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Deadly Art of Survival

My introduction to New York’s underground film scene came in the form of the “cinema of transgression,” as movement figurehead (eh, more or less) Nick Zedd dubbed it. Specifically, it came in the form of Richard Kern, whose crude, short films and videos were widely circulated on VHS in the late 1980s and early 1990s.…

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Sinister Dinner: The Heath at The McKittrick Hotel

“Don’t let them speak your name. Don’t ever let them speak your name,” she begged me before her eyes darted back and forth and she led me through a hidden door in the back of the booth into a hidden passage that eventually led us to a janitor’s closet and back into the restaurant. When I looked behind me, the woman was gone.

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My Old Kentucky Home on the Bowery

Kentuckians grow up with Stephen Foster. He wrote “My Old Kentucky Home,” our state song, and The Stephen Foster Story has been playing at My Old Kentucky Home State Park for over fifty years. Although “America’s first composer” was born in Pennsylvania and later lived in Ohio (albeit in Cincinnati, which is just across the…

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Terrifying Tales of Macabre Manhattan

It’s no surprise that among our eight million residents are more than a few ghosts. Our brownstones and Revolutionary War mansions, our cobblestone streets, and our occasional nightmarish gambrel rooftops host a number of spooks and specters, many of them famous in life, some famous only in death. From the ghost of a Ziegfeld Follies girl to Mark Twain’s House of Death, here are some of my favorite New York haunts.

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Ghosts of Green-Wood

Brooklyn’s sprawling, historic Green-Wood Cemetery has fast become one of my favorite places in the city. This cemetery-as-park serves as the last resting place for many of the city’s most famous figures, as well as a few of its most infamous. On a recent walking tour of the cemetery, I visited some of the most…