Doughboy Sculpture Visit in N.C.

I visited my first sculpture by E.M. Viquesney, The Spirit of the American Doughboy, 647 miles from our house. I was not disappointed to finally see in person a sculpture I’d only read about. This is the World War I sculpture that was mass-produced and today stands in nearly 150 locations across the United States. The one I got to see is in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was in town for a family wedding, so Continue Reading →

The 500 Confederates Buried in Brooklyn and the Bronx

I have paid my respects to the Confederate soldiers buried in Brooklyn. Oh, you didn’t know that more than 500 war dead who served in the Confederate States of America are interred there? There are more Confederate graves in New York City than any other place in the Northeast? I’ve been waiting to talk to a couple of reporters for two days, since I wrote a book about city war memorials, and give tours of Continue Reading →

The Statue of Liberty and WWI

On Independence Day I’ll be climbing the 215 steps up to the pedestal of the Statue of the Liberty. I’m making five trips in five consecutive days, down from four trips last week. As a licensed tour guide, I’m among the lucky few who get to visit the most famous landmark in the country for my “job” so often. Taking visitors to Liberty Island and Ellis Island is an incredible privilege. When I began leading Continue Reading →

Centennial of General Pershing on Governors Island

One hundred years ago on Sunday, General John J. Pershing woke up in Times Square. He was in bed in the Astor Hotel, which once was on the corner of Broadway and W. 44th Street. I do not know how he got from Forty-second Street to the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street, but I like to think that instead of a car he and his group took the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) Continue Reading →

Celina De Dio and Her Dog and Pony Show

Kensico Vaudeville Project #14 Name: Celina De Dio Act: Animal Trainer Born: About 1872, Germany Died: 12 November 1935, Wards Island, Manhattan A dog and pony show is such a common colloquial term today. But this was the act of German-born performer Celina De Dio. After a short career in London variety halls as a dancer, De Dio became an animal trainer. She was always on the bottom tier of vaudeville. For ten years she Continue Reading →

A Life Lost Too Soon, Comedian Richy Craig, Jr.

Kensico Vaudeville Project #11 Name: Richy W. Craig, Jr. Act: Comedian, Dancer, Singer Born: November 17, 1902, Manhattan Died: November 28, 1933, Manhattan What could be worse for a performer: suffering through tuberculosis for seven years, or watching Milton Berle steal your act? To Richy W. Craig, Jr., both happened. When he was buried in the NVA burial ground he was only thirty-one years old. The New York Post called Craig “a vaudevillian of dry Continue Reading →

Kensico Vaudeville Project Updates

The Kensico Vaudeville Project was launched in 2015. After a break it will return with updates in 2017-2018. This project is to document the vaudeville performers who are interred in the National Vaudeville Association burial grounds in Kensico Cemetery in Westchester County. These are individuals who have biographies written so far. More will be added to this list. Kensico Vaudeville Project Updates: Nettie Kelley Adams – Singer Charles Ahearn – Cyclist Anna Bylund Anderson – Continue Reading →

Return of the Babe Ruth Slept Here Tours

I am going to be offering my Upper West Side walking tour weekly in July and August. If you love the Jazz Age celebrities, this is the walk for you. I am having it on Wednesdays at 12:00 Noon: July 6, July 13, July 20, July 20, August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24, and August 31. Come along on a walking tour of the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights with a focus Continue Reading →

Veterans Day Walking Tour at Cypress Hills National Cemetery

Veterans Day is on Wednesday, Nov. 11, but I am holding a walking tour on Sunday, Nov. 8, Noon, to honor the holiday. Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills National Cemetery is the only National Cemetery in New York City. I started going there in 2010 when I was researching my Governors Island book. In 1886, the U.S. Army closed the post cemetery that served Fort Columbus (today Fort Jay), and moved all of the graves to Cypress Continue Reading →

Jazz Age Lawn Party

It was the 10th anniversary of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, and I don’t see how it could get any more perfect. Once more, Michael Arenella has pulled off another fantastic weekend on Governors Island. The Brooklyn bandleader and his team produced a fantastic event that had a wonderful turnout. The weather cooperated and it was a warm and sunny weekend for live jazz, shows, cocktails, and special events. Read more at my Governors Island Explorer’s Guide.