MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

Category Archives: Photography Collection

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

September 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

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

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

Company Songs

While cataloging ephemera under the National Endowment for Humanities grant, I couldn’t help but notice how many companies, clubs, societies, and associations had songs written and printed for special occasions. … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

Banjos, Mandolins, Cats, and Dogs

In the 1950s and 1960s, Sunday afternoons were spirited times in Washington Square Park.  For several hours folk singers, accompanied by enthusiasts, performed in the public space.  In a convivial … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 5 Comments

Napoleon Sarony: Celebrity Photographer

  Before paparazzi and the celebrity media we all live with today, there were 19th century photographers, like Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896), who became internationally renowned for their celebrity portraits. Born in Québec, Sarony began his … Continue reading

April 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

Reblog via Untapped Cities ~ Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks, Interview with the Curators

On April 21, 2015, the Museum of the City of New York will open Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks, exploring how the pioneering landmarks legislation, passed in 1965, … Continue reading

April 17, 2015 · 2 Comments

A Call to Serve: Scenes from the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service

With fresh tears in her eyes, a young girl approached Lillian Wald, a graduate of New York Hospital School of Nursing. Concerned for the girl’s well-being, Wald followed the child … Continue reading

April 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Benjamin J. Falk, photographer and master of light

It’s 1881. You’re an actor in the latest smash-hit sensation. Wanting to gain a little publicity for yourself, the show, and a potential national tour, the producers send you off to … Continue reading

March 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

From automobile maintenance to aeronautical engineering

New York City traffic jams have long been the source of iconic scenes in movies and television, as well as real-life frustration, perceived near death experiences, and a whole lot … Continue reading

March 17, 2015 · 1 Comment

Lunatics, Inmates, and Homeowners: The History of Roosevelt Island

The nurses plunged her into an ice-cold bath, pulled her out sopping wet, and threw a sheer flannel slip over her head. Large black letters spelled “Lunatic Asylum, B.I., H. … Continue reading

March 10, 2015 · 2 Comments

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