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 construction—was opened at last. The mayor of Brooklyn, Seth Low, had declared the day a public holiday in his city; on the New York side, there was a “strong expression of sentiment” in favor of closing the Stock Exchange early. The president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, along with future president Grover Cleveland, governor of New York, made …

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 …

I’m One of the Muslims the NYPD Spied On

New York’s Anti-Terrorism Surveillance Program Not Only Wasted Money. It Also Robbed People Like Me of Our Trust in American Government.

For many years, local and federal law enforcement agencies spied on Muslims and mosques in the U.S., hoping to find bad guys before they could commit acts of terrorism. But …