The Beavers of Astor Place

New York’s subway stations are adorned with many an odd historical curio, image, mural, or hidden wonder. One of the first ones I ever noticed and thought to wonder about was the beavers diligently gnawing away at branches throughout the Astor Place 6 train station. These furry little devils probably represent the point at which…


Grand Central Centennial

As we mentioned in the article about the secret train platform beneath Grand Central Terminal, the venerable New York City landmark turned one hundred this month. The anniversary is being marked by a number of events, sales, displays, and tours that unfortunately were already sold out by the time I learned about them. Still, not…


A Peek Inside The Woolworth Building

Because it is well documented elsewhere, I won’t go into the history of F.W. Woolworth, the Woolworth Building, or the stores to which the old man lent his name. For that, I urge you to check out the fantastic Woolworth Building episode of the Bowery Boys podcast. With that history thusly filed away, we can…


1990: Bronx Warriors

In recent years, pop culture fascination with the end of the world has resurfaced after years of dormancy during which we were all enjoying the good ol’ years of Bill Clinton, the dotcom industry, and a relatively peaceful time as long as you ignore that whole Balkan thing. Yeah, we might have used a giant…


Stairway to Heaven

It starts off innocently enough, in the middle of a flat field. There is a parking lot that can hold six or seven cars. When I pulled in, early afternoon, there was one other car already there. The first stretch of trail is nice and relaxing, meandering through high grass and wild flowers before plunging into that amazing sort of forest where you expect to see trolls and nymphs lingering about.


Breakneck Ridge, New York

Jersey is a perpetually surprising place to travel, and while I utterly despise much about driving in that state heading up the Garden State northbound was beautiful. And it only gets nicer as you cross the Bear Mountain Bridge and continue alog 9D to the town of Cold Spring, then finally arrive at the trailhead, just past the train station and a tunnel.


Canoes on the Gowanus Canal

I was supposed to be meeting Owen Foote, the voice at the other end of my doomed cell phone call and the founder of the Gowanus Dredgers, an environmental awareness group dedicated to educating people about the Gowanus Canal and surrounding Brooklyn waterfront by putting them on its surface in canoes and kayaks.