November 30

The mighty Flying Scotsman flying through Radlett station at approximately 7:56am on 4th June 2016 on its way to York.

1782 – American Revolutionary War: Treaty of Paris: In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris). 1786 – The Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under Pietro Leopoldo I, becomes the first modern state to abolish the death penalty (later […]

A Whale Named Gotham

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Cetacean Peregrination: A whale in New York Harbor may be a good sign or an ill omen. On the positive side, marine mammals who deserted our waters generations ago (driven away by lethal levels of pollution) now occasionally stop by to check out the newly detoxified bay. On the darker end of the spectrum, whales […]

Prioritizing Kids Over Cars

Tricia Joyce, chair of Community Board 1's Youth and Education Committee,  and Paul Hovitz (vice chair of Community Board 1) make the case for a new pedestrian plaza in front of the elementary school that will soon be built on Trinity Place.

The chair of the Youth and Education Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) is proposing that a seldom-used street in the Financial District, located at what will be the front door of a new public school, be turned into a pedestrian plaza. At the November 17 meeting of the School Overcrowding Task Force (a joint […]

EYES TO THE SKY November 28 – December 11, 2016

December 7 - 20_ 45 minutes - 1 hour after sunset.
Fomalhaut off to the left side of this image.
Diagram courtesy of EarthSky.org

An ideal week for planet and stargazing unfolds as November turns to December. Stargazing begins in the afternoon with the setting of the star of our solar system, the sun, as it approaches its most southerly reach on the horizon, nearly directly southwest. Sunset on November 28th is 4:30pm and from December 1 through the […]

November 29

Enos, a five year old chimp after his space flight of two orbits around earth

800 – Charlemagne arrives in Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III. 1729 – Natchez Indians massacre 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie, near the site of modern-day Natchez, Mississippi. 1783 – A 5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey. 1847 – Whitman massacre: Missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, […]

Not Exactly a Shore Thing

An architect's rendering of the proposed public access for swimmers and human-powered boats at Brooklyn Bridge Beach.

It is a rare project that is fully funded, as well as supported by both the public and its elected representatives, but still can’t get off the drawing board. But the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Beach, which (if built) would become the sole access point at which Lower Manhattan residents could step into the water that […]

November 28

Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare

1582 – In Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license. They were married in 1582, when he was 18 and she was 25 years old. She outlived her husband by seven years. 1660 – At Gresham College, twelve men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir […]

What Is Lower Manhattan’s Third Language?

An interactive map of Lower Manhattan showing the third-most common local language in each Census Tract_ with green signifying Chinese_ light blue representing French, and dark blue denoting "other Indo-European languages."

Broadly speaking, New York City has three languages: English, Spanish, and Other. The first two are almost universally applicable, about as prevalent in the northern Bronx as in the stretches of Brooklyn and Staten Island that face the Atlantic Ocean. But the third is the most interesting, because it varies dramatically by location. In Astoria, […]

What Is Lower Manhattan's Third Language?

An interactive map of Lower Manhattan showing the third-most common local language in each Census Tract_ with green signifying Chinese_ light blue representing French, and dark blue denoting "other Indo-European languages."

Broadly speaking, New York City has three languages: English, Spanish, and Other. The first two are almost universally applicable, about as prevalent in the northern Bronx as in the stretches of Brooklyn and Staten Island that face the Atlantic Ocean. But the third is the most interesting, because it varies dramatically by location. In Astoria, […]

November 22

John F. Kennedy in Dallas

845 – 845 : The first King of all Brittany, Nominoe defeats the Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon. 1794 – Strasbourg Alsace-Lorraine, prohibits circumcision & wearing of beards 1809 – Peregrine Williamson of Baltimore patents a steel pen 1842 – Mount St Helens in Washington, erupts 1919 – […]