MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at

The New York City Marathon: The Great Race

The New York City Marathon began humbly in 1970, with 127 participants running laps around Park Drive in Central Park. On that day a total of only 55 runners crossed … Continue reading

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Speedway Concourse and Transverse Road, AKA the Grand Concourse

In 1874 the disparate villages of Westchester County (Morrisania, Kingsbridge, et al.) were annexed to New York City and formed what we now know as the Bronx. At the time, … Continue reading

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Affordable New York: Amalgamated Housing Cooperative

In 1926, when the tenements of the Lower East Side were overflowing and there was wide recognition of the unhealthy conditions created by such dense living, New York state enacted … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · 5 Comments

The Crown Jewel of Brooklyn – Prospect Park

What is it I associate so keenly with the summer smell and sensual keenness of Prospect Park? – Alfred Kazin[1] The construction of Central Park prompted the city of Brooklyn … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Can you hear me now?

Most of us hardly think about the technical logistics of communication these days.  With the touch of a few buttons we can send an email or text message, or pick … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Hygienic whiskey and little nerve pills: The rise of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising

Before the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, the manufacture and sale of so-called “medicine” in the United States was unregulated. This wild west atmosphere enabled … Continue reading

August 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

On Roots & Revival: Interview with Folk City Curator Stephen Petrus

Folk City curator Stephen Petrus, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral fellow at the City Museum from 2012–2015, talks about his Hungarian roots, growing up with Dylan, and the mythology of the … Continue reading

August 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Hot Dog!

The origin of the hot dog has long been contested and has even been a source of tension in American history. In 1913, for example, Mayor Reginald S. Bennett called … Continue reading

August 18, 2015 · Leave a comment

Celestial Sphere, Color Movies, Gardens on Parade!

Help the Museum digitize its 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair Collection! The Museum’s New York World’s Fair collections continue to be a major resource for researchers all over the globe, … Continue reading

August 11, 2015 · 3 Comments

The plague of New York City summers

For modern New Yorkers, summer presents a variety of opportunities.  Some choose to flee its oppressive heat, inadequately air conditioned offices, and swarms of tourists; while others stay to take … Continue reading

August 4, 2015 · 1 Comment

Cymbeline; what’s a love story without some scandal?

It was January 25, 1897, the opening night of William Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline, based on the legend of an early Celtic British king, at Wallack’s Theatre. The lavish production starred … Continue reading

July 28, 2015 · 1 Comment

Pilfering the Male Wardrobe: The Gibson Girl’s Retort to Fashion Satire

Capricious, evanescent, outrageous: there has always been something to parody about fashion. It has had its moments of sanity, where form has actually nodded to function, but centuries-worth of acrid … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

From Dazzling to Dirty and Back Again: A Brief History of Times Square

Originally known as Long Acre (also Longacre) Square after London’s carriage district, Times Square served as the early site for William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange. In the late 1880s, Long … Continue reading

July 14, 2015 · 4 Comments

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