With the state capitol on fire, a wealth of history lost

This is not New York City related, but it pertains to the state capital. New Yorkers woke up this morning 100 years ago to see the haunting portrait above in the morning papers. The state capitol building in Albany , completed just 12 years before, caught fire on the evening of March 29, 1911, destroying most of the state library and killing one man. Many documents from the early days of New York history -- from the founding of New Amsterdam and the early colonization of the region -- were destroyed.

Images like the one above momentarily pushed aside stories and images from Triangle Factory Fire, which had just happened a few days previous.

For more images from the New York state archives, take a look here.

Looking for inspiration

Okay friends, I need some inspiration! I really enjoy the feeling after a good workout however the motivation to do the workout in the first place is so difficult to find sometimes! I have decided I want to start running however need some advice/tips/inspiration/anything! I know my experiences in the past and I don't normally make it past a couple days before I am back to no motivation. It also doesnt help that I hate the feeling of being out of breath mid run.. anndd the fact that my arm starts hurting (is that weird?) anyways please share some ideas with me so that I can go from this...

to this...

I'm SO excited..

So Carolina Cup is just around the corner and I am SO excited! For those of you who don't know Carolina Cup is a horse derby held in Camden, South Carolina. It is an all day event full of six steeplechase horse races and most importantly sundress, straw hats, bow ties and tailgating. I went last year and had an absolute blast! I'm spending the entire weekend in SC along with most of the Greek life from my school. Carolina Cup is the main event however I also enjoy everything having to do with USC! I wish I could transfer because I love the campus! I am also extremely excited to see the boy as he will be attending as well!

I'm sad I will not be in Lilly Pulitzer attire this year):
however here is my outfit I have planned that I am still excited about!

although mine is a light pink

I will be in platinum jacks instead of gold

Will anyone else be there??

Other scary animals that have escaped the Bronx Zoo

These 1906 Bronx zoo employees won't let this snake out of sight. (NYPL)

Escapes from the Bronx Zoo are relatively rare today, so news of a 20-inch Egyptian cobra slithering away last Friday -- its current whereabouts unknown -- struck fear and excitement in the hearts of Bronx residents. The slithery beast has even inspired its own Twitter feed @BronxZoosCobra. (Its latest Tweet: "Taking the Sex And The City Tour!!! I'm totally a SSSamantha.")

But the institution once known as the Bronx Zoological Park is a 111-year old zoo after all, and during the park's early years, animals were escaping all the time, almost yearly in fact. And the creatures making the prison breaks back then were far larger than a mere snake. Here's just a sampling, culled from some early New York Times articles:

July 1902 -- A rather plucky Mexican panther broke loose from his new home behind the puma house and crashed a noontime picnic full of women and children. Soon the grounds were buzzing with panicked families and people fleeing for indoor safety. This made life easier for the animal, who feasted upon abandoned picnic lunches. The headlines claimed, "He Eats Sandwiches and Ham for Lunch, but Balks at Pie." The panther eventually jumped into the Bronx River and swam away.

The original article [found here] makes mention of a bear that had escaped the previous summer. It is unclear whether this was the same "tiny black bear" granted to the zoo by Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 -- actually a bear named Teddy Roosevelt, years before the animals that might have inspired the 'teddy bear'.

July 1904 and 1905 -- Both snow leopards in captivity at the Bronx Zoo escaped in successive years. The first was "shot dead after an all night hunt," and the next year its mate tried to make a break for it, disappearing "like a ghost" until it was found the next morning. [source]

July 1908 -- The iguana would have been quite an exotic beast to children one hundred years ago, so imagine the shock when two Cuban iguanas escaped from their confines during a crowded summer day in the reptile house. Women and children ran to the doors. "One man sprang over a low iron fence into the alligator cage in his excitement and scrambled out again as soon as he realized where he was." They were thrown into burlap sacks and returned to their confines. [source]

August 1908 -- Later that year, an 36-foot long East Indian python (perhaps the one pictured above) briefly fled while being transferred to a pit and had to be recaptured by police officers.

November 1916 -- Most unusual is the tale of Loco, the ring-tailed cat, who escaped his cage but hung around the zoo for over two months, killing various birds and rats. Loco was a donation from a Texas animal owner, who gave the cat that particular name because he "must have eaten of the loco weed" before being captured. After feasting with abandon on the zoo's bird collection, Loco was recaptured and returned to his cage, "mus[ing] upon the good time he has had." [source]

For more information on the history of the Bronx Zoo, you can download our podcast on the subject right here (recorded in April 2010).

What ever happend to...

Handwritten Thank You Notes??

I don't think there is anything more sincere than a handwritten thank you note, get well card, birthday card, etc. The art has unfortuantly been lost and replaced with online cards and happy birthday text messages. I sent someone a get well soon card not to long ago and received a phone call thanking me for my thoughtfulness. The person said she had only been receiving phone calls and the card meant so much. Thats when I realized it's time we all get back on the train of handwriting our thank you cards!

Here are some tips for writing yours and making it thoughtful!

1. Get some adorable stationary
(I prefore stationary that does not actually say "thank you" in large letters on the front, with this kind you can use it for more than just a thank you card. You can also get them personalized! This site has some great ones.)
2. Some postage stamps to keep at your house
3. Greet who the card is for with a simple " Dear Abby, "
4. Express your gratitude (and mean it!)
5. Say something nice about the item and how you will use it
6. Make it personal
"It was great to see you at the park last month, will you be at Realy for Life this year?"
7. Grace "Thanks again for your gift/help/etc
8. Regards "Love, Amanda"
(and yes your signature means cursive please)

Have a wonderful day!

If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops

I think I got spoiled with 80 degree weather last week because it is now cold and rainy. yuck! Here are some of my favorite songs/video that ALWAYS cheer me up on a blah rainy day(:

This is so precious, I laugh every time

Have an awesome Monday!

Worldwide Plaza, all business in a scruffy neighborhood

New York's PBS affiliate WNET tonight debuts the documentary '50th & 8th: A Skyscraper Story' about the construction of One Worldwide Plaza, the complex of buildings in Hell's Kitchen that fashioned itself as an architectural pioneer of midtown's west side. I would not have thought this exemplar of 1980s architecture, a modern try at replicating the Rockefeller Center formula and a nod to art deco, would merit an entire film, so I'm very interested in seeing where this will go.

There's no doubt that the three buildings and surrounded plaza forced a new identity upon the deteriorating west side of the 1980s and most believe it may have given the fortunes of the surrounding neighborhood's a much needed boost. The complex was designed by David Childs, at the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; his current project can be seen ascending downtown in the from of One World Trade Center.

Worldwide Plaza replaced Madison Square Garden (or MSG III, and the first building with that name nowhere near Madison Square) which sat here from 1925 to 1968. The neighborhood was the inheritor of many vice industries by the late 19th century, particularly during Prohibition.

Eighth Avenue, as the outer west edge of Times Square, was particularly known as a harbor for prostitution in the 1960s and 70s, sometimes known as the 'Minnesota Strip', an unfortunate nickname gleaned from the supposed Midwestern origins of many of the avenue's teenage prostitutes. Check out the WNET Thirteen website for a schedule of showtimes, or check your local PBS affiliate.

NOTE: Thanks to a commenter who indicated this is an older film produced after the plaza was first built. And is being re-broadcast because WNEW is making the building a new home!

UPDATE: This is a very odd film, almost like an industrial video made to impress investors. Why do I feel like I'm watching the Matt Damon movie 'The Informant'? However, to see the neighborhood and the surrounding streets in the late 1980s make it worth sitting through. If you live or work in Hell's Kitchen (or Clinton, as the documentary prefers), you'll get even more value. But the dry British narrator isn't helping matters!

And don't miss the 'Inspirational Consultant', an actual title, they claim, brought in to assure workers that the project is worthwhile.

Photo courtesy flickr/TravelingMango

Inspirational Sunday

Okay I am going to be a little more serious in this post today but firstttt, let me just tell you about yesterday.. As I had posted, yesterday my sorority had initiation. It tends to last a while so about 30 minutes before it started I decided to warm some lunch up at the house in the toaster over. (Let me just set the scene: the house has my entire chapter inside and everyone is anxious to begin) So I am warming up my food and turn my back for just a few seconds to grab something out of the fridge. When I returned I was met by the toaster oven on FIRE. yes, completely up in flames! There was smoke everywhere, girls screaming, and smoke alarms going off. One of my sorority sisters grabbed the outdoor fire extinguisher to put out the flames before they got bigger and we were then left with a huge burnt mess. So yes, for the past 24 hours I have been addressed by my sisters as the girl who almost burnt down ZTA. How embarrassing?!

Haha but on a more serious note, I just love Sundays! Starting the day with church and lunch with close friends/family is just perfect. I have been thinking a lot lately about how I want my life to turn out and what is really important to me. The Lord is such an important aspect of my life. Unfortunately sometimes with the college lifestyle it is easy to loose sight of that. I heard a very motivational sermon this morning reminding me just how powerful God is. I hate always stressing about school, work and petty little things. I know if I spent more time in prayer things like school and work would not be nearly as stressful as they are! I will be trying to better myself as a person this week.

I was thinking, what if I made a point to go out of my way to do ONE nice thing for someone a day? It could really make a difference, I'm going to try that this week- it would be awesome if you did as well! I hope yall have a blessed Sunday!

oh and GO HEELS!

Simple Saturday

Hello friends! I am feeling amazing on this Saturday morning! I had a very low key Friday night. I stayed home and got caught up on some school work and read some of Picking Cotton (That's the book I'm reading now and its amazing. I'm sure I will post on it when I finish) I got to bed pretty early which is crazy for a Friday night. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE going out with my friends on a Friday after a long hard week of class but sometimes it feels nice to wake up early on Saturday feeling refreshed and energized!  I am now ready to take on the rest of the day which mainly involves my sororities Initiation ceremony. I am so excited all of our little babies and my grand little will finally be official ZTA's!

flowers for the grand little

I hope yall have a wonderful Saturday!

Rosie Shapiro, Yetta Goldstein....

You'll find these written on the sidewalks all throughout the city today....

Pretty in Pink

Pink Pink Pink!

Who doesn't love the color pink? During the spring it's such a pretty color.
I am especially fond of the peachy pink color that I am starting to see everywhere!
Here are some of my favorite pink items!

blush is my favorite makeup item, I'm ready to add this number to my makeup bag!

LOVE this Lilly Pulitzer pattern! It's actually my desktop background(:

Vineyard Vines Day Boat Capri Pants

and this Vineyard Vines corduroy tote! I'd love to put my books in this for classes!

 pink cocktails!

and last but not least this Vineyard Vines sweater.. I guess
I got carried away on there site today haha

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Someday in life you will have been all of these.

--George Washington Carver

Meet the boys

I'm still new to this so I want to share another piece of information
about me! Meet the main boys in my life..

This is Cooper, he is a little over a year old and spoiled rotten!

anddd this is the NEWEST addition Charlie!

just wanted to share but now I'm off to bed, goodnight! 

Where they lived: Victims of the Triangle Factory Fire, the homes they left behind, a hundred years later

Lonely tenement on Avenue C and 13th Street, near many homes of the Triangle Fire victims. photo by Percy Loomis Sperr [NYPL]

From cable television to museums and campuses all over the city, you've been able to find a host of remembrances of the tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory one hundred years ago. At the bottom of this post, I'll reprint my list from a couple weeks ago (with a couple new additions) outlining some easy ways to learn about the history.

I wanted to focus on something a little different. Thanks to the research of Michael Hirsch and the Kheel Center at Cornell University [found here], it's possible to actually come up with a map of the homes of all 146 victims of the Triangle fire. It would look something like the map below. Just zoom into it to look at the individual sites and take a gander at which neighborhoods and boroughs that were most affected:

View Triangle Factory Fire in a larger map

NOTE: The addresses are accurate, but a few of the points are approximately placed. In a few cases, the streets no longer exist, so I placed the points in close vicinity.

To nobody's surprise, the neighborhood most devastated by the tragedy is the Lower East Side (The east side above Houston Street -- i.e. today's East Village -- didn't take that new designation until the 1960s.) There doesn't seem to be a block in the neighborhood with an empty home that day one hundred years ago.

A few years before the Triangle fire, the Lower East Side has experienced an even more ghastly tragedy -- the explosion of the General Slocum paddle steamer on June 15, 1904. Among the 1,021 victims of that horrific event, most lived in this neighborhood and specifically in the German area of Kleindeutschland. As the victims were mostly women and children, the disaster effectively marked the end of the German enclave here. New York wouldn't see such a large loss of life until September 11, 2001.

The deaths of the 146 garment workers on March 25, 1911, did not produce the same effect to the neighborhood, but certainly the loss was gravely felt in tenements and houses throughout the city. The map shows that the disaster's immediate impact reverberated even into the other boroughs.

East vs. West
Of the 146, most all of them were born in three countries -- Italy, Russia or Austria. A handful were born in the United States, presumably the children of first generation immigrants. So its no surprise most of them found homes in the Lower East Side, still the heart of immigrant life in the early 20th century. But I really didn't expect it to be so decisive. Outside of a small cluster of people who lived in Greenwich Village close to the factory, there were no victims who listed addresses anywhere on Manhattan's west side -- not in Hell's Kitchen, the Upper West Side, or anywhere else.

Yorkville and Beyond
I'm fascinated by those who lived further out, near the growing immigrant village of Yorkville on the Upper East Side, for instance. A great many took streetcars and elevated trains into work from Brooklyn and the Bronx, and some might even have taken advantage of the new subway (although in 1911, its route was very limited). No surprise that none of them lived in Queens; the ethnic neighborhoods of that borough would really flourish after the 1920s.

And then there's young Vincenza Billota, a 16 year old girl who lived out with her uncle in Hoboken, NJ -- the only one of the victims to commute into the city. Her uncle came in from New Jersey that night to identify Vincenza who burned alive inside the factory. He identified her because her shoes had recently been repaired; he recognized the cobbler's work.

Missing Tenements
There's something moving about finding and identifying the homes of the victims. Most of these people had no solid roots, no property they owned. Only an address, a home they most likely shared with family members and other tenants. Every year the sidewalks outside these addresses are marked with chalk, the names and ages written on the ground as a yearly reminder. You can look at a photo array from the most recent chalk excursions here.

They didn't live in fabulous Beaux-Arts mansions or apartment buildings. Their homes were tenements, most overcrowded and poorly maintained. Thus, many of the actual buildings themselves are gone. In the cases of the victim's homes on Monroe Street, even most of the street itself is gone, replaced with more modern housing projects. At left, 135 Cherry Street, the home of fire victim Rose Cirrito. The photo is from 1939 (courtesy NYPL); the entire row of buildings was later demolished.

509 East 13th Street was the home to two Italian girls, Antonietta Pasqualicchio and Annie L'Abate, and an older Italian woman Annina Ardito, who all lost their lives that day. But that building has been replaced with a most modern apartment.

Family and Friends
To grasp a disaster of this magnitude -- at a vantage one century later -- you have to deal with it in generalities. The victims were mostly girls, mostly immigrants, mostly uneducated. However, by singling out a particular address, the individual tragedies come into focus. And oddly, you get to place that person's life next to what inhabits that address today. In the case of the Lower East Side, some of these places are now restaurants, bars and luxury condos.

143 Essex Street was the home of two victims -- two teenage brothers Max and Sam Lehrer from Austria. Both had arrived in the United States via Ellis Island in 1909; another Austrian, Sigmund Freud, also arrived at Ellis Island that year. Last year, that building itself caught on fire.

Young Jennie Stellino had lived in New York since she was 12 years old; she died in the blaze at age 16. She walked to the factory every day from her home at 315 Bowery, one of the few with a fairly easy commute. Jennie survived the blaze but died from her burns three days later. Decades later, the building at that address became internationally renown for the tenant at its ground floor, CBGB's.

I'm not sure there's even a 35 Second Avenue anymore. The street is inhabited by a diner and a few bars today; the Anthology Film Archives sits across the street. But it was the home to three women who lost their lives that day -- Catherine Maltese and her two daughters.

There are several events lined up for this evening and throughout the weekend. You can find the whole lineup at the website Remember The Triangle Fire.

Here's some ways to get yourself caught up on the facts of the event, in time for memorial ceremonies on March 25:

TV: PBS will be airing its one-hour American Experience 'Triangle Fire', while HBO has its own documentary Remembering The Fire. Check your local listings, as both should be rerunning over the next couple days.

Press: Lots of articles will be generated about the fire, but I recommend you start with the excellent coverage by the New York Times, including a story last week about researcher Michael Hirsch and his quest to identify the last six remaining victims of the fire whose names until now had been unknown. [New York Times]

Books: There are several books in print, both non-fiction and narrative retelling, but the one I can most passionately recommend is Dave Von Drehle's 'Triangle' The Fire That Changed America', focusing on some of the early voices for worker's rights and unrest prior to the tragedy. And Von Drehle's depiction of the fire itself is both methodical and heartbreaking.

Websites: The School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University has organized an extraordinary repository of information about the event and the aftermath, including a huge collection of photographs and audio interviews from some of the survivors. [Remember The Triangle Factory Fire]

Podcast: And finally, I recorded a podcast on the Triangle Factory Fire back in April 2008 (Episode #42) that gives a dramatic overview of the event. You can check it out by downloading it straight from this link or getting it on iTunes from our back catalog feed Bowery Boys: New York City History Archive.

Thursdays Things I Love

Here are a few things I loveeee
and possibly couldn't live without 

1. J Crew Chino shorts

I live in these shorts in the summer. They are honestly the perfect
 summer short! And they come in tons of fun colors!

2. Chick Fil A
Chick Fil A is by far the best fast food place ever!

3. Girls night out
A recent girls night out for sushi and drinks reminded me just how 
essential it is to have a girls night out occasionally!  Life gets hectic and no
 one can relieve your stress like your friends. Call yours up right now and plan a night out!

4. Summer dresses and skirts!

If I could I would have only dresses/skirts and yoga clothes in my closet.
I just love the one of a kind girly feeling a new dress can bring. I'm especially in
love with this little Vineyard Vines beauty. Maybe it will be in my closet one day..

5. My Ipod

Not so much my ipod but just music in general really. My ipod is
about as random as they come. Everything from Brad Paisley to Beach
music and Lil Wayne. Music gets me through by days and especially long rides!

and last but definitly not least..

6. Paula Deen's Celebrates! Best Dishes and Best
Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life 

Okay, seriously. If you enjoy cooking/baking and enjoy hosting events BUY
THIS BOOK! It brings a smile to my face everytime! Of course we all love
the one and only Mrs. Paula Deen! This book is filled with tips and advice for living a
 happy life and most importantly recepie ideas for special occasions such as New Years,
 Valentines Day, Marti Gras, Easter, May Day, The Fourth of July, and many more.
I'm always looking for any excuse to have a party so this is just perfect!
.. I'm currently planning a pink and white May day party inspired by this book.
I'll stop now but seriously- its good!

What do you love? Have a wonderful day!

Summer Shades

With the warm weather and summer styles everywhere I'm having a hard time resisting the urge to splurge on a new pair of sunglasses for the summer! I love a good pair of sunglasses and don't mind the extra cost because I wear them year round. I got my last pair two summers ago (I still can't believe I have not lost/broken them) but I think it's time for an update. I can't decide what style to go with, I would LOVE your opinion!

Here is my last pair that has served me well!
They are Burberry in the tortoise shell pattern

What I am debating on ...

Another Burberry pair in tortoise shell 

                                                             Classic Ray-Bans

    I've never been a big fan of Gucci but I am fond of these.

Any suggestions or ideas that I left out?? Such a hard decision!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Elizabeth Taylor: fixture of glamour in New York's nightlife

Above: Liz with Sammy Davis Jr., with her husband Richard Burton kissing (!) another woman*. I'm not sure where this is taken, but as it's from the LIFE collection by photographer Leonard Mccombe, it's probably from the evening of October 20, 1964, after the opening of Davis' hit musical 'Golden Boy'.

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011), who died this morning in Los Angeles at age 79, was a fixture of New York nightlife, comfortable in smoky nightclubs like the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room and the Copacabana in the 1960s. She even became a staple of 1970s glitterati, evidenced by her 46th birthday party at Studio 54, a soiree thrown for her by the fashion designer Halston and her good friend Andy Warhol.

From Victor Bockris' biography on Warhol: "Elizabeth Taylor's birthday cake was baked in her image and wheeled out by the Rockettes dancing in choreographed precision."

From one of Taylor's many biographies:
"Elizabeth and her mother had spent three whole days in Chicago, en route to New York, going on a shopping spree at Marshall Field .... In New York, it continued: they shopped round the clock for her bridal trousseau. Conrad Hilton had said to her, 'Elizabeth, when you walk through the doors of the Waldorf, I want you to feel perfectly at home.' When she went to register, the desk clerk handed her an envelope. Inside was a block of Waldorf-Astoria shares, making her a part-owner of the place right away. She felt perfectly at home."

-- From Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor By Alexander Walker

Below: from a 1986 Life Magazine photograph, a tribute to the actress at Lincoln Center with some of her famous friends, including Warhol, Roddy McDowell and Maureen Stapleton

*Thanks to a reader for pointing out that the 'other' woman was May Britt, Sammy Davis' wife!

Notes from the Podcast (#121) Fraunces Tavern

Courtesy Flickr/Harry J. Bizzarro

A slight correction:
I inferred in this week's show that the very first Supreme Court -- with Chief Justice John Jay -- met in Federal Hall. They actually first convened on February 2, 1790, in a building very close by to Fraunces -- the Royal Exchange Building. Also called the Merchant Exchange, the Court's first home was located at Broad and Water streets, making it practically Fraunces' neighbor. At the time there were only six justices that served on the court.

It was completely unsuited for such important work. According to writings from 1920 by Joseph Bucklin Bishop, the Exchange was "a very curious structure, for its ground floor was open on all sides, and in tempestuous weather the merchants who gathered there for business found it extremely uncomfortable. It had a second story which was enclosed and consisted of a single room" [source] Here's an illustration of this odd building:

By 1791, the court moved to Philadelphia. A more dignified Merchants Exchange was later built in New York and featured a well-regarded statue of Alexander Hamilton in its rotunda. Unfortunately this building was promptly burned down in the Great Fire of 1835.

Oldest Building?
So, is Fraunces Tavern really the oldest building in Manhattan? It really depends on how much leeway you're willing to give it. There's been a continually standing structure there since 1719, easily outdistancing two other Manhattan buildings, St. Paul's Church on Broadway and Fulton streets (1766) , and the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights (1765).

Fraunces, however, has gone through a host of radical changes to its appearance, with floors added and removed, its rooms reconfigured and its exterior entirely altered as to render it almost unrecognizable. A renovation in the 1900s by architect William Mersereau did bring it closer to its original state. There are certainly elements from the original structure that remain. Is that enough to bestow it the title Manhattan's oldest building?

There are several buildings in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens that lay claim to being much older. You can read about some of them here.

Downstairs at Fraunces:
You can read the story about the alleged 'dungeon' underneath Fraunces Tavern here: MAY HIDE DARK SECRET OF FRAUNCES'S TAVERN; Proprietor Likely to Conceal Noisome Dungeon from "Blisters." SO HE TERMS THE BUYERS

Places to Visit:
You can find directions and hours to the Fraunces Tavern Museum here. We recommend hanging a right at the second floor and watching the short introductory video before exploring the room.

When you're done with the museum, head on up Pearl Street one block north to see some curious ruins under foot, the remnants of old Lovelace's Tavern. Bricks embedded in the sidewalk also indicate where the Stadt Huys (or New Amsterdam's city hall building) once stood.

Learn more:
Pearl Street sat along the edge of Manhattan in the 1660s, meaning the land Fraunces sits upon today would have been water and docks. This interactive map from PBS's Dutch New York display illustrates this pretty effectively.

Curious to learn more about New York during the Revolution? Check our two-part podcast series from 2008: The British Invasion: New York 1776 and Life In British New York 1776-1783.

There's not any real contemporary books on Fraunces Tavern history, but you might find this artifact from 1919 of interest -- A Sketch of Fraunces Tavern and Those Connected With Its History, a short 'official' history by Henry Russell Drowne, a member of the Sons of the Revolution.

Drowne was best known as a collector of coins and printed money but was active in New York historical preservation as well. In stark contrast to his name, Drowne died in a house fire on the Upper West Side in 1934.

Lilly Pulitzer Planner

Greatest invention ever? Possibly! I am obsessed with my Lilly Pulitzer planner. I constantly have thoughts running through my head of things that need to be done and it's so easy to open up my planner and jot it down! I'm OCD when it comes to organization, you should see a typical week in this thing haha. Not to mention the cheerful prints on each page! The whole thing is just down right adorable! It even has stickers! My favorite part are the quotes at the beginning of the months. Every college student should have a planner and as much as you look at it I advising getting one of these! You will never want another! As you can see it's my obsession. What's yours??

Seventy Salamanders Slither Swiftly Seaward To Swim

Fraunces Tavern: Raise your glass to the Revolution!

Courtesy NYPL

PODCAST Fraunces Tavern is one of America's most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of taverns on the New York way of life during the Colonial era. This revered building at the corner of Pearl and Broad street was the location of George Washington's farewell address to his Continental Army officers and one of the first government buildings of the young United States of America. John Jay and Alexander Hamilton both used Fraunces as an office.

As with many places connected to the country's birth -- where fact and legend intermingle -- many mysteries still remain. Was the tavern owner Samuel Fraunces one of America's first great black patriots? Did Samuel use his position here to spy upon the British during the years of occupation between 1776 and 1783? Was his daughter on hand to prevent an assassination attempt on the life of George Washington? And is it possible that the basement of Fraunces Tavern could have once housed a dungeon?

ALSO: Learn about the two deadly attacks on Fraunces Tavern -- one by a British war vessel in the 1770s, and another, more violent act of terror that occurred in its doorway 200 years later!

You can tune into it below, download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services, or get it straight from our satellite site.

Or listen to it here:
The Bowery Boys: Fraunces Tavern

One of the oldest, diverse and historic rooms in New York City, the Long Room played host to Colonial Era dance classes, George Washington's farewell speech (pictured below), decades of guests as a boardinghouse, and now a replica of tavern life in early America. [Columbia U]

How the interior may have looked in the 19th century, as Fraunces became more a lodging house frequented by longshoremen, sailors and dock workers. [NYPL]

The changing facades of Fraunces: this sketch is from some point in the 19th century, when additional floors were added to the original structure. You can see the difficulty architect William Merserau might have faced in the 1900s when trying to reconstruct the building to reflect its original condition.

This doesn't seem like it could even be the same building, and yet, there's the sign for the tavern hanging over the second floor and a street sign for Broad Street to the left. This picture is between 1890 and 1904, before the structural changes. [LOC]

After reconstruction, somewhere between 1910-1920, looking almost as it does today. In the distance to the right you'll see a bit of the elevated train line. [LOC]

By the 1970s, modern skyscrapers permanently change the feel of the Financial District, but Fraunces holds firm.

The parking lot across the street would soon be replaced by the towering Goldman Sachs building. Interestingly, underneath these cars lies the remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam, including the earlier Lovelace's Tavern. [LOC]

Samuel Fraunces, in a portrait of the tavern owner painted between 1770-1785, giving little clue to what many consider to be his real racial identity. The lineage of the man nicknamed 'Black Sam' continues to be debated to this day.

Fraunces was the scene of a relatively recent attack in 1975 when members of the Puerto Rican nationalist group Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN) placed a bomb in one of the tavern's doorways, killing 4 people and seriously injuring many others. (You can find the picture below and many others -- including the note left at the scene taking responsibility for the attack -- at this Latin American studies website.)

Fraunces Tavern makes an wildly inaccurate appearance in a 1992 animated film, loosely based on the life of Washington.