Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Brooklyn Historical Soc. - Dec 3: First American Musical

Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Wheatley!
Sat, Dec 3, 7 pm – 8:30 pm
$35/$30 for BHS & G-W Members
Reserve your spot

Love musicals? Then you won’t want to miss this musical tribute to the guy who got it all started. William Wheatley (1816 – 1876), Green-Wood permanent resident and stage star, produced The Black Crook, the first American musical. The show was five hours long and ran for a record-breaking 474 performances at the famed Niblo’s Garden. Enjoy songs written, performed, and produced by Wheatley and other Green-Wood residents at this 200th birthday bash!

Monday, September 12, 2016

NYS Thruway / Canal Society Park Opening

NYS Thruway Authority Home
For Immediate Release: 9/12/2016
Contact: Shane Mahar | 
Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300
First of its Kind Project Promotes Tourism on the Historic Erie Canal
The New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation today announced the completion of the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park, an attraction for Erie Canal enthusiasts and upstate tourists interested in the history of the Canal and its impact on the economic and commercial development of both New York and the United States.
As part of Governor Cuomo’s “Path Through History” initiative and developed in conjunction with the Canal Society of New York State, the $9.6 million park is the first facility of its kind to offer access directly from the New York State Thruway to a historic site. Visitors can enter the park directly from the eastbound Thruway (I-90) at milepost 308.7 between exits 41 (Waterloo – Clyde – NY Route 414) and 40 (Weedsport - Auburn – NY Route 34), or from NY Route 31 in the Village of Port Byron. Due to the facility’s separate entrance points, visitors will not be able to access the Thruway directly from the Route 31 parking lot and vice versa.
“Governor Cuomo is demonstrating again his commitment to fueling tourism and regional economies in Central New York,” said Thruway Authority Board of Directors Chair and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “The newly constructed Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park is a result of the collaborative efforts between state and local affiliates and will attract tourists and locals alike to experience the history of the Erie Canal firsthand.”
“This project is a shining example of the fostered cooperation we have cultivated between the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation,” said Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch. “The Thruway provides access to historic communities throughout upstate New York for millions of motorists each year, and the new Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park gives visitors a chance to experience the rich history of New York State and the Erie Canal by simply pulling off the Thruway.”
The park gives visitors an authentic glimpse into life on the Erie Canal in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Key historical elements include the enlarged Erie Canal Lock 52 and the Erie House Complex, which dates back to 1895 and includes the Erie House Tavern and Hotel, a mule barn, and blacksmith shop. Guided tours provided by the Canal Society of NY, allow visitors a first-hand experience to the facility’s historic structures. The newly constructed Visitor’s Center which is operated by the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council offers interactive displays and educational materials. For example, a model lock featured in New York State’s exhibit at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 is a centerpiece in the facility.
“The Thruway and Erie Canal have been major economic drivers for New York, both commercially and recreationally, for decades,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “With the Canal system spurring hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism-based economic activity each year, it’s clear that people want to experience its history and this park is the perfect way tell those stories.”
“Every day, more and more people are coming to appreciate that New York’s culture and heritage is intimately connected to the development of the Canal system,”said Canal Society of New York State President Kal Wysokowski. The Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park is the culmination of 20 years of work on behalf of the Canal Society and became a reality because of our strong relationship with the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, and we are very proud to now have a place where visitors can reach out and touch history with their hand.”
The entire project was completed by New York contractors and in a three phase sequence. Phase one, completed by Cold Springs Inc. of Akron, NY, included site work, installation of ramps and the parking area. Phase two consisted of the rehabilitation and restoration of various structures and was completed by Bouley Associates of Auburn, NY. The project’s final phase which involved the construction of the new Visitor’s Center with access off the Thruway and Route 31 was completed by Bette & Cring, LLC of Latham, NY. 
“The Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation have given travelers the opportunity to glimpse into a dynamic aspect of New York’s transportation history and we are very proud to have been a part of it,” said President of Bette & Cring Construction Group Peter Bette.
Work completed includes ramps to and from the eastbound New York State Thruway, a parking area, paved trails connecting the parking lot with the historic lock, as well as informational signage. Numerous on-site buildings have been rehabilitated, including the historic Erie House and a newly constructed parking lot accessible from Route 31. Visitors can access historical information at the new Visitor’s Center and walk the grounds on the newly connected park trails. Facility hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.  
“We are proud to be a part of the opening of the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron, and excited to welcome in an attraction that promotes and honors the historical significance of the Erie Canal,” said Mike Linehan, Board Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council. “This is a great new attraction for the Finger Lakes Region, and the FLRTC is honored to be a part of this project in partnership with the New York Canal Society and the New York State Thruway Authority.”
Originally conceived by the Canal Society of New York State, the project has come to life with the support and direction of Governor Cuomo, the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation.
Motorists can sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding Thruway traffic conditions at
Follow us on Twitter @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway
Like us on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority
Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit for real-time traffic updates.
To see an interactive map including Google traffic conditions for the Thruway and other roadways in New York State and beyond, go to:
Thruway Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) stations broadcast traffic advisories, road conditions, and safety tips 24-hours-a-day. HAR frequencies can be found at

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thirty Years War - 1989 magazine article

Review - Article

Came across a story from the 
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - APRIL 1989 issue while studying the Thirty Years War


August 8, 1980
Wreck of the Swedish battleship Kronan discovered by remote-control television camera at the bottom of the Baltic Sea four miles east of the Swedish island of Oland. After a 30-year search by the article's author Anders Franzén he was hoping for proof of the wreck's identity. His crew raised one of the six-pounder ship's cannon bearing the inscription "VIVE LE ROI -1628. They had found the vessel, that year's largest of Sweden - the KRONAN or CROWN. It had sunk on June 1, 1676. King Karl XI's vessel had been nearly 200 feet long, weighed 2,350 tons and bore 126 guns. She had taken seven years to build. And she was destroyed in less than a minute. Close to 800 men died.

Crewman Anders Spaarfelt was blown sky high by the explosion, flew over two enemy ships and landed safely in the sail of a Swedish vessel.

Back in the 1650s the Danes had vowed to win back the Baltic provinces seized by Sweden.

The Kronan had been launched in 1668 and commissioned in 1672. Four years later she and 600 other Swedish warships were sent into action in the Baltic. Commanding the vessel was Baron Lorentz Creutz, also commanding admiral of the Swedish navy.  

The article's author, a naval historian and engineer had originally begun  searching the waters where the wreckage lay submerged. In 1956 he discovered the wreckage of the Swedish ship Vassa, sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628 out of Stockholm. In 1979 he resumed his search for the Kronan, almost three times the weight of the Vassa. And in 1980 it turned up on his crew's "device" (a remote control television camera, not a cell phone). The Geographic's article recounts some of the vast number of artifacts retrieved from the wreck.

The article ends:
"The recovery of Kronan off Hulterstad . . . is a major event and one of great significance even far outside the realm of marine archaeology . . . . This work and those fateful human events will remind us–despite everything–of our close contact with things past."

There could be no finer epitaph for Kronan.

David Minor

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Battle of Brooklyn at 240

Thursday, August 18, 6:30 pm

As we approach the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, NYU Professor of History Nicole Eustace, author of Passion is the Gale: Emotion, Power, and the Coming of the American Revolution, will look at the pivotal role of emotion in reshaping power relations and reordering society in the critical decades leading up to the Revolution. 

Offered in partnership with the Old Stone House and Green-Wood Cemetery as part ofBattle Week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From the BHS Vault

Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 pm

$5/Free for BHS Members

BHS Reference Librarian Joanna Lamaida and Exhibition Coordinator & Registrar Anna Schwartz 

dust off some of BHS’s best kept collections secrets (skeletons included) and uncover treasures from 

the former Long Island Historical Society’s cabinet of curiosities. And what about those tales of 

meteors, amulets, and runaway librarians? Lamaida and Schwartz debunk or corroborate some of the

 library’s most notorious myths.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Old/New Brooklyn Neighborhoods

Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm

$5/Free for BHS Members

From Bay Ridge to Bushwick, today neighborhoods on the cusp
of gentrification display obvious signs of transformation and tension,
but what about areas that were the first to make up the "new"
Brooklyn, like Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Prospect Heights?
What is their narrative and what challenges do they face today?
Join Jarrett Murphy, Executive Publisher of City Limits, as he
moderates a discussion with thought leaders including historian
Suleiman Osman, author of The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn:
Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York,
New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante, and Sandy Hornick,
longtime Park Slope homeowner and formerly of the NYC Department
of City Planning.  

Offered in partnership with "Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100." 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

BHS Discussion: Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn

Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm

$5/Free for BHS Members

From Bay Ridge to Bushwick, today neighborhoods on the cusp of

gentrification display obvious signs of transformation and tension,

but what about areas that were the first to make up the 

"new" Brooklyn, like Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Prospect

Heights? What is their narrative and what challenges do they

face today? Join Jarrett Murphy, Executive Publisher of City Limits,

as he moderates a discussion with thought leaders including

historian Suleiman Osman, author of The Invention of Brownstone

Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar

New York, and New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Wednesday, May 256:30 PM
New York Times food critic and cookbook authorMelissa Clark helps us untangle a century-old gastronomic mystery. In 1901, an enterprising Lower East Side restaurant keeper named Hinde Amchanitzky published America’s first Yiddish language cookbook. Mysteriously, eight years after Hinde’s death, a “new and augmented edition” of her cookbook, a departure from the original in both tone and content, appeared in neighborhood bookstores. From schmaltz-laden noodle puddings and stuffed breast of veal to “hygienic” bread and celery cutlets, the two cookbooks could hardly be written by the same woman. Or were they?  Jane Ziegelman, author of 97 Orchard and the Tenement Museum's Annie Polland present the culinary clues--translations of the recipes, newspaper ads, and food samples from the cookbooks as we try to solve the mystery, and at the very least, learn more about immigrant women and cooking. 

This event is free and seating is first-come, first-served. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Reserve two seats with the purchase of a featured book.
97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement, by Jane Ziegelman
Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen
The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook, by Fania Lewando and Eve Jochnowitz
Modern Jewish Cooking, by Leah Koenig and Sang An
The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook, by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying
Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, by Maangchi
Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food, by Aaron Rezny and Jordan Schaps

If you have questions, contact Laura Lee at or 646.518.3032.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Upcoming Art Show

Dear Friends,
I'm pleased to announce that a show of my paintings is opening at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts on March 31st and runs until May 7th.

Opening Reception: March 31st, 6 - 8 PM

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts
529 W. 20th St.

I hope that you have a chance to stop by.
Best Wishes,
Mary Didoardo

Mary's an old friend of Joann and myself from our NYC days (prior to 1991. We're sure you'll enjoy her work. If you go tell her Eagles Byte sent you.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Person Place Thing with Randy Cohen and Yancey Strickler, Co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter
Please note new date: Thu, Feb 25
$5/Free for BHS & G-W Members
Reserve your spot
Phone: 718-222-4111

Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter, chats with Randy Cohen in this latest installment of Person Place Thing. Yancey served as Kickstarter’s Head of Community and Communications before becoming CEO. Prior to Kickstarter, Yancey was a music journalist whose writing appeared in The Village Voice, New York Magazine and Pitchfork, to name just a few.

Tales from the Vault: The Carte de Visite
Thu, Feb 25, 6:30 pm
$5/Free for BHS and G-W Members
Reserve your spot
Phone: 718-222-4111

Join us in our library as we explore the many dimensions of the carte de visite, the popular 19th century portrait featured prominently in our Personal Correspondents exhibition. BHS Managing Director of Library and Archives Julie May will discuss the photograph’s process and popularity throughout its heyday, share rarely seen examples from our collections, and highlight the many studios that participated in its proliferation throughout Brooklyn. And thanks to The Penumbra Foundation, we will have a real carte de visite camera and other photographic studio items on view during the program!

Monday, February 15, 2016

"Green Book Chronicles"

The Green Book Chronicles
Thu, Feb 18, 6:30 pm

Reserve your spot

In the mid-1930s, postal worker Victor H. Green used his resources at the post office to compile the Green Book, a network of white and black-owned businesses that would welcome African American travelers throughout the South during segregation. Green’s efforts helped African Americans travel safely for nearly 30 years, until the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, when publication of the guide ceased. 

Awareness of the guide faded until award-winning author and playwright Calvin Alexander Ramsey started work on The Green Book Chronicles, a documentary that will chronicle the rise and fall of the Green Book as told by those who were around to use it. Join us for a conversation with Ramsey, who will share raw footage from the upcoming film. Please be advised that this is not a screening of the entire film, but a rare opportunity to see raw footage before the film is complete.