Why Broadway Meanders up Manhattan’s Grid

New York's Most Iconic Street Grew Organically From Colonial Cowpath Into an Allegorical Strand

I first saw Broadway from the air. It was 1990 and I was flying with my architecture class from the University of Florida up to Boston so we could learn about cities. Our silver Eastern Airlines plane flew low—alarmingly low, I thought at the time—over Manhattan and soared up the island south to north, the pilot alerting us to the view of the Big Apple below. I could clearly pick out Broadway because, as I had read, it didn’t follow the grid but meandered, an errant thread weaving its way …

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The German-American Family Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge

In Creating an Icon, Washington Roebling and His Kin Realized Dreams That Europe Never Could Fulfill

The Brooklyn Bridge was truly an American project embodying a certain American ideal. And people celebrated that fact from the start.

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge—after 14 years of …

We Can Thank New York City for Trump

Only a Town That Celebrates Loudmouth Mayors and Tabloid Gossip Could've Created The Donald

Only one person born and raised in New York City has been elected President of the United States during the past 100 years: Donald J. Trump.

Although Teddy Roosevelt won …

The Mob, the Mayor, and Pinball

Why 20th-Century Law Enforcement Wielded a “Sledgehammer of Decency” on the Game Machines

Soon after I founded the Pacific Pinball Museum, an ex-police officer contacted me, offering to sell a rare artifact that was once confiscated by the Oakland Police force.  …

The ‘Hot, Foul, Sultry Air’ of Ellis Island

What It Was Like at the Main Gateway to the U.S. in the Early 20th Century

Immigrants arrive in the U.S. today at thousands of entry points, by plane, boat, car, and foot. But for decades at the turn of the 20th century, the harbor at …

New York, One World Cup Match at a Time

Watching All 64 Games in Bars, on Buses, and Even at My Cubicle Made Me Love the City in a Way I Never Will Again

Maybe I did expect to be in a New York City bar below 14th Street at 7 in the morning at some point. Doesn’t every newly minted college graduate hoping …