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 →

World War I Book Published and I Wear a Doughboy Uniform

The last week has been a whirlwind ever since my new book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War was published by Globe Pequot. I was on the edge for weeks because the book was delayed, and I was worried it would miss the centennial on April 6. To say it was close was an understatement. April 4 I finally got a chance to see the Continue Reading →

NYC Now Knows Who Co-Founded The New Yorker

It is Women’s History Month. Who celebrates Jane Grant as the co-founder of The New Yorker? Was it, perhaps, The New Yorker? Or newyorker.com? Or another Condé Nast publication, such as Vanity Fair or Vogue? You’d be wrong in every case, just like you’d be wrong to choose The New York Times, where Grant was the first female reporter in the city room, before World War I. The one (and only one) place that recognizes Continue Reading →

WWI Centennial Countdown Begins with Private C. LeRoy Baldridge Art

In thirty days is the centennial of American entry in World War I on April 6. To mark the occasion, beginning today I am going to post a daily countdown with a different sketch by Private C. LeRoy Baldridge. He was a sketch artist in the war and his work was widely distributed. I am going to post these images daily until April 6 on my Tumbler, Twitter, and Facebook Page. Here is a little Continue Reading →

Rubber Rats and Vintage Uniforms in the Bronx

In the basement of an American Legion hall in the Bronx I saw an Army coat from the Teddy Roosevelt administration, a shirt worn in 1918, and a display of medals that were museum-quality. There was also a rubber rat and caps galore. This could only be a flea market for World War I buffs, and it was held on Saturday, February 25. If there was one story that came out of the inaugural event 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 →

Meuse-Argonne Campaign Guest Blogger

Cypress Hills National Cemetery is a place that I’ve spent many hours visiting, researching, and giving walking tours. With the centennial of World War I coming up, I’m doing more at the landmark burial ground on the Brooklyn-Queens border. I had a lot of leftover material for my upcoming book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War. I gave some of it to a blog devoted Continue Reading →

An Acting Family’s Tragedy, Alfred Bardelang, Jr.

Kensico Vaudeville Project #13 Name: Alfred Bardelang, Jr. Act: None Born: March 1929 Died: 4 February 1934 The little boy would have been the fifth generation of his family to enter the theatrical profession. However, tragedy struck the family of Alfred Bardelang, Jr. He died at just four years and five months old. His twin brother only lived to be two and 1/2. Alfred Jr. was the progeny of two actors. His father, Alfred Sr., Continue Reading →

Governors Island WWI Memorial Project Launches

Last summer I started work on a project that is small in scope but means a lot to me. Today I submitted the final grant application information to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for what I am calling the Governors Island World War I Memorial Project. Last year when my book The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide was published I was not done with the island, which is by far my favorite park in Continue Reading →

Who’s Who on Z: The Beginning of Everything

Z: The Beginning of Everything will have ten episodes on Amazon Prime on January 27. I watched the pilot and liked it a lot, so I’ll watch the series. I just checked the IMDB listing looking for my favorite person. In August 2016 I was sitting at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, sandwiched between Dandy Dillinger (Miss Art Deco), Don Spiro (Zelda magazine publisher), and Meghan Weatherby (the Art Deco Society). A Continue Reading →