EYES TO THE SKY May 29 – June 10, 2018


A note from a reader: “It is now 9pm. For the past few months, about this time in the evening, I view a very bright “planet.” I face west and this object is descending pretty quickly. Two months ago I figured it was Jupiter, now I am told Jupiter will not appear until a few more […]

Watchdog Growls at Apartment Guests

City Comptroller Scott Stringer: "Our report offered a sober, independent analysis of how Airbnb's growing presence in many of our neighborhoods has served to push rents up by increasing demand for housing."

City Comptroller Scott Stringer is pushing back against critics of his report, “The Impact of Airbnb on NYC Rents,” which was issued earlier this month, and concluded (among other allegations) that residents of Lower Manhattan who lease (rather than own) their apartments are collectively paying more than $49 million per year in extra rent as […]

Today in History May 25

Paris liberated from the Nazis.       photo by Robert Capa

567 BC – Servius Tullius, the king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans. 240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet. 1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw. 1738 – A treaty […]

The Lay of the Land

The map by Bernard Ratzer was the first comprehensive chart of New York ever produced.

A rare copy of what is widely regarded as the first credible map of Lower Manhattan was recently sold at auction for $150,000. This was an edition of the “Ratzer Plan,” created in the late 1760s by British Army surveyor and cartographer Bernard Ratzer, who was ordered by General Thomas Gage to compile a detailed […]

Today in History

Igor Sikorsky

1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt. 1626 – Peter Minuit buys Manhattan. 1830 – “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale is published. 1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message “What hath God wrought” (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol […]

The Picture of Health

The City Health Dashboard breaks out data about public health by neighborhood using federal census districts. While the names of the 12 communities outlined are informal and somewhat arbitrary, the demarcations are not -- these are the boundaries used by government statisticians when analyzing demographic trends at the local level.

A new online tool offers startlingly precise snapshots of public health, as measured by a wide range of metrics, at the neighborhood level through New York City, and yields some surprising findings for Lower Manhattan. The City Health Dashboard, which was created by a partnership between two arms of New York University — the Langone […]

Ships that pass in the night

Sailboat GHOST passes Yacht AIR in New York Harbor

On May 6, near twilight, two vessels passed one another along their respective port sides. Ghost, a 37-meter sailing yacht by legendary naval architect Luca Brenta, was approaching North Cove, while the 265-foot motor yacht Air was outbound from her berth in Chelsea Piers. A day  earlier, Ghosthad arrived from Newport. A day later, Air […]

Today in History May 23

Benjamin Franklin and his 'double spectacles'

1430 – Joan of Arc is captured at Compiegne and sold to the English 1493 – King Charles VIII and Maximilian I of Austria sign Peace of Senlis 1536 – Pope Paul III installs Portugese inquisition 1568 – The Netherlands declare independence from Spain. 1701 – Captain William Kidd is hanged in London after being […]

Clearing a Blocked Artery

A City Department of Transportation rendering of the new bike and pedestrian lanes on Park Row, which are now open.

Lower Manhattan cyclists and pedestrians recently got back a piece of their streetscape: More than 10,000 square feet of Park Row, which has been closed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has opened to bikes and walkers.   This new corridor creates a connection from Frankfort Street (at the southern end, near City […]

Today in History May 22

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp

334 BC – The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus 760 – 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet 1570 – First atlas ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ (Theatre of the World), published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp with 70 maps 1803 – First public library […]