to 50 years beginning in 1896 Puerto Ricans migrated to the mainland, and in particular, New York City, by steamship.

  • Steamship Migration #2

  • For close to 50 years beginning in 1896 Puerto Ricans migrated to the mainland, and in particular, New York City, by steamship.

  • Steamship Stories

  • Collector and steamship historian Ralph Mendez relates the stories of two ships that were part of the steamship migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland.

  • Stickball Blvd in the Bronx

  • Stickball Blvd. in the Soundview section of the Bronx brings stickball teams together all spring and summer long every year. Many Latin music musicians and dancers attend the events and remember how stickball and music were intertwined for them as they were growing up.

  • Sybil's Bakery and Restaurant

  • Sybil's Bakery and Restaurant stands at the top of the triangular island separating Liberty and 103rd Avenues at 133rd Street in Richmond Hill.

  • Tattoo Shop: Mexico in the Boroughs

    A tattoo shop where you can choose from standard flash as well as designs by artists from Mexico.

  • Togati Bakery

  • Brooklyn baker Ben Togati philosophizes on the meaning of bread. In this excerpt from the 1977 documentary "Part of Your Loving," we watch Ben Togati, an Italian-American baker, make his dough, bake the many and varied loaves he loves, and philosophize about why bread is "part of your loving."

  • Tour introduction
    Students in Ms. Avgoustidis' 2nd grade ELS class at PS 11 Queens investigated their neighborhood of Woodside.

  • Triangle Shirtwaist Centennial

  • Ringing the bells, 100 years later.

  • TWOSEVEN INC. in Greenpoint

  • Martina Salisbury and Franco Gotte discuss their window display business, TWOSEVEN INC, situated in Greenpoint, and share their concerns about looming developments.

  • Uncle Ng in "Singing to Remember"

  • Uncle Ng sings Muk'yu, Chinese folksongs, in Manhattan's Chinatown.

  • Unisphere

  • The Mohawk Indian steel workers worked on many structures for the 64' and 65' World Fair...

  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

  • City Lore's storytelling and oral history program High Steel and Cornmeal provided a rare opportunity to learn not only about the legendary Mohawk iron workers who helped shape the New York skyline, but also about the vibrant Mohawk community that once flourished in downtown Brooklyn.

  • The Village Vanguard Jazz

  • This jazz club has literally been in the "vanguard" of jazz music and entertaining audiences for seventy years. Here current owner, Lorraine Gordon, remembers how she met her husband, Max Gordon, the club's founder, and how she booked pianist Thelonius Monk's first gig there.

  • Wedding Palace in Chinatown

  • Chinatown's stores serve the needs of its diverse communities. Numerous wedding palaces thrive in Chinatown.

  • Welcome to Port Richmond

  • Staten Island's Latino population is growing rapidly, and Port Richmond is at the center of all its activity.

  • West Indian Carnival

  • On Labor Day weekend, the annual West Indian Carnival fills the streets of Brooklyn with an explosion of color, music and performing arts.


Contributed Stories

  • A Couple of Brooklyn Cafe Lovers

  • After my hubby and I met online, we had our first date along Prospect Park, Brooklyn, the area we both originated from.

  • "A Forgotten Arch" - by Andy Ollove

  • Remembering the arch leading to the Manhattan bridge

  • A Heavenly Place for Dancers: Clark Center for the Performing Arts

  • Clark Center for the Performing Arts, under the leadership of Louise Roberts, was a part of the life of dancers in NYC during the 70's and 80's.

  • A Lookback from the New Yankee Stadium

  • The Yankees are now making their 40th World Series appearance, but their first at the new Yankee Stadium.

  • A My Name is Alice: Street Games in the 1950s

  • A My Name Is Lee Schwartz ¬ìA my name is Alice and my husband¬ís name is Al, we come from Alabama and we sell Apples. Then on to B: ¬îMy name is Betty and my husband¬ís name is Bob, we come from Boston and we sell Bananas. C my name is Carol and...

  • A Nickel a Pickle: Blake Avenue Shops, 1940s

  • One nickel bought a crisp new pickle spooned right out of the big wooden barrel.

  • A Proposal in New York

  • "My girlfriend Dorothea got off the LIRR from Manhattan after a hard day of work on April 18, 2008. She walked down the stairs from the train with her iPod headphones on. She noticed the limo across the street, but didn't think much of it until I popped out of it with a box in my hand."

  • After a date or just to meet the guys

  • Kobe dinner on Linden Blvd in ENY section in Brooklyn was a rich experience to us during the late 50's.

  • Alligators

  • Is that what I think it is? No, it can't be I think as I hesitantly approach the storm drain where I just saw a sliver of a green tail disappear.

  • Always Will Be Home: 96th St and Columbus

  • "I grew up on 96th St./Columbus in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I remember when the Westmont and Key West were empty lots."

  • Amy's Cassettes

  • This virtual tour of three poems by Bushra Rehman about her Pakistani American and Muslim upbringing is posted as part of City Lore and Poets House initiative.

  • An Unexpected Dance at Hotel Roosevelt

  • "In 15 years of marriage I never danced."

  • At the Bleeker Luncheonette

  • "I have this memory of being in Bleecker Luncheonette with Dad (this is during the struggle to buy my dream apartment on University Place), when ¬ëProfessor J¬í walks in."

  • Awash with Fear

  • I like doing the laundry. I actually like going to the Laundromat...It reminds me of the subway, only safer.

  • Bashir's Story

  • Meeting the homeless in a Pakistani Neighborhood.

  • Bed-Stuy Storefront: Katy's Candy

  • "I am known around here as the "Dinosaur of Tompkins" because I've been open for so long."

  • Born in the Bronx

  • Norman Weissman, a Bronx native, chronicles the trials and tribulations of growing up in the Bronx over a series of years.

  • Breathless in Rockaway

  • "Passing 97th Street in Far Rockaway still makes me hungry, and gives me vertigo."

  • Bridges and Movie Sets

  • The bridges (Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan) never cease to amaze me. The scale, the details, the beauty; it's particularly breathtaking when standing betweem the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges in DUMBO park.

  • Brooklyn Soccer: The Parade Grounds Field

  • Coaching soccer can be one of the most rewarding activities for adults interested in helping children. Each Saturday at the Parade Grounds in Brooklyn, the fields are filled with the sounds of kids aged 6-19 playing AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) soccer with passion.

  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: Rituals by the Hudson River

  • "On a gorgeous May evening sometime in the late 1990s, I walked from my apartment on West 89th down to the Hudson River's edge where the park meets the river, near the clay tennis courts in the West 90s."

  • Cafe Figaro, Blimpies, Cafe Figaro

  • "I was a teenager in the Village in the mid-1960's and I spent many an afternoon or evening at the Cafe Figaro."

  • The Castle on the Hill: High School for Music & Art

  • Catholic School Childhood - Bensonhurst

  • "I grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. My mother's family settled here when they came to American from Naples in the 1910s."

  • Cemetery of NO

  • The Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery lies right on the border between Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens.

  • Chalk Horses in Washington Square Park

  • "There was my friend drawing an extremely realistic life size chalk picture of a horse..."

  • Chevra Kadisha

  • At the Queens chevra kadisha, or burial society, men and women perform the traditional tahara to purify the bodies of the dead and accompany their souls before burial.

  • The Children's Crusade (September 11, 2003)

  • Cockaroach Song

  • "It was 6 oclock in the morning, I looked upon the wall, The roaches and the bedbugs were having a game of ball..."

  • Coliseum Books: My Manhattan

  • In 2002, the Coliseum Books fell victim to real estate, chain stores and the Internet. The shop sadly closed its doors at Broadway and 57th Street, where it held court for nearly 30 years, inviting customers into a world of classical music and book browsing ¬ñ a gateway to the Upper West Side.

  • Coming Out at the Hollywood Diner

  • "It was january 2000. perhaps the first weekend of the new year. i sat my dad down at the hollywood diner and told him about my trip to san francisco, when i visited jeff."

  • Connecting Highway

  • "There was a stretch of city highway that connected Queens to Brooklyn..."

  • Corona (not the beer)

  • Corona (and I'm not talking about the beer). I'm talking about a place that is a little village perched under the number 7 train in Queens between Junction Boulevard and 111th St.

  • Crab Angels at Work on the Beach by Miller Field

  • "Halfway to the rock, we come upon a big crab on its back at the edge of the water..."

  • Crossing Brooklyn Bridge

  • "Crossing Brooklyn Bridge to Walt Whitman I too have gawked in awe at the undeniable skyline¬óthe bridges that hyphenate the boroughs."

  • Dan Stampler's Steak Joint

  • "My memories of the Steak Joint span as far back as I can remember to the summer of 1964..."

  • Daniel Rivera

  • Daniel Rivera describes his family and his grandmother, who refused to learn English.

  • Danko's Gas Station

  • In the 1950s, Joe Danko owned and operated a gas station across the street from my house on 81st Street and 31st Ave in Queens. What I remember most was the Christmas season.

  • Dead Man Sitting: The 2003 Blackout

  • "When the power failed, I walked down the 50 flights from my office to the street, rested for a few minutes to allow my rubber legs to return to normal, then walked home and up -- 17 floors -- to my apartment."

  • Did We Make a Mistake Moving Here? From Stuyvesant Town to Roosevelt Island

  • On April 18, 2006, my family was moving from Stuyvesant Town on 16th Street and First Avenue to Roosevelt Island.

  • Dylan Thomas's Haunt

  • It is said on a dreary night at the White Horse Tavern in the West Village Dylan Thomas haunts the barstool of his last drink. From his poem "Before I Knocked" he eerily anticipated his own gloomy death.

  • Dmitry Salita, Jewish Boxer

  • Dmitry Salita is an Orthodox Jewish professional boxer.

  • Fare Play, NYC Style!

  • "I'm from Russia!" "I'm from Africa..." "I'm from Harlem, and I'm not going anywhere!"

  • Farewell from a Fan

  • "Stay team, Stay!" the crowd yelled during the New York Giants last baseball game before moving to San Francisco in 1957.

  • Fertile Ground: Greens for Queens Urban Farm Project

  • On May 15th, 2004 ground was broken for some garden beds on an acre of land owned and adjecent to the First Presyterian Church of Newton.

  • First Exposure to Punk

  • I'm an 18-year-old kid from the Boston suburbs living in New York, interning at a radical news service collective not far from Union Square in the spring of 1977.

  • First Stop: Falafel

  • Andy Ollove stops at Falafel Chula on a Brooklyn eatery adventure.

  • Fitzroy

  • A man discusses his childhood infatuation with aviation and his experiences in WWII.

  • Flamenco at Fazil's

  • The stamping of feet and the clicking of castanets - that's what you immediately heard when you entered from the street through an unassuming door that said simply "Fazil's".

  • Folklore Center in the West Village

  • The fifties are ending in the Village; the time of Kerouac is about to give way to something that no one can imagine.

  • Forgiveness on Yom Kippur

  • Orthodox Jews perform a ritual on Yom Kippur, one of the high holy days, in which they clear themselves of their sins by swinging a live chicken around their heads.

  • "Friends" - by Andy Ollove

  • 120th St Sculpture "Friends" by Edgar Walter

  • From Moscow to Brooklyn

  • Leon Kagut describes expectations of American-fairy tale. But it was very hard. Accidentally bought cat food because it was cheaper.

  • From Staten Island to Shangri-la

  • The Jacques Marchais Center of Tibetan Art is a not-for-profit corporation, established in 1945 as an educational center dedicated to the awareness and preservation of Tibetan art and culture.

  • The Gates in Central Park

  • The Gateway By Linda Lerner (The Gates, Central Park, NYC, Feb. 12--28, 2005) when things got so bad we couldn't take it anymore a sinkhole formed beneath this city and we fell thru gray air flamed...

  • Gentrification in Fort Greene

  • Evelyn Loftin was born on July 3, 1928 and passed away on May 6, 2008. "She was an amazing woman, so full of character and caring for her Fort Greene community," said painted Nina Talbot who taught with her for almost ten years at PS 67.

  • Getting to Know Serena Big Babi

  • A radio rookie chronicles her attempts to get to know the matriarch of her large Jewish family.

  • Good Old 14th Street Now Fab. MPD

  • When my parents first immigrated to this country we first lived in Harlem Heights, this is the area uptown where Harlem meets Washington Heights..funny a mix of soul and merengue.

  • Guss' Pickles: If It Can Be Pickled, They Have It

  • Formerly located on Essex St but now at 85 Orchard St, Guss' Pickles are the best, in spite of the fact that the pickles are no longer made in the Lower East Side but are trucked in from Long Island.

  • Harlem Storefront: Brand's Liquor

  • "This liquor store dates back to before the prohibition. The wooden showcases are from the 1920's and the big marquee sign is from the 1950's."

  • High Line

  • The High Line, an elevated freight railroad track that runs from 13th Street to 34th Street along the West Side, is one of the most explored and documented and abandoned places in the country.

  • Home - Colin Quinn

  • Colin Quinn describes the two events he associates with a changing New York - pretzels and spaldeens.

  • Home - Fran Lebowitz

  • Fran Lebowitz speaks about how New York is constantly changing and why.

  • Home - Pete Hamill

  • Pete Hamill speaks about how in New York anything is possible and how, in fact, it is ONLY in New York that some things are possible.

  • Home - Robert Council

  • "What is Harlem, Harlem is me," says Robert Council.

  • Home - Rosie Perez

  • Rosie Perez talks about why New York feels like Home to her.

  • How to Catch a Flyball In Oncoming Traffic: Poetry by Annie Lanzillotto

  • "How to Catch a Flyball in Oncoming Traffic," is one of our favorite story/poems from one of City Lore's favorite performance artists, Annie Lanzillotto.

  • "I always deserve juice"

  • Andy Ollove stops at Blue Nile for some juice on a Brooklyn eatery tour.

  • I am a corner of the "pre-school" room...

  • "I am waiting for the children - for you. I am crowded, full of surprises, I'm the secret corner of the big room..."

  • I am a muggy fly-filled day...

  • "I am a muggy fly-filled day / inside a Bronx courtyard / reeking of diapers..."

  • I am an illegal immigrant...

  • "I am an illegal immigrant looking for Decatur Avenue in the NW Bronx on May 1st, 1980..."

  • I am Belvedere Castle...

  • "I am Belvedere Castle, weather station, / watchtower, pick-up paradise, rising..."

  • I am Corona...

  • "Some ancient tribe of white people lived here long ago. / I'm like Stonehenge or the Easter Island sculptures..."

  • I am Sydenham Hospital...

  • "I am Sydenham Hospital / first integrated staff gateways / above ground natal-charted births..."

  • I am the Chelsea Hotel...

  • "I am the Chelsea Hotel / red brick walls wrapped in black iron lace..."

  • I am the corner of East 10th Street...

  • "I am the corner of East 10th Street where the Second Avenue Deli used to be..."

  • I am the old Roxy demolished...

  • "I am the old Roxy demolished Gone but not forgotten by / Those who want to shed a tear..."

  • I am the Park Slope Food Co-op...

  • "I am the Park Slope Food Coop. / Come taste me..."

  • I am the Statue of Liberty...

  • "I am the Statue of Liberty, / my girdle curdled by partisan politics, / my hem ripped by the patriot act..."

  • I am Waiting for NYC

  • "I am waiting for New York City to reverse time for the bocci courts to come back to the playground at 1st and 1st..."

  • I Heart NY

  • "I moved to NYC all by myself, and moved into my studio apartment at this address..."

  • "Imagination" - by Andy Ollove

  • A poem inspired by Alice in Wonderland

  • Invisible Contact: A Poem

  • "A guide dog leads his mistress eastward. A woman in black glasses taps her white cane..."

  • Jamaica Queens Theaters, circa 1940

  • "The small village of Jamaica, Queens prior to WW II, was home to many first generation European immigrant families..."

  • Jimmy Hoffa Found?

  • With the Bronx Bombers casting sail from longtime Stadium at East 161st Street and River Avenue, the city is not just saying goodbye to almost a century's worth of historic baseball moments.

  • The Kiosk at Tram Station, Roosevelt Island

  • "In 2003 I read that there was a kiosk that was about to be demolished. It was one of the five trolley station entry kiosks that originally stood at the Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge..."

  • The Leaves, Von Briesen Park

  • "The familiar crunch of autumn leaves beneath my sneakers last week stirred memories of leaf-collecting in a place long buried in my memory: Von Briesen Park, whose peak overlooks the Verrazano Narrows and captures one of the most spectacular views of New York City..."

  • Leopold Forstner in New York

  • "Leopold Forstner was one of the not so well known Austrian Art Nouveau artists, who lived and worked most of his life in the small town of Stockerau, less than an hours drive from Vienna..."

  • The Limelight in the Mid-90s

  • "I was 18 and for the first time went to The Limelight. The night was "Disco 2000" run by infamous club promoter Michael Alig. It was at a time when Raves were big in NYC and Club Kids dwelled around Chelsea and the Village..."

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 1

  • Ode to My Street

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 2

  • 14th Street, 1964

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 3

  • James Fast

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 4

  • Moby Dick

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 5

  • Girl Killed in Head On Crash

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 6

  • Mr. Cohen's Factory

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 7

  • machine shop

  • Long Island City Lullaby: Poem 8

  • There are guys

  • Lower East Side Flower Children

  • It's 1968 and we're Flower Children sitting around at benches in the Eatery Cafe. Some of us have been panhandling on St. Mark's Place all day so that can come inside this cafe and have our first meal of the day.

  • Man in Hot Pants near Joe's Pizza in the West Village

  • "I was sitting in that little triangular park at the corner of 6th Ave and Bleecker eating a slice of Joe's Pizza with a friend..."

  • May Write a Sonnet, 'Bout My Easter Bonnet: Easter Parade in New York

  • "The Easter Parade, a New York tradition since the mid 1800's, sashayed into my life around 1980, during my quest to photograph all things quintessentially New York..."

  • The Meaning of Chametz

  • Rabbi Meir Fund describes the spiritual of the ritual search for leavened bread in Orthodox Jewish homes.

  • Memories of I.S. 291 from John Napolillo

  • "I was educating kids, but I feel I got an education as well..."

  • Memories of Living in an Asian Elmhurst

  • I interviewed my mother in this recording. It was a compilation of some brief conversations we had, detailing her thoughts and various anecdotes. We spoke of her life in Elmhurst, her first home in America.

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  • The Molina Family: Fire in Bushwick

  • "Like many suspicious arson deaths of the 1970s, this fire at 180 Central Avenue remains unsolved to this day."

  • The Mona Lisa

  • The first time my mother saw the Mona Lisa was when the painting visited the Met in 1963.

  • Moon Dance Diner

  • "I walk down lower Sixth Avenue from the West Village. I haven¬ít eaten, and suddenly I remember Moondance Diner..."

  • My Daughter's First Collection: Morningside Heights in the 1980s

  • "This is a story I tell in my urban history course to describe what it was like to live in New York in 1988, when I first moved here..."

  • New York Boot Black Brigade

  • Here's a piece of Hester Street's 3-D history, courtesy of the New York Historical Society.

  • Obama Rules

  • Nothing like feeling the love on election night! Honking, cheering, and crowds take to the street in Harlem!

  • Off the Page in Greenwich Village

  • "In the mid-1970s, soon after I had moved to Manhattan from my native Philadelphia, a journalist friend of mine who was visiting from Philly invited me to join him and some other writer colleagues of his in an informal get-together in apartment on Jane Street..."

  • OLHC Schoolyard

  • "OLHC Schoolyard (now Midwood Cathloic) was the center of our grammar school universe in the 1970's and '80's..."

  • One in a Million

  • From the top of the world, she stood leaning with her elbows gazing at the Empire City. "Do you love me?" he whispered in her ear from behind.

  • One Night at Meson Astruias

  • You put your feet on top of my lap: Meson Asturias. You lifted the spoon and fed me the last shrimp from the saffron-perfumed paella Valencia.

  • Orchids on the Number 6 Line

  • "I was riding the number six line downtown really early one Monday morning - about six o'clock - trying to reach a class in Princeton where I am doing a Ph.D..."

  • Out of Gas in the Holland Tunnel

  • "It was January, 1981 and the weather was...you know...cold! I was helping my uncle with some deliveries around the City..."

  • Paco finds a dollar

  • "It was shortly after I moved to NYC. All I had in the way of money was $1.50..."

  • Park Avenue Purim

  • "From 1999-2002, I wrote a weekly column for NIW, (Nieuw Isra√´litisch Weekblad) Holland's oldest Jewish newspaper, documenting my observations of American Jewish life. More than fun, these columns were a lifeline for my Dutch readers..."

  • Pennies from Heaven

  • Harold Powell, 30 years old, was sent to the Emergency room in critical condition early Thursday morning. He was on his way to work at a midtown Law Firm when he was struck by a falling penny dropped by a delinquent youth from the top of the Empire State Building.

  • Philip's Candy

  • Once a Coney Island landmark at the Stilwell Avenue Station, today Philip's Candy sweetens a Staten Island neighborhood.

  • The Piccirilli Sculpture Studio

  • "The six Piccirilli Brothers operated a sculpture studio here from 1893 to 1945. They were immigrants from Massa Carrara in Tuscany..."

  • Politicos and Potatoes on Wall Street

  • "New York is famous for our street vendors, from pretzels to nuts to hot dogs. But down on Wall Street, there used to be a guy who had a small cart that looked like an old stream train engine. He sold potatoes..."

  • Puerto Rican Schwinn Club

  • "When you see a classic PR-style Schwinn, you have to smile..."

  • Red Velvet Cake

  • It was about a week ago I was at the Waldorf-Astoria with a date of mine who happens to be an avid/amateur/fantastic baker. (That last adjective is hers not mine).

  • Requiem for a Building, Long Island City

  • "This is all about a building; a requiem for a building; but more specifically, a factory that once stood at the corner of Crescent Street and 43rd Avenue in Long Island City, New York; 4300 Crescent Street, to be precise..."

  • Riding the Subway 1930's style

  • My plans to meet a friend over the Thanksgiving weekend were foiled by the seemingly whimsical nature of weekend express service on the New York subway.

  • Ritual Apologies

  • Jon Kalish reports on the Orthodox Jewish tradition of apologizing to one another before Yom Kippur.

  • Ron Carritue and the Bushwick "Fire War"

  • "Ron Carritue has spent virtually every part of his life in Bushwick, and through it all he has kept smiling. The Bushwick he grew up in during the 1950s was a world apart from the one he fought to save from the flames during the firestorm years of the 70's."

  • Sandy Koufax @ P J Clarke's

  • P.J. Clarke's was once one of dozens of Irish gin mills of no particular renown scattered liberally around Manhattan.

  • Saturdays at Alexander's

  • "Fordham Rd. & the Grand Concourse was the center of a northeast Bronx teen's years in the mid-1960's. On a hot summer day, crossing Fordham just east of the Concourse, the hot tar would actually stick to your shoes or let you leave a footprint..."

  • Shopping For Mrs. Grossman: Growing Up in the Bronx

  • "As a kid growing up in the Bronx life felt carefree and we spent loads of time sitting on our stoops, playing double dutch and hitting stoop ball with our spalding - the little pink ball which we called 'spaldeen'..."

  • Siciliy and Spirituality in Borough Park

  • Gioia Timpanelli, the "Dean of American Storytelling," combines humor, memory and spirituality in her stories about the grandmothers in her Brooklyn neighborhood.

  • Signs of Staten Island

  • From the insipid to the just poorly-drawn, 'Signs of Staten Island' documents the kitschy and sometimes pretentious signage of the forgotten borough.

  • Silver Cup Bakery

  • "We used to take trips to the Silvercup Bakery and back. The bakery used to be right under the Queensborough Bridge - now it's a movie studio, but they kept that same huge sign which you can see as you come over the bridge..."

  • Some Wild Tourist Photos: Teenage Pranks in the Bronx

  • "At the tip of the Bronx, at Spuyten Duyvel, there is an train crossing, right where the east river meets the hudson. There is also a rock outcropping that an amtrak line runs through with a "C" on it..."

  • South Bronx Storefront: C & N Everything

  • "I've been in this neighborhood so long that I've watched many of my customers grow up and now some of them even bring in their grandchildren. I know most everybody by name and I treat all of them like family."

  • Straight Up: Basketball in Chelsea

  • "I moved to the Manhattan nieghborhood of Chelsea from Indiana in 1971. Basketball is huge in Indiana, so right away I went looking for a game..."

  • Staten Island Storefront: Pastosa Ravioli

  • "I came up with the name Pastosa for the store because in Italian "pastosa" means honesty and integrity. So to me "Pastosa" equals tasty because my business takes pride in their honesty and integrity and that makes for tasty products."

  • Strand Theatre

  • One time Chuck McCann, a big children's TV celebrity at the time, hosted a live show at the Strand Theater in Astoria, Queens.

  • Sunset Park Storefront: Luigi's Pizza

  • "My father, Luigi, emigrated here from Calabria, Italy. He was a farmer but learned to cook well from his mother. He opened this pizza place in 1973 using his family recipes."

  • Sun Through Trees

  • Walking down 11th Street one April day I was struck by the dappled light through the trees dancing on the building facade at 141 East 11th Street.

  • Surrealism

  • This piece is centered on an American citizen visiting a small surrealist museum while in southwestern France. There he learned of the attacks on the Twin Towers.

  • Sutter's Bakery and Environs

  • "In the late 60's I used to go to Sutter's Bakery which was on Ninth St and Greenwich Street (near Sixth Avenue) where I wooed my sweetie with butter scotch sundaes, with coffee ice cream and cakes, glorious mocha apricot cakes!"

  • Trans-Lux Lost

  • "In the old days, every New York neighborhood had its own special movie house, and the Trans-Lux 85th Street Theatre on Madison Avenue was the gem of the Upper East Side. The theatre, which opened in 1937, was Art Deco in style..."

  • The Tree That Saved Lives

  • Lorraine Bourie, a horse carriage driver in central park from 1975 to 1982, talks about a tree that saved her life, the lives of her passengers, and innocent bystanders.

  • Tiny Burials in Borough Park

  • World-renowned storyteller Laura Simms tells "Stories from the Stoop" about her quirky friendship with an Orthodox Jewish Holocaust survivor next door.

  • Two Figures in the Shadow of the Cyclone

  • When traveling, whether it's by car watching the trees sprint by or by train, sitting in worn-in leather seats, I can't help but think of two blips on a screen.

  • Under the Sink & Through the Wall: Williamsburg Apartment

  • "I moved into an apartment in Williamsburg a few months ago. It's my first New York place, so I expected it to have some problems. There's no sink in the bathroom..."

  • United Nations of Midwood Street

  • "I grew up in a neighborhood that had recently changed from white middle class to mixed race during the "White Flight" to Long Island and other locales. My father had grown up on this block and did not want to move away, which I believe was one of the best decisions he ever made..."

  • Vegetable Garden, Bleeker Street Store

  • "VEGETABLE GARDEN 233 Bleecker Street (next to the old Pizza Joe¬ís, near the corner of Carmine Street) ¬ìNuts and dried fruits¬î said the sign above the storefront..."

  • "The Walker" - by Andy Ollove

  • Thoughts on the statue of Ghandi

  • Washington Heights Storefront: Reynold's Bar

  • "The interior, however, is still the same, and dates back to Prohibition. This is the last of the old Irish bars in the whole neighborhood."

  • Welcome to America

  • "I was born in January 1921, in Medias, Romania. My father emigrated to the US in December 1920, so I never met him until I was six years old, when I arrived on a ship in Rhode Island..."

  • Welsh Poetry: Far Rockaway

  • "It was 1994 and my first ever visit to the USof A. As the plane crossed the Atlantic coast the pilot announced that we were entering the US so many thousand feet above Bangor, Maine..."

  • What Goes Around Comes Around: Youth in 1960s Brooklyn

  • "It had been a year since I started hanging out at The Pit and I had completely surrendered myself to its lure..."

  • What's a happy ending without sugar?

  • Andy Ollove's dessert at Ladybird Bakery in Park Slope.

  • "Where do the animals live?": Greenery in Staten Island

  • "On one of our walks around the condominium, Abby Dog and I came across an older gentleman out for his afternoon walk..."

  • Where Has All the Flour Gone?: Astoria Bakeries

  • "Would you like a cookie dear?"

  • Where I'm From: A Crown Heights, Brooklyn Tale

  • "I am from ducking bullets by the bedroom window with Mom in 1974 where a tree grows in Crown Heights, Brooklyn..."

  • Will Heaven Look like Zeenat Aman?

  • This virtual tour of three poems by Bushra Rehman about her Pakistani American and Muslim upbringing is posted as part of City Lore and Poets House intiative, Illuminated Verses: Poetries from the Islamic World.

  • Wooden Folding Chairs: Leggert Ave Sidewalks

  • "In those days (1949? 1950?) air-conditioning was almost unheard of, and certainly would never have been present in those five-story walkups that lined these Bronx streets..."

  • "The Worker" - by Andy Ollove

  • Thoughts on "The Garment Worker" sculpture.

  • Yodeler

  • The Yodeling Fireman

  • You Have to go

  • Tih Lou Onne describes learning that she must leave her home in China to come to America. She is upset for a very long time until she is recruited by the department of education to teach Chinese history and culture.

  • Youth Wants To (A Chelsea Tale)

  • "I didn't know. First it was the grim room on W. 20th I didn't know it was grim, just knew it was mine high ceiling peeling paint someone elses' sheets rickety bureau..."