Monday, August 25, 2008

Table Of Contents : Mimi Speaks Blog

There are many people who love to read blogs, but just don't have the time to waste, or are in the mood to go through it's entire contents trying to find something that may be of interest to them. Usually when people approach a blog, they like to go quickly from one thing to the next. As for actually reading the text, there is little evidence of that unless the subject matter should catch their eye, then it becomes worthwhile.

Since my blog was started in 2007, there have been postings of 201 tid-bits of information, which talk about history, life situations, goals and success. So my dear reader, for your benefit, I am making every attempt to improve the navigation to this treasure trove of information as quickly as possible. For this purpose I have created a table of contents divided by categories, for easy accessing. However if there is something that may catch your eye, I suggest you find yourself a comfortable chair, and while you're at it, grab a steaming hot cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese and you'll be all set to settle down for a while. So happy reading.


(A. ) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) East Harlem
(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State

Table of Contents (3)
(G.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

Table of Contents (4)
(H.) Jewish Knowledge (I) Self-Improvement (J) Historical Facts On England & United States

Table of Contents (5)
(K) Miscellaneous (L) Timetables (M) Ethnic Groups (N) Legal Talk
(O) Entertainment: Backward Glances (P) Immigration

Table of Contents (6)
(Q) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.
(R) Worship

Table of Contents (7)
(S) A Little Taste of History



Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (21)

Topic: The Third Avenue El (Manhattan, New York)

The elevated train is described from a passenger's point of view in the following manner:" the fleeting intimacy you formed with people in second-and third-floor interiors, while all the usual street life went on underneath, had a domestic intensity mixed with a perfect repose that was the last effect of good society with all its security and exclusiveness. He said it was better than the theater, of which reminded him, to see those people through their windows: a family party of workfolk at a late tea, some of the men in their short-sleeves; a woman sewing by a lamp; a mother laying her child in it's cradle; a man with his head fallen on his hands upon a table; a girl and her lover leaning over the windowsill together. What suggestion! What drama! What infinite interest! "

As for rapid transit New York City built the first elevated railway in 1867, but it wasn't until the early 1880's that it was called "the elevated" and not until the late 80's that it was called the "El". From the 1920s on, the Third avenue El and the Sixth avenue El were familiar names heard throughout Manhattan, typifying the big city's hustle, bustle, dirt, and noise .

RAPID TRANSIT WAS A NECESSITY in the expanding city. The populace of New York were in a great hullabaloo for more speedy and convenient means of getting to and from work than the horse cars, omnibuses, street cars and stages afforded. So on July 3, 1868, the first elevated railroad train sped along at fifteen m.p.h. from New York's Battery up Greenwich Street to Cortlandt. Within a few years two elevated lines were under construction on either side of the city. On the flip side, the presence of the El generated some negative reactions from the public and horse-car drivers. Citizens complained about how close the el was almost touching the buildings , the thunderous sounds from the train of cars whizzing by, the horrible shriek and squeak of metal on metal, sparks falling upon the pedestrians and igniting store awnings, scaring and causing the horses to buck and madly run away crashing their vehicles against the columns of the El and most of all the lack of privacy and exposure to the dirt floating into their windows for those who lived in the upper tenement floors, as well as darkening the streets and lower apartments of the dwellings.

The Third Avenue Line, or Third Avenue El, was an elevated railway in Manhattan, and the Bronx, New York City. It passed into the ownership of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and eventually the New York City Subway.The El in Manhattan came down in the early 1950s and Third Avenue became a business center with highrise office and residential buildings.

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A Little Taste Of History (31)

Topic: Wealthy Businessmen of NYC #2

William Bayard Cutting (1850-1912)

William Bayard Cutting also sat on the Board of Directors of many other companies, most notably the American Exchange Bank, the U.S. Trust Company and of course, the New York & Brooklyn Ferry Company, once founded by his grandfather William Cutting and Robert Fulton. William Bayard Cutting was a successful real estate developer at South Brooklyn, where he dug the Ambrose channel and opened Brooklyn Harbor to deep sea shipping. He also developed slum areas on the East River into decent housing tenements for underprivileged families. With his brother Robert Fulton Cutting, he started the sugar beet industry in 1888, later bringing it under the umbrella of the Havemeyers' American Sugar Refining Company. In 1887, William Bayard Cutting hired architect Frederick Law Olmstead to landscape "Westbrook", a 1'000 acre river estate, with its later famous Bayard Cutting Arboretum. William Bayard Cutting supported numerous philanthropies, including the Children's Aid Society, the Zoological Society, the Metropolitan Museum and the New York Public Library. He was a trustee of Columbia University and a backer of the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Robert Goelet III (1841-1899)

The Goelets came into possession of more than 250 houses in the heart of New York's commercial district. Unlike their forebears, these Goelets lived the more generous lifestyle of the Gilded Age, owning a large mansion in the City, as well as Southside, a summer residence in fashionable Newport R.I. He was a director of the Chemical Bank, the Metropolitan Opera House

James Lenox 1800-1880

James Lenox distinguished himself as a bibliophile and philanthropist, contributing heavily to charities, such as the Presbyterian Hospital and Princeton. He endowed the Lenox Library, which was a cornerstone of the vast New York Public Library, once it was incorporated into the latter in 1895. When James Lenox died childless in 1880, he was still one of the richest men in New York, despite his attitude of giving away and never reinvesting the proceeds of his wealth.

Pierre Lorillard (1833-1901)

Pierre Lorillard was the fourth generation heir to the great tobacco dynast, which was started by a French Huguenot immigrant of the same name, when he set up America's first tobacco manufactory in 1760 at nr 4 Chatham Street New York. Pierre Lorillard also played a role in New York and Newport Society, as a promoter of the Newport Yacht Club and as a real estate promoter. Pierre Lorillard set up Tuxedo Park, a summer resort for the very rich, on a 7'000 acre property he owned in Ramapo Hills, New York to be sold to selected members of New York's Four Hundred.

Anson Phelps (1781-1853)

After the war of 1812, Anson Phelps moved to New York, where he associated himself to fellow Connecticut trader Elisha Peck, to form Phelps & Peck. The firm prospered and became New York's largest metal importer, with Phelps selling the metals in New York and buying cotton in the South which he exported to England. Like other merchant capitalists, Anson Phelps had many other interests, including railroads, notably the New York & Erie, and banking. He owned a controlling interest in the Bank of Dover New Jersey, which was managed by his friend Thomas B. Segur. When he died in 1853, he left an estate exceeding $ 2 million, of which half was real estate in New York City and Ansonia.

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A Little Taste Of History (30)

Topic: New York City's Theatres Pre: 1911 #3

The Casino

The Casino, at the southeast corner of Thirty-ninth Street, was opened October 21, 1882, with "The Queen's Lace Hankerchief." The building is in the Moorish style, and has been, more than any other theatre in New York, the home of comic opera. Among its greatest successes were Erminie and Florodora, the latter of which seems to have been unfortunate for many of its participants, as several murders and numerous scandals in which Florodora girls were concerned filled the columns of the daily papers and set the town by the ears for some time during and after the run of the play.

The Rialto Section

A quarter of a century ago, the south side of Union Square was the lounging place of many actors seeking employment at the theatrical offices in that neighborhood; and the section was called the "Rialto". With the upward trend of the theatres and theatrical offices, the "Rialto" has moved to this section of Broadway; and in the "off" season, the sidewalks are crowded with actors and actresses seeking engagements.

The Metropolitan Opera House

Between Thirty-ninth and Fortieth streets on the west side, taking up the entire block to Seventh Avenue, is the Metropolitan Opera House, which opened October 22, 1883, with Henry E. Abbey as manager. The house has been devoted almost exclusively to grand opera, as it is too great in size to be an ordinary theatre. It has also been the scene of many great gatherings on patriotic occasions, of many public balls, and of concerts, as well as of several fairs. The history of the operas produced and of the great artists and singers who have appeared here would fill a book larger than this. Its interior was destroyed by fire in September, 1892, but was rebuilt in the following year.

The Empire Theatre

Opposite to it on the south side of Fortieth Street is the Empire Theatre, whose entrance is from Broadway. It was opened January 25, 1893, under the management of Charles Frohman, and has been famous, not only for its early stock company, but as the New York home of such actors as John Drew, Maude Adams, and similar stars.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (28)

Topic: The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression

Words such as Panics, Depressions and Economic Crisis were commonly used to describe periods of financial upheavals, occurring at regular intervals, whose practices would have a devastating effect upon the entire nation as a whole. While some were short-lived , those of long term were more complex. The Panic of 1929 and the ensuing depression were the most terrible the nation had ever suffered. Most of these panics would begin in New York City at the Stock Exchange and soon spread across the entire nation, leading to the closing of banks, businesses, mortgage forfeitures and not to mention mass unemployment as well. After the worst of the crisis was over, it would be back to business as usual, resuming its former prosperity and growth until a new economic crisis would eventually occur.

The Roaring Twenties was a unique dramatic era in all of its aspect. " America was enjoying an era of great prosperity." Economic expansion created booming business profits which in turn raised the standard of living for most Americans.

By 1928 everyone was singing praises to the glory days of America. It was a time when American businessmen and economists were feeling overly confident that the erratic fluctuations in the business cycle were finally under control. They were not even curious about the terrible sense of foreboding of some impending doom that was looming over the nation like a black cloud. Little did they know at the time that this would be a rude awakening for the "American Dream' of many, which they undoubtedly would be caught unprepared.. During October 24-28, 1929, the stock market crashed plunging the nation into one of the worst and longest depressions ever seen in its entire financial history lasting from the end of 1929 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Millions of shares changed hands and billions of dollars in value were lost.

"Brother Can You Spare A Dime" is an essay which I wrote reflecting on the Years leading up to and including the Great Depression.

To Read the essay click here.

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