EYES TO THE SKY July 23 – August 5, 2018

Mars shines brightly now in planet Earth's sky.  Seen with a yellowish hue it rises over the hills and far away in this serene night skyscape, a countryside panorama recorded last month from Parque Nacional de Cabaneros in Spain. The Milky Way too extends above the distant hills into a starry sky. Its faint pinkish nebulae, cosmic rifts and rivers of dust are mingled with the pale, diffuse glow of starlight. Mimicking Mars' yellow tint, bright star Antares shines to the right of the central Milky Way starclouds.
photo: Jose Luis Hernandez Verdejo

The culmination of an extraordinary celestial event is underway. Look to the southeast at nightfall: a glowing golden orb rising above the skyline will bewilder you if you have not seen planet Mars recently. Distinctly yellowish and shining at a magnitude of -2.75 today, Mars reaches peak brilliance (-2.78m) from the 26th through the 28th, […]

Beyond the Pale

Steven Skybell leads an ensemble cast in the Yiddish-language production of 'Fiddler on the Roof,' at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Credit: Victor Nechay/ProperPix

The groundbreaking Yiddish-language production of “Fiddler on the Roof” now showing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage has opened to glowing reviews and sell-out crowds, which has led to the production being extended for an additional week beyond its original run. None of which is a surprise to the actor playing the lead: Broadway veteran […]

Today in History July 19

The Great New York City Fire of 1845 was the last of three particularly devastating fires that affected the heart of Manhattan, the other two occurring in 1776 and 1835.

*AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome causes widespread devastation and rages on for six days, destroying half of the city. *1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sinks off Portsmouth; in 1982 the wreck is salvaged in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. *1553 – […]



To the editor, While I don’t always agree with traffic consultant Sam Schwartz (particularly on his support for the “congestion pricing” tax scam), I believe his analysis of the effect of the one-way Verrazano Bridge toll on lower Manhattan is spot on. The one-way  toll has burdened those of us living in lower Manhattan with […]

Selling a Sliver of the Sky

Chelsea Piers, the site from which the Hudson River Park Trust
recently sold unused air rights for $52 million.

A transaction involving docks in Chelsea and a pair of skyscrapers planned for Midtown may soon brighten the prospects of a public space in Lower Manhattan. The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) has agreed to sell unused air rights from the Chelsea Piers complex to a two developers, who plan on erecting residential towers on […]

Today in History July 18

Carl Sagan and his Porsche 914.
"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."

390 BC – Roman-Gaulic Wars: Battle of the Allia – a Roman army is defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome 64 – Great Fire of Rome begins under the Emperor Nero 1334 – The bishop of Florence blesses the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, […]

Get Thee To the Water


Brooklyn Bridge Beach Park. It isn’t exactly Coney Island. You probably couldn’t spread more that a dozen or two blankets and that’d be at low tide, because at high tide, it’s mostly under water. But Brooklyn Bridge Beach Park officially opened on July 14 for one day during the Waterfront Alliance’s 11th annual City of Water Day.   The Waterfront […]



To the editor: Good for Margaret Chin taking action to reduce traffic congestion downtown by introducing a resolution to change the toll pattern of the Verrazano Bridge. I hope that the next step will be for this matter to be brought to Congress where the legal change can be made. It’s an outrage that the […]

Little Bargains on Big Apartments


A new analysis of price movements in Battery Park City apartments — both rentals and condominiums — finds that valuations have begun to tick upward, but have still not fully recovered from a recent softening. The Battery Park City Report for the second quarter of 2018, recently issued by Platinum Properties, a brokerage firm headquartered […]

Today in History July 17

The cover of Punch magazine volume 1, published in London in 1841

1054 – Emperor Henry III crowns his son Henry IV king 1203 – Siege of Constantinople begins during the fourth Crusade, Crusaders aboad a Venetian fleet attack the city 1762 – Catherine II becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III 1821 – Spain cedes Florida to US 1841 – British humor magazine […]