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Also recommended is Kristen Doyle Highland’s piece on the subject in the Lost New York volume that Bryan and I edited last year. The Coney Island blog Amusing the Zillion alerts readers to a November 6 rally to save Ruby’s and the other establishments facing eviction.
My own talk (it wasn’t a musical performance) was based on the idea that the acoustic properties of the clubs, theaters and concert halls where our music might get performed determines to a large extent the kind of music we write. Author David Freeland visited our Faculty Resource Seminar today and offered us a glimpse of the city as it appears to him: as a palimpsest with layers of meaning waiting to be rediscovered if one knows where to look and what to look for. Bryan and I began our third seminar for NYU’s Faculty Resource Network, which sponsors a variety of week-long programs each summer for faculty from affiliated colleges around the country. In the end, we decided to cut back on the reading we planned for the course, making it less literary and more interdisciplinary. Our group includes literary scholars, librarians, architects, historians, and a scholar of immigration and public health.
The afternoon presented a case study in the loss and recovery of a figure from New York’s downtown scene, the avant-garde cellist and pop musician Arthur Russell. Tomorrow we’ll be talking with Freeland and joining him in the afternoon for a walking tour of Harlem.
In my last post, I mentioned that older son loves to read series of books — the longer the better. The books are very formulaic, as Morgan sends them on various missions that last about 10 chapters.
Blizzard of a Blue Moon is one of these Merlin missions, and my son is enjoying hearing about places he knows: like Central Park and the IRT subway, which costs a nickel in 1938. By the way, Jack and Annie’s mission in 1938 New York involves rescuing a unicorn that has been enchanted. To all who were planning to attend tomorrow night, I’ve just received word that Dixon Place has decided to cancel this and all other events tomorrow because of the snowstorm that (if predictions are accurate) will be blanketing the entire New York region with lots of fluffy white stuff.  Fortunately, we will be rescheduling, so as soon as we determine a new date I will let you know!
The panel takes place at the Dixon Place Theater (161 Chyristie Street, between Delancey and Rivington). New Yorkers and architectural enthusiasts were outraged by the razing of Penn Station; however, selling the air rights to the seven-acre structure created a financial gain for the station, which was seeing too few rail passengers. Now, instead of Doric columns, passengers are greeted by a never-ending line of yellow taxi cabs and a large billboard announcing upcoming events at the Garden.
To many, Penn Station is the utilitarian underground plaza beneath New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.


Constructed of pink granite and marked by an imposing, classical colonnade, Pennsylvania Station was served by twin carriageways modeled after Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. This article revisits the original structure in pictures, highlighting the beginning of the end of American rail travel’s glory days.
Keep reading – explore 20 vintage railway scenes from the glory days of train travel. Grand Central Station, which still exists and is still beautiful, and Pennsylvania Station, which still exists and is, well, no longer beautiful. The reason Pennsylvania Station is no longer beautiful is that the original Pennsylvania Station was torn down in 1963.
An imposing, sober colonnade of corinthian columns arranged in Doric order, McKim, Mead and White’s Pennsylvania Station combined glass-and-steel train sheds and a magnificently proportioned concourse with a breathtaking monumental entrance to New York City. The Pennsylvania Railroad began looking to divest itself of the cost of operation of the under-utilized structure, optioning the air rights of Penn Station in the 1950s. We semi unconsciously create music that will be appropriate to the places in which it will most likely be heard.
During our morning session, we used NYU’s Founders Hall and the old Penn Station to open a discussion of the dynamics of creation and destruction, nostalgia and counter-nostalgia, and the politics of preservation. Before he read the Percy Jackson series, he read all of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House books.
The description of the tree house embarking on its journey is always the same, and my son can now recite it by heart.
Reading the book made me remember those old cross-shaped wooden turnstiles that were still installed in a few subway stations when I was growing up. When you looked up, you could see the sublime Roman style architecture, the glass ceiling soaring 100 feet above your head. The original building, built in 1910, was demolished in 1963 to make way for Penn Plaza and the fourth and current setting of Madison Square Garden. The demolition of the original structure was one of the reasons for the city's first architectural preservation statutes. The complex is owned by Amtrak, but also offers services by Metropolitan Transit Authority, New Jersey Transit, and a Continental Airlines ticket booth. But from 1910 to 1963, the site was occupied by a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by McKim, Mead & White that is still considered one of the architectural jewels of New York City.
Its main waiting room was inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla and at 150 feet high, it was the largest indoor space in New York City and one of the largest indoor public spaces in the world.


That picture, which is from 1929, is below, along with one of Grand Central (?) with the same sun-beam effect. Put that way it sounds obvious … but most people are surprised that creativity might be steered and molded by such mundane forces.
Readings and discussions will address the relationships between the literary imagination and the archives, between migrations and displacements, between loss and remembrance, and between preservation and development in the long and storied history of one of the world’s greatest cities. Their first four adventures take them to the time of the dinosaurs, to the middle ages, and to ancient Egypt. New York's Pennsylvania Station used to be one of the largest indoor public spaces in the world. As a tradeoff, Penn Station received a new (smaller) underground station and 25 percent stake in Madison Square Garden.
600,000 passengers use the station every day, making Penn Station the busiest train station in North America.
From the street entrance modelled after Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, led to the two railroads that the building served, the Pennsylvania and the Long Island Rail Road. In exchange for the air-rights to Penn Station, the Pennsylvania Railroad would get a brand-new, air-conditioned, smaller station located completely below street level at no cost, and a 25% stake in the new Madison Square Garden Complex.
They learn that the tree house belongs to Morgan le Fay, who is portrayed as the magical librarian of King Arthur’s Camelot. But in book 29 Christmas in Camelot, Osborne varies her formula: it is Merlin who sends Jack and Annie on their missions, four of them to mythical places like Camelot, and four to real-life places like Paris at the time of the Exposition Universelle (for which the Eiffel Tower was built). Lundy’s, way out in Sheepshead Bay, has closed and reopened more than once, and now appears to be closed again. Its enormous main waiting room, inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla, approximated the scale of St. Consequently, he takes most of his meals at Sloppy Louie Morino’s, a busy-bee on South Street frequented almost entirely by wholesale fishmongers from Fulton Market, which is across the street.
Flood is ready for lunch, he goes to the stall of one of the big wholesalers, a friend of his, and browses among the bins for half an hour or so.
Finally he picks out a fish, or an eel, or a crab, or the wing of a skate, or whatever looks best that day, buys it, carries it unwrapped to Louie’s, and tells the chef precisely how he wants it cooked.



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