NYC Subway Sandhogs

The Sandhogs Who Built the New York Subway

Unlike other laborers, who toiled anonymously on bridges and buildings throughout the city, the sandhogs had an iconic status in New York City.
Humpback whale

Why Have Whales Come to New York City?

What brought whales to the city? It’s a tale of water quality, plankton, and an unassuming but vital fish called the menhaden.
Stonewall Inn

Why Stonewall?

The Stonewall riot in June, 1969 is generally remembered as be the beginning of the gay liberation movement. But there was precedent for the event.
NYC food riot

“Give Us Bread!”

In 1917, a food riot erupted in Brooklyn over the prices of staples. These forms of protest, sadly, are not quite yet ready for the dustbin of history.
Draft riots

Race and Labor in the 1863 New York City Draft Riots

An enormous historical event that shaped New York City is not much spoken of today. In July 1863, ...
Central Park Olmsted

Frederick Law Olmsted: The Complicated Man Behind Central Park & The Nation

Struck by something naturally beautiful in an American city? Odds are that you have stumbled across the work of Frederick Law Olmsted.
Beach Pneumatic Train

The Pneumatic Subway That Almost Was

New York almost had a pneumatic subway system, but political, legal, and financial reasons kept the system from expanding.
Polish refugees

Refugees Have Always Made Americans Nervous

What happens when a big stream of refugees enters an American community, bringing their foreign customs and values and taking scarce jobs?
Welikia Manhattan map

What Did Manhattan Look Like in 1609?

The Welikia Project recreates a lost vision of Manhattan, one composed of marshes and forest surrounded by wide, meandering rivers.
Delmonico's dinner, 1906

The Evolution of the New York Restaurant Scene

In colonial America, restaurants as we know them today were virtually unheard of.