Childrens' Books

The New York City Municipal Archives preserves more than 225,000 cubic feet of original records, mostly paper. Some is bound into books. I thought I knew a lot about books, especially books about children’s experiences, having worked in children’s publishing for many years. Recent visits to the Archive led me to three books about children unlike anything I’ve ever seen...

Contributions and Controversies: The Complex History of Mayor Koch and the LGBT Community

June is National Pride month when LGBT communities around the country celebrate the night that effectively kicked off the modern gay civil rights movement. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, gay and lesbian patrons of the popular Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street decided they had enough of the constant...

The Dutch & the English Part 5: The Return of the Dutch and What Became of the Wall

The popular narrative of New Amsterdam often concludes this way: In 1664, the English arrived and forever after it was New York. The English won, the Dutch lost, end of story. But once again, the history is more complicated...

The Dutch & the English Part 4: Invasion?

In late August 1664 the Burgomasters & Schepens (mayors and aldermen) of New Amsterdam were faced with “four King’s frigates from England, sent hither by his Majesty and his brother, the Duke of York, with commission to reduce not only this place, but also the whole N. Netherland under his Majesty’s authority…”

Dispatches from the Urban Heartland, Part 1: Welcome

A bit of an introduction. I was born in 1964 and live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I walk the same streets my family did when they lived here decades ago. Having moved here in 1997, I’ve now been walking in the footsteps of my elders for twenty years...