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 →

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 →

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 →

Governors Island Book Nominated for Apple Award

I am happy to announce that my latest book has been nominated for an Apple Award, presented by the Guides Association of New York City. This is a big honor for me and my book, The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide: Adventure and History in New York Harbor. This is the second consecutive year I have been nominated for an Apple Award; last year I was also up for the award for The Algonquin Round Table Continue Reading →

99 Years Ago First Doughboys Died in WW1

Today is the Ninety-ninth anniversary of the first American soldiers to be killed in combat in World War I. The three became national heroes and their names were printed in newspapers coast-to-coast. Today they are remembered together on Governors Island, where three roads carry their names. On Nov. 3, 1917, German troops killed Private Merle David Hay, Corporal James B. Gresham, and Private Thomas F. Enright, all serving with Company F, 16th Infantry Regiment, First Continue Reading →

World War I History Day on Governors Island Photos

It was a big honor for me last month to be the volunteer coordinator for World War I History Day at Governors Island National Monument. I was knocked out when the National Park Service counted more than 12,000 visitors engaged with us for the day. It was such a hit that we are going to return, with a two-day schedule, on September 16-17, 2017. The first “Doughboy Day at Fort Jay” was launched to prepare Continue Reading →

Doughboy Day at Fort Jay Sept. 17

I’m the volunteer coordinator for an event that I’m really excited about. It is to bring World War I history to Governors Island. Last year, my friend David Ernst got me into the reenactor world as a participant in the Veterans Day Parade. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, and the people I met through it. I was also already on the research trips for my new book about the Continue Reading →

With the Mayor

I meant to share this photo on the blog in July, when it was taken. I was invited to attend the ribbon-cutting of The Hills, on Governors Island, on July 19. It was a fantastic event. Incredible turnout. It was also hot as blazes, in the mid-90s. I wore a t-shirt and was under-dressed. As the event was ending, folks were posing with Mayor Mike Bloomberg for selfies. It was my chance. I thrust my Continue Reading →

Book Signing on Governors Island May 28-29

I am signing copies of my new book The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide (Globe Pequot Press) on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, from 11 AM to Noon both days. The location is a national historic landmark, a city landmark: Castle Williams on Governors Island. The fort is part of the Governors Island National Monument and is run by the National Park Service. The rangers have free tours of Castle Williams. I’ll be in Continue Reading →

Book Launch Party for Governors Island Explorer’s Guide

Last night I was proud to have an intimate launch party for my new book The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide. It was held in Red Hook, Brooklyn, within sight of the Island itself. The venue was Kevin’s Red Hook, 277 Van Brunt Street. I picked the restaurant because this is who runs Little Eva’s on Governors Island Liggett Terrace, my favorite restaurant on the Island. All of my walking tours end here with cold ones Continue Reading →