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Five boroughs, 300 square miles, 6,375 miles of streets, 8.3 million people... hundreds of neighborhoods.

This channel covers the history, culture, people, hustle and bustle and goings-on of New York City.

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Fifth Avenue From Start to Finish: The 1911 Equivalent of Google Street View

One of the treasures of the New York Public Library is the photographic publication "Fifth Avenue, New York, From Start to Finish." Luckily for us, this rare and beautiful collection of photographs has been digitized for anyone to view at any time — with the added advantage of being able to zoom in and truly examine the world in 1911 all up and 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties, Part 2: Jarmusch's Permanent Vacation

Permanent Vacation opens with a moving crowd of New Yorkers, still dressed '70s groovy. It might be a camera trick, but no one appears to be rushing. The music is slow, diffuse horn and bells. We meet 16-year-old Aloysious Christopher Parker, already dressed '80s rockabilly cool. His body is like a marionette's — all long limbs and loose joints. His voice is like an oboe, and his delivery is like slow air out of a tire. He dances to

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2011 NYC Book Awards

Did you know that there were more than 150 books about New York City published last year? Given this prodigious output, the New York Society Library, in hosting the New York City Book Awards, makes a significant contribution by directing Big Apple lovers to books that "evoke the spirit or enhance the appreciation of New York City." The 17th annual awards ceremony this May was my first, but it won't be my last. This is a literary event I'll surely try catch in the 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About the Newsboys Strike of 1899

This year the musical Newsies got nominated for eight Tony Awards. The popularity of the Disney Broadway show based on the Disney film has led many of our younger patrons to ask about the newsboys and the strike they led in 1899 on which the film and play  are based.

If you are interested in learning more about the strike 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 8: Young Filmmakers and the Seward Park Neighborhood

Don't Shhhh me!.... NOT this time.

We are about to conclude the second season of our Lower East Side Heritage Film Series and for the closer we are ALL TALK.

Along with our now traditional send off (we can call it traditional after the second repetition, right?), the film that started this whole LESHFS, The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves will be projected in all its 16mm glory. I will be orating the original

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The Premise of Meaning: Archibald MacLeish in the Village

Archibald MacLeish was the Librarian of Congress from 1939-1944 as well as an accomplished poet and dramatist. Not surprisingly, he was a huge advocate for libraries. 

He lived at 182 Sullivan Street and his birthday is May 7.

Here’s a 

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Jane Jacobs and the Hudson Street Ballet

I read Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities years before I moved to New York, back when I wrote for community newspapers in my home state of Delaware. Jacobs wrote sensibly, without pretense. She observed things closely, and drew logical conclusions. She obviously cared about her subject 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties - "Smithereens" (1982)

I went to high school in the EastVillage from 1983 to 1987. This might sound kind of punk rock. Unfortunately, I totally missed out on CBGB in the late Seventies (see also: Punking Out) and early Eighties. And let's face it, I didn't go inside any real club for most of the Eighties either — I was underage, and too busy studying for the SATs. But I remember how the outsides looked. The streets and 

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Is Private Life Relevant? May Sarton in the Village

May Sarton lived a little bit out of Hudson Park's area at 42 E. 11th Street, but still, close enough. She was a poet, novelist and memoirist. May 3rd is her birthday.

She is credited with saying 

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Wiki Gangs of New York: Editathon Recap

It was time to represent New York City and the Wikipedians showed up in force to do so! Wiki Gangs of New York was a Wikipedia editathon which took place at the Stephen A Schwarzman building on April 21, 2012 using the specialized collections of the Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy and the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division. With so much great material on hand to reference, Wikipedia grew with specialized local information about New 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 7: Regeneration (1915)

Shhhh.... this one is silent.

One of the great things about silent film is the fact that it is, well, silent.

While this attribute certainly draws attention to body language and visual storytelling, it also provides a blank canvas. As someone who composes and arranges music, this proves a great opportunity to sharpen my skills and have a bit of fun, dropping different types of music into a set of scenes. The fun happens when music intended for one purpose magically enhances another. It is proved to be a much more laborious a task, as I am not able to rely on the timings 

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Live All You Can: Henry James in the Village

Henry James wrote one of the quintessential New York novels, Washington Square. He lived in Greenwich Village at 21 Washington Place. So on April 15, celebrate something other than paying your taxes. Celebrate 

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Gilded Love: Stokes and Sargent

The last time I was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, being classy, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw this painting:

It's called Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes and it was painted by

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 6: Happy 90th Birthday Mingus!

Happy birthday to Charles Mingus, who would have officially become a nonagenarian this coming April 22, 2012 — a word I am certain he could have cleverly crafted into a title. And to celebrate one of the most unique and gifted voices in not just the jazz world, but, in my opinion, the whole of 20th century music, we are projecting on 16mm this wonderfully insightful film capturing Mingus at a very specific period in his life. A must see for all fans of Charles 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 5: Scorsese & the City

Martin Scorsese has had a quite a run these past two months, with 11 Oscar nominations (four wins) for his film Hugo and a Golden Globe win for the Best Director category, to name just a few. So let's raise another toast (in the spirit of the Bridesmaids' SAG award presentation) to the man who gave us so much great Lower East Side imagery by screening one of his earliest films,

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 4: Bubbies & Beats

Well, Yudie is not exactly a Bubbie, but I simply could not resist the alliteration. (Although, Tante and the Beats would make an excellent band name, don't you think?)

This month's Lower East Side Heritage Film Series (LESHFS) pairs the seemingly improvised storytelling of the Beat Generation with the candid and (seemingly) unrehearsed historytelling of a first generation American to Russian-Jewish parents that landed in the Lower East Side.

We are pleased to offer the following films on Tuesday evening (in the universe), 

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Ghost Light: Illuminating Our City's Theaters: RKO Coliseum

A thing of beauty is a joy forever... — Keats

(quoted in opening night program, B. S. Moss' Coliseum Theatre, 1920)

The end of 2011 also brought the quiet demise of the last movie theater in WashingtonHeights, Coliseum Cinemas. Known to most residents as the RKO Coliseum, the large theater, occupying the entire corner of 181st and Broadway, has been a fixture of the neighborhood for over 90 years. As the community now debates the future of the Coliseum 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 3 — Mascot Flats

It is the beginning of a new calendar year. A time for reflection. A time for resolution. A time for hope.

In this next installment of the Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, we celebrate and reflect on the rebirth of a derelict East Sixth Street tenement building in Alphabet City. Producer and director Josephine Hayes Dean documents the toils and tribulations of its future residents into something that would become a home for their hopes and dreams.

We are pleased to offer the following film on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

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"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles: A Review

The fairytale of New York City is just as strong for New Yorkers as it is for those who don’t live here: the glittering world of who’s in or out, swanky hotel bars and Hamptons summer houses. It is a world of movers and shakers and large, beautiful apartments that is longingly aspired to as we go about our daily drudgery. The narrative of the fairytale is learned in childhood, from movies and TV, like some Grimm or Charles Perrault story: ambitious nobody moves to Manhattan, meets the right people, makes the right connections and boom, enters the world of New York 

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Lower East Side Heritage Film Series, Season 2, Part 2 - Punk'd and Drunk'd

Did you miss CBGB? I did. Well, I should say I missed it in its heyday.

By the time I landed in New York City, the iconic establishment was just a tired bar living off the fumes of its former glories. Listen, I am certainly glad to have made the pilgrimage a handful of times and experienced it well before John Varvatos moved in, but the energy and congregation of locals that helped cultivate a movement of music that still resonates to this day was long gone. All that remained were the 

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