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Secluded: The underground passageway helped FDR avoid the press and public in a position where his paralysis might have been obvious. Secret: Roosevelt, pictured above on Presidential trains, was rarely pictured in a way that made his disability evident.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. This isn't just any mural - it's five concrete slabs from the Berlin Wall that were moved to New York and covered with art created by two German artists. No longer in use, this train platform under the Waldorf-Astoria hotel was once used by VIPs as a secret entrance into the building. Hidden in an industrial block of Brooklyn, artist collective The House Of Yes is known for their wild acrobatic shows. The Blockhouse is an old fort once used by Americans to defend against a possible British attack. This museum in Brooklyn has skeletons, specimens in jars, and others things for those curious and not easily creeped out.
Volunteer organization Downtown Boathouse offers free kayak rides in the Hudson River from May through October. This working clock embedded into the sidewalk at Broadway and Maiden Lane was initially created as an advertising gimmick for a local jeweler.
Located in Astoria, Queens, this museum is dedicated to all things related to film, TV, and digital media. On top of this high-rise in lower Manhattan is a runway, complete with an actual World War I fighter plane.
This looks like a residential home, but the outside is fake - it's actually a subway station, located at 58 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn. If you're looking for a cool, refreshing beverage that will also keep you alert, check out this tasty treat at the Momofuku Milk Bar in Brooklyn. The building of textbook maker McGraw-Hill has a plexiglass walkway that takes you THROUGH a waterfall. When the city has ferries, tugboats, and barges that are no longer usable, many of them wind up at this boat graveyard in Rossville, Staten Island. We'd take the Turnpike all the way down the shore during rush hour for these East Coast favorites.
Lately, it seems like there is a lot of coincidence going on in my reading and viewing life, from the ridiculous to, well, maybe not the sublime, but at least the not-at-all-ridiculous.
Enough silliness; on to the not-at-all-ridiculous, where coincidence has multiplied and intensified to the point that it feels like synchronicity, or some kind of voodoo.

A few months ago, I read two books that each referred to a bit of historical trivia I'd never heard about: President Franklin D. According to legend, FDR's private armored train would travel to Grand Central and stop at the underground Waldorf Astoria Hotel platform.
The first I heard about this was when I read Jack 1939 (Riverhead, 2012) by Francine Mathews, who is probably better known to mystery readers as Stephanie Barron, author of the Jane Austen "Jane and the . Aliens Carly and Frampton tell Nick (who they incorrectly think is Nick Carter from The Backstreet Boys in a second career) that aliens discovered Earth music some years back, during the "Kotter Moment"; the instant when their monitoring of US airwaves allowed them to hear the Welcome Back Kotter sitcom's theme song.
Lawrence Wright's recent best-seller, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (Knopf, 2013) is a fascinating look inside the secretive movement, from its establishment by pulp sci-fi writer L. When Arnott's (imagined) character, aspiring writer Larry Zagorski, is invited to a social meeting of Robert Heinlein's (real) Manana Society, who should be there, across the room and hitting on girls, but L. House of Rumour is an ambitious and fascinating book, but, in my view, its fractured plot and disjointed narrative don't come together until too near the end of the book to make it successful. Given my obsession with World War II espionage, it's not much of a surprise when multiples of the same war topics come up in my reading and viewing. Just last week, Bletchley Park popped up again, as PBS began airing the three-part British miniseries (from ITV), The Bletchley Circle. Even if you're not all that interested in codebreaking or Bletchley Park, you might want to try The Bletchley Circle for its depiction of how tough it was for these women to adjust to postwar life. I don't know exactly why there has been so much unintentional coincidence in my reading of late, but I'm finding that the depiction of people or events in one book tends to have a different slant or emphasis from the portrayal in another book, and these two views inform and enrich my reading of both books. Lauer reports it was a special VIP entrance into the hotel for wealthy patrons — even President Franklin D. This is actually the second clock installed here - the first was in 1899 (not 1884), and then it was replaced in 1940 with this one that you can still visit today. Within a space of 45 minutes, I came across three separate features about it online and on TV. Some claim that upon arrival, his Pierce Arrow automobile would simply drive out of the railcar and onto an elevator that would whisk the car to the hotel's garage and allow FDR to get into the hotel unobserved.
Still, the codebreakers at England's Bletchley Park seem to be practically living at my place recently. These agents had no direct contact with Bletchley Park, but cryptographers there were involved in the agents' work, especially decrypting messages that the agents obtained for them or led them to.
Set in London in the 1950s, four women who had worked at Bletchley Park are finding out, as Sinclair McKay details so well in The Secret Life of Codebreakers, that postwar life can't hold a candle to the sense of purpose and feeling of excitement they'd had during the war. Returning to the everyday was a letdown for any Bletchley Park veteran, but women had further to fall, as they went back to the humdrum of housework and clerical and service jobs, and husbands who may not have a clue about their talents or any respect for their war work.

We also include links to blogs we like, other handy sites for the criminally inclined (like our very favorite, Stop You're Killing Me!) and publishers' and authors' websites.Much as we hate to think of your leaving Read Me Deadly, on our Piffle page we let you know about some of our favorite non-book websites, from the deadly serious to guilty pleasures. As you probably know, FDR was a New Yorker and often visited the city during his presidency, for personal and political reasons. This very silly but entertaining novel features Nick Carter, a New York City intellectual property lawyer teetering on a career precipice. They sent teams to secretly copy all of the Earth's music for the listening delight of the universe. That means that the United States' draconian fines for unauthorized music copying will bankrupt the entire universe.
Not only that, but in the WW2 spycraft part of the story, we see double agent Tricycle, who is one of the eccentrics featured in Ben MacIntyre's Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, which I reviewed here. Sinclair McKay's The Secret Life of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park, which I reviewed here, focuses on the daily life in Bletchley Park for the 10,000-plus men and women who worked there in utter secrecy to crack the codes used by the Axis powers during World War II. It was important to him that he not be seen in his wheelchair, so he used a secret train stop to allow him to arrive out of sight of the press and other passengers and visitors to Grand Central.
Only his bringing in some fantastic new client can save him from his firm giving him the boot.
To make for a trifecta of coincidence, there is even a part of House of Rumour that takes place at the doomed Jonestown colony in Guyana, which I'd read about in detail a few months ago in Julia Scheeres's A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown. That is, until they decide to use their various skills, honed during their war service, to catch a serial killer. That save doesn't seem likely, though, until a couple of aliens materialize in his office, bringing him the biggest copyright infringement case of all time. Carly, Frampton and Nick race against the clock to find a solution before the Earth goes boom.
In addition, our 3rd-Degree page is for free-for-all talk among our readers about mysteries (books and other media).
Mathews uses the secret train stop as the scene of a hush-hush meeting between FDR and new college graduate John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in 1939. JFK is about to go off on the traditional graduate's European tour, and FDR asks him to do some discreet spying to assess the political situation in various locales.

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