Wednesday, October 26, 2011


A.) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) Italian Harlem(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State (G.) Tenement Living: Social Issues Of Urban Life (Poverty, Crime&Vice, Homelessness, Group Conflicts, Diseases, Gays&Lesbians: Gender Identity, Domestic Violence, Drug&Alcohol Abuse, Police Brutality )

(H.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

(I.) Jewish Knowledge (K.) Historical Facts On England & United States

Table of Contents (4a)

Positive Thinking and Self-Improvement

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

R.) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.(S.) Worship

(T.) A Little Taste of History, (U.) U.S. History-Transportation, (V) U.S. History-Panics, Economic Depressions, Business Matters

(W) El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: ) . This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.

(X) So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term in Office....? (The Series)

(Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events

Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events

(Z) The Italian Niche

Pensieri di uno scrittore italiano: dott. Antonio Castaldo

Thoughts of an Italian Writer: Dr. Antonio Castaldo

I) "El Rincón Borinqueña"

II) Arts and Entertainment

III Architecture

IV Education

V Wisdom: Thoughts From the Indian Masters

VI Understanding Music

VII Published Articles Written by Miriam B. Medina

Click on Icon to view articles on Ezine or on Table of Contents

VIII New York City Neighborhoods

IX Memories (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Personal)

John J. Burkard

X Red Hook, Reflections on History

MESSAGE BOARD FOR THEHISTORYBOX.COM (Feel free to express your comments or ask questions regarding: "" which will be reviewed before posting.

Thank You. ************ . Contact: or miriam@thehistorybox

Why History Is Important To Genealogy Research-A Poem

By Miriam B. Medina

For years there has been a growing interest in the field of Genealogy, which from the earliest of times has formed the basis of history. The natural inclination that prompts one to love the place of their birth, to learn the history of their origins and the descent of the family tree or their race, or the circumstances that helped form their lives, has attracted the attention of the intellectual public in a never-ending pursuit for answers. History reveals the story of man's past and his development. This poem is an expression of thanks to the many organizations and historical societies that have taken great steps in securing and preserving historical documents, a project which has been quite costly, for the benefit of future generations.
For years there has been a growing interest in the field of Genealogy, which from the earliest of times has formed the basis of history. The natural inclination that prompts one to love the place of their birth, to learn the history of their origins and the descent of the family tree or their race, or the circumstances that helped form their lives, has attracted the attention of the intellectual public in a never-ending pursuit for answers. History reveals the story of man's past and his development. This poem is an expression of thanks to the many organizations and historical societies that have taken great steps in securing and preserving historical documents, a project which has been quite costly, for the benefit of future generations.
I've been thinking of documenting the seed that has grown into the family tree
Growing up I heard bits and pieces from mama, Aunt Clare and even uncle Willie
That Papa had known some shady characters in East Harlem who were up to no good
Louie the bookie, Benny the greaser, Freddie the stiff, Joey rubber-nose and all his hoods.
Grandpa always warned papa, stay away from those evil men, whatever you do
They've already spent their life in jail, do you want to end up that way too?
Get yourself an education, be smart and make lots of honest money,
So you don't have an accent like your papa, nor have people look at you funny.
'Yes, son, life can be cruel,' my grandpa would always say, 'yet I know you will survive,
If you always embrace the memories of my teachings, they will become your drive.'
As I traced my family tree, I turned and looked at the fine man my son had become,
I bowed my head and thought, thank you grandpa and papa for all that you have done.
Enough of this sentimentality, enough of these tears and this lump stuck in my throat,
Genealogy commands my curiosity; time to get my paper and write down the notes.
Now let's Google genealogy, but why does this one history website keep coming up?
Must I learn about New York City's history, to fill my history cup?
I'm not sure if I like this, will it be time that's worthwhile spent?
So many web links and articles, I don't think I'd be that diligent!
History was never my favorite subject, honestly I found it boring too,
I learned that Christopher Columbus discovered America way back in 1492.
I admit I'm tempted to look, but I'm not sure it's really worth the stay,
I'd rather go to the mall or do my nails, than waste this time away.
Born in East Harlem, with interesting things in our family too, I'll give this site a try
I'll get a cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, and before I know it, time will fly...
Oh well, here we go, now let's see, where is it that I should start?
I remember Papa said he was born in Italian Harlem, somewhere down by Jefferson Park.
I'll look at the New York City Main Directory, maybe there is something there for me,
I see Immigration, Harlem, Tenement living- here it is, help finding your family tree.
As I explored, armed with the knowledge I was gaining, I felt more and more at ease,
I felt sad for those immigrant families, living amidst the crime, filth and disease.
New Yorkers fought in riots, arguing their religious protests and political views.
Broken heads and lifeless bodies found their way into the papers and the news.
"The Sins of New York," What a fantastic title. A tabloid, this I have to read.
Female Abortionist... Merry Yule-time Murder? The 1840's weren't good years indeed.
There was always a financial crisis, some kind of panic, and that crash of 1929.
So many wealthy people lost their fortunes joining the masses in unemployment lines.
My gosh, here's East Harlem, the Feast of Mt. Carmel, gangs of New York and more.....
They're all here by papa's old neighborhood; no wonder his stories were never a bore.
La Marqueta, the Boys Club, the Puerto Ricans and the Italians, always in a turf war.
Spaghetti and meatballs and Spanish cooking, delicious aromas mingling in the corridors,
Latin music blaring, mothers screaming 'Not domestic violence again on the 3rd floor!'
Old Irish men on porches singing, yards filled with rats and garbage galore,
The Feast of Mt. Carmel, down on First Avenue, attended by 50,000 people or more,
They're all in Miriam's memoir of the old neighborhood, to be read by the visitor.
Papa was playing stick-ball while grandpa would drink and play cards with his friends.
Compatriots reminisced about times in the old country, only survivors could comprehend.
Immigrants struggling to assimilate to the new world, desperately clinging to the old,
Finding themselves in complete isolation, seeking countrymen to bare their souls,
I never knew New York City had such rich history, in the suburbs one does not see,
Those days are long forgotten, but I'm grateful to genealogy for bringing them to me.
Because for all the days and years gone by, here forever the past will live on
All the things people did throughout history, are saved as live forever marches on.
Genealogy and History in all of its manifestations are Miriam B. Medina's passions. She loves nothing more than sharing what she has learned with everyone. Her memoir reflects her genealogy and explores some historical background from her old neighborhood, East Harlem, New York. For a vividly detailed personal memoir of her childhood life growing up in the vivacious, storied neighborhood of East Harlem, read this detailed description of her family's daily lives at
To contact:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Time Again!!!

By Miriam B. Medina

Halloween is a wonderful time of year, it really is. You can prank people and get away with it. You can demand candy from strangers and make trick them if they don't pay up. You can wear fake blood and gore. Any day you can wear fake blood and gore or pretend to be a ghost or a goblin is a good day. Of course, it's always best to play it safe when Trick or Treating, especially when little ones are concerned.

1. Wear bright or reflective clothing when plundering for candy: Of course, the beauty of Halloween is that you can dress up on the macabre side of things. There's nothing quite like dressing up like a mutant ninja in all black or a zombie with some random brains falling off your skull cap, but drivers of cars and other ghouls of the night need to be able to see you and your party in the dark for safety's sake. To that end, everyone in the party should wear something bright or reflective on their person. Nothing ruins a good time like a fender bender.

2. Check candy, all of it: That's right, gone are the days wherein it was safe to eat home made cookies and popcorn balls. Too many crazy fruit loops have ruined the big cereal bowl for us all. The odds of finding a razor in a Kit Kat bar are slim, but is that a lottery you really want to take a chance on wining? Of course not. Carefully check all of the loot before you let the kids reap the rewards of their booty. We want fake blood on Halloween, not real blood.

3. Trick or Treat in groups on the day or days that your community chooses: It's more than a little sad that most communities don't actually celebrate Halloween on October 31st by Trick or Treating on that day any more, but it's a fact of modern life. Many communities choose a day that they can best protect the public and they make plenty of announcements to let people know what day you are supposed to Trick or Treat on. It is best to heed these rules. There are also plenty of local organized parties to choose from, and if you do Trick or Treat, the larger your party, the better.

Of course, it's always best to use common sense, but especially when it comes to parading little ghouls and goblins through the streets in public in today's modern world. Gone are the days that you could egg the neighbor's house in sheer maniacal joy as a simple Halloween prank and get away with it. The judge won't buy your argument that you're a kid at heart.

Anyway, enjoy your Halloween, remember, it's a very unique holiday. Don't be scared, have fun, and beware the REAL spirits that roam the night on All Hallow's Eve!

To contact:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Cats Can Steal Your Heart, Even WHEN They Destroy Your Home...

By Miriam B. Medina

Cats can drive you nuts, love them or not. I mean, who can't love a kitten? They're furry. They're cute. They're adorable little balls of fluff that play with twine and look oh so innocent and precious as they purr while they sleep. Then they get bigger. Then they become full grown cats.

Then they grow up and dissect your stack of bills on your desk before you have a chance to pay them or even look at them. All because you ignored them when you walked through the door or slighted them for your pet dog.

You simply rub your cat the wrong way and you can spend hours trying to piece your life, your home, and even body parts back together.

“Let's see, was that $75 to the electric company and $4459 for cable or what? That can't be right, but I can't tell, because my desk top looks like a jig saw puzzle. The cat went nuts, destroyed all my paperwork, turned my slippers into a claw sharpener, and even knocked Grandpa's ashes off of the hearth.... Sheesh, I remember when he was just a cute little kitten that curled up in the palm of my hand!”

The next thing you know your cable is paid for 3 years and you have free bonus movies on pay per view but you can't watch them because the power has been cut off.


Cats are the teenagers of pets. They're moody, sometimes hard to understand, and they can cause a whole lot of trouble if they go unsupervised or don't get enough attention for too long a period of time, but talk to a cat person, a TRUE cat lover, and you'll see that many people love cats for the very same free spirit that leads you to a closet full of slippers that are chewed and sliced to ribbons. Just like teenagers, they can be lovable and entertaining too.

See, cats are very unique. They're very independent and full of personality. That's exactly why they're so entertaining and why they can make such great pets, if they get the attention and care that they deserve. The thing is, cats want attention on their own time frame, when and where they want it. Give them attention at the wrong time, and mark my words, you'll pay.

That's the trick to enjoying cats as pets. You have to learn and understand them for the unique individuals that they are. One cat might spend hours chasing the ball of yarn, making you laugh, while another may simply, yawn, lick it's paw, turn its tail up in the air and strut away from you. The fun part is spending the time with them to figure them out, to enjoy their company and to let them grow.

Then, before you know it, your cat will curl up in your lap night after night, nice and peaceful, because you've grown to accept and understand each other. Just like a teenager or a child, they're a member of your family, one that needs love and understanding. They just also happen to be fun to play with, even if they get carried away and become a furry paper shredder that shreds things that you want to remain intact.

But then, that's the beauty of cats, and pets in general, you never know what you're getting, because they're all different in their own wonderful way!

Miriam B. Medina is an expert author at Diamond Level at Read another article on cats at:

To contact:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Slaves to Time

By Miriam B. Medina

The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, "an instrument for measuring and indicating time; especially, a sizable mechanism having pointers that move over a dial marked off in hours."

The clock is a guide for just about anything we do. Repeatedly, during the day, we look at the clock. We watch it. We are governed by it. Be here then. Do such and such at this time. We are always hurrying. We hurry to eat breakfast. We hurry to drop the kids off at the bus stop or at school. We hurry to go to work, so we can hurry to our coffee break. We hurry back from the break, all the while glancing at the clock, counting the minutes until lunch time. We hurry to lunch, watching the clock as ever, to make sure that we can hurry back to work on time. Then as we are working, we are continually glancing at the clock, making sure we hurry up to accomplish what we are doing, so we can hurry home. Finally, rush out, walking hurriedly toward the stairs or elevator to take us out of the building. Everyone walks hurriedly past each other, without talking, not paying attention to one another, attempting to be the first one to get in their car. Suddenly, like a swarm of bees, cars, trucks, and buses from here, there, everywhere, all at the same time, hurrying to merge onto the main roads that will take them to wherever they are hurrying to go. All speeding, only to slow down to a snail's pace as they integrate into the "RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC JAM," the traveler's worst nightmare, bringing all the Hurry-Scurry to a sudden s-c-r-e-e-c-h-i-n-g stop.

Whew! That was close.

Therefore, the question is asked: "why does this always happen?

Because...Everyone who left their job and departed in a hurry were hurrying simultaneously to get to wherever they were in a hurry to go. Yikes! Oh dear, maybe I should have picked an easier topic to tackle. With all this hurrying and clock watching, I'm starting to feel anxious. I think I'll need a blood pressure pill to calm down. Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Goes the carousal of the Clock.

Frequently we will hear someone say "I'm so stressed out....there, are not enough hours in the day to do all the things which I have to do." My dear friend, first I'll just say that I am sorry that your life is so frustrating... However, I think it extremely uncomfortable to accept the fact that I am also guilty of this, because it sounds exactly like my life. Since, I have always been a multi-tasking person; I do many things at once. Even when I was a young mom with two children, I frequently lamented: I have a full-time job; I have to take the kids to soccer and baseball practice; I have to attend parent-teacher conferences; I have to watch their homework assignments to make sure they are correct, and so on and so forth. Whereas, I am now matured, but still with an almost unlimited amount of laments related to time. Between the hours that I spend at work, including commuting to and from work, and activities such as writing, researching, translating, and administrating an informative website and blog, I have no time, as the expression goes, "to smell the coffee." Even when I am tired, my mind will just not stop working. I envy those individuals who live disciplined lives, those who are able to go to bed at the same time every night. I tend to crowd in, with one eye on that final draft that I have to do. The stress and the daily grind of activities keep eating at me constantly, but I can not resist a challenge. Tackling a lesser amount of work sounds fantastic, but then I ask myself, how does this relate to what is existent in the world today? The impression of having two feet in one shoe is normal for me when I get up. Totally confused and drained of energy, I see nothing done on my days off. Because of my personal experience, I think I can qualify as an expert in this subject. According to my understanding of space, I have created my crazy time schedule, juggling things around in order to cram in as much as I can. So then, who do, I blame?

There is no one to blame but myself.

I am guilty of allowing my schedule to dictate how I spend my days and nights. So will complaining to an unwilling listener infuse a sympathetic reply? As a New Yorker would say: "Fugheddaboudit!" Then why am I wasting my time here?

So if, we do not like the frenetic life we live, then we need to make changes in the agenda and push ourselves to relax a little. I find the most effective forms of relaxation that work for me are walking, writing, soaking in a hot tub, and listening to calming music, such as sounds of nature, with delicate musical instruments in the background. However, the most important way to relax of all is to get plenty of good sleep. There is nothing better for overall relaxation than a decent night's sleep. Is this possible? If we go to bed all tensed up, worried about what has to be done the next day, we will generate disturbed sleep, which will not only make us wake up aggravated and surly, but may also increase our blood pressure. So then we are defeating the purpose. I am fully aware that with all this hurry-scurry, I am perpetually building up vital health issues. Most diseases are caused by a direct result of stress. When we are anxious, we work at a significantly reduced size of efficiency. Through relaxation, we can learn to conserve our energy. Tension in itself is not harmful to us; however, the constant stress that we subject our body to is what is dangerous.

Oh no, speaking of time, is it that time already? Now I know I'm going to be late. Sorry, I have to run. See ya!

To contact: