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...

Doomed Guests: Faisal II, The “Boy King” Of Iraq

The City of New York has hosted hundreds of distinguished individuals and groups, from heads of state to accomplished athletes. The art of a New York City reception was the brainchild of public relations guru Grover A. Whalen...

The Dutch & the English, Part 3: Construction of the Wall (1653-1663)

Soon after the colony of New Amsterdam was established, work began on Fort Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, completed sometime around 1625. Over time, this earth and sod fort was hardened with stone...

The Dutch & the English, Part 2: A Wall by Any Other Name

In 1653, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam built a fortification along the northern edge of the town, running from the Hudson River (today's Greenwich Street) to the East River (then lapping at Pearl Street). Eventually the English captured the city, and named the street that ran along that old fortification Wall Street. But what did the Dutch call it?