MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

Category Archives: Photo Archive

The Space is the Place; the Museum’s Collection on Theaters

With Archtober – New York City’s annual Architecture and Design Month – almost upon us, it has got my theater archivist’s mind turning to the city’s history of theater buildings. So this week I offer … Continue reading

September 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

How a Colonial Relic Became a Civil War Memento: Tracing Object History in the Silver Collection

Over the course of digitizing the Museum’s silver collection, we’ve come across many objects with storied histories, but not many can weave a historical path through our collection with the … Continue reading

March 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

The short, sad story of actress Clara Bloodgood

On the evening of December 5, 1907, respected actress and society woman Clara Bloodgood fatally shot herself in a Baltimore hotel room. She was in town to star as the … Continue reading

March 8, 2016 · 1 Comment

Ice Skating

Nobody is certain when humans first began ice skating, but it is believed that they did so at least a few thousand years ago. The first skates were sharp pieces … Continue reading

December 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

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 · 1 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

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

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

Rufus King: Early New York, lawyer, diplomat and statesman

If you have found yourself wandering around the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, anytime in the last two centuries, you’ve possibly happened upon a farmhouse, situated between 89th Avenue, 150th street, … Continue reading

April 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

Using the Museum’s Collections to Teach Photography

The Photography Collection at the Museum of the City of New York is an incredible resource for anyone interested in photography, architecture, social history, New York City, and any number … Continue reading

January 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Books and the City

New Yorkers love to read. Whether it’s just for a stolen moment at work… or enjoying (or hoping that whatever we’re reading will distract us from) our subway commute… or … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · 2 Comments

Happy 25th Birthday to the Internet

Last week the Internet turned a quarter of a century old.  On March 12, 1989, a British computer scientist named Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed what he called an “information management” … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Forgotten villages and neighborhoods of Manhattan

Hints about long vanished and forgotten aspects of New York surround us if we know where to look.  The etymology of neighborhood names reveal long lost geographical quirks and the … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

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