MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

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

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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

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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 · 2 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 · 2 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 · 2 Comments

Rainforest Ramblin’: Or a Day in the Life of a Museum Registrar

Registrar! Tell us about the time you traveled to the edge of the rainforest to pick up a guitar? “take off your thirsty boots and stay for a while Your … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Bittersweet: The American Revolution and New York City’s Sugar Industry

Levi Hanford sat confined in a crowded cell. He dropped a moldy biscuit and a small ration of pork into a kettle filled with water. As the bread slowly broke … Continue reading

June 30, 2015 · 1 Comment

Brides and Debutantes: White Dresses all Around

The start of summer brings with it the beginning of wedding season.  As a bride-to-be myself, I couldn’t help but take a closer look at the numerous wedding invitations that … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Studio 54: Behind the velvet rope

Studio 54 opened on April 26, 1977, at 254 West 54th Street. The space initially served as a home to the Gallo Opera House (pictured to the left), which opened … Continue reading

June 16, 2015 · 1 Comment

The mystery of Mabel E. Johnston, who drew beautiful costumes

In 1978, the Museum received a collection of costume design renderings that featured the work of well-known theatrical designers such as Boris Aronson, Charles Le Maire, and Vincent Minelli.  Also … Continue reading

June 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

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