Why Don’t American Jews Search for Their Heritage in New York City?

Tourists Now See the Holocaust, Not the Lower East Side, as the Core of the Jewish Experience

While the Jewish heritage industry is booming in many places, it is struggling in New York.

This poses a problem not just for the city but also for those who want to create the broadest and most complete understanding of Jewish heritage.

As the cradle of the Jewish history in America, New York City, and especially the Lower East Side, represents that breadth. Advances in literature, comedy, café life, politics, and labor can all be traced to the Jewish experience here. The city’s popular culture—from Fiddler on the Roof to …

There Is a Real Bedford Falls—It’s My Upstate New York Town

An Uncanny Physical Resemblance and a Frank Capra Visit Connect Seneca Falls to His Holiday Classic

Bedford Falls, the town that is the real star of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, is a fictional place. But it closely resembles a real town.

I live there.

The evidence …

The Gilded Age Lives on in Manhattan’s Mansions

New York's Historic Dream Homes Reflect Changing Tastes and Economic Shifts

Sixty-six floors above Midtown Manhattan, Donald J. Trump lives in a fantasy world copied from the French royalty of the 18th century. His residence, an enormous three-story penthouse that has …

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.  …

Not Everybody Is an Expert on Policing

Too Many Uninformed Voices Are Drowning Out a Clear Solution on Police Reform

Nowadays, everybody—agenda-driven politicians, entertainment moguls, and many citizens on the streets—is considered an expert on what needs to be done to improve policing. We listen as people offer the media …

My Favorite Park Is the Eccentric Heartbeat of New York

No Matter the Weather, Washington Square Is Always Warm and Full of People

When I was younger, growing up in Silverlake, I always wanted to move to New York City. It’s not that I didn’t love Los Angeles, but I was eager for …