Showing posts from May, 2014
Social Schemes & Dark Deeds Attributed to Morris-Jumel Mansion
The story reads like a plot line from a TV soap opera like ALL MY CHILDREN or DYNASTY but it was true to life. By virtue of a deathbed wedding ceremony, the daughter of a prostitute became the richest woman in America.  Her name wasn't Erica Kane or Alexis Carrington, but Eliza Bowen Jumel and she lived at 160th Street and Edgecombe Avenue where Harlem meets Washington Heights.

The lady of the house is long gone, but the Morris-Jumel Mansion in which the brilliant and beautiful Madame Jumel pursued her social climbing agenda is still there, the oldest remaining Colonial-era house remaining in New York City located near the C train stop.

 British Colonel Roger Morris and his American bride Mary (Polly) Phillipse (Phillipsburg Manor), daughter of the Squire of Yonkers (owner of most of current Westchester County) and their 4 children lived with servants in a grand home in New-York (still hyphenated) at Stone & Wh…
Mark Simone NYC radio host inflicts his Friars' pal Lionel on his radio audience
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is listening to Mark Simone in the mornings (if I'm not working) on WOR-710am from 10am to 12 noon. When Simone is talking with his silver-toned voice everything is wonderful.  He's up on the news and the stories behind the news and has a really incisive view on issues of the day and he's fun to listen to. But more often than not, Simone "farms out" big pieces of his show to windbag friends like "Lionel."

The trouble?  Mark Simone is also a big shot at the Friars' Club on East 55th Street in Manhattan and every comedian in the country is always trying to get "air time" on Simone's morning call-in show. Now sometimes he has a Joy Behar or a Regis Philbin or another huge name so that's fine. They're famous because they are funny and usually have something interesting to say or comment.

But more often than not h…
TITANIC Home Office still Located at Nine Broadway
On my specialized New York City sightseeing tours I show TITANIC locations when requested...locations that had something to do with the passengers and crew of the ill-fated ship which never docked at the end of 19th Street as expected in April 1912. The ship is still the stuff of legend, fantasy and film.

The owners of TITANIC, The White Star Line, had luxurious office at Nine Broadway near CUNARD LINE and other shipping lines of the day. There's a famous picture of people banging on the door to get answers when TITANIC didn't arrive on schedule. "Where's my wife?" people shouted. "Where's Uncle Joe & Aunt Mary?" "Where's my cargo of valuable art?" etc. etc. White Star Line finally bolted the doors because they just didn't have definite answers until survivors arrived on Carpathia to tell what happened.

Today the elegant old White Star Line office is still there, transformed in…