Sunday, July 22, 2007

Grand Central Station NYC

Imagine Park Avenue from 45th to 49th Street as a rail yard -- a corridor of smoke and cinders extending uptown from 49th Street. Think of breweries and factories operating where the Waldorf-Astoria, Lever House and the Seagram Building now stand. Picture to the east a district of tenements, warehouses, and slaughterhouses. In place of the United Nations and Tudor City, the squatters’ shacks of Dutch Hill, inhabited by paupers, criminal gangs, and a herd of goats. It is hard to conceive that this cityscape ever existed, let alone that it was the environment in which Grand Central Terminal took shape less than one hundred years ago.
While Grand Central Terminal stands today as one of New York City’s most famous landmarks, it was by no means the first railroad station in New York City. In fact, the current structure is neither the first to claim the name “Grand Central” or to occupy the present location at 42nd and Park. Yet, the story of Grand Central Terminal allows one to gaze back and observe much of the history of the City of New York, and to witness the growth and expansion of a vibrant metropolis reflected in an unrivaled monument of civic architecture.

Nathan's Hotdogs.

According to the offical website, Nathan's started out in 1916 as a nickel hot dog stand, founded by Nathan Handwerker on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. Handwerker borrowed $300 from his friends, Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor, to open his stand. Now a Coney Island staple (not to mention a huge franchise), hot dogs at Nathan's are what some people come to Coney Island for every year. A Nathan's hot dog in hand is an almost-mandatory boardwalk accessory. The side orders include delicious crispy, crinkle-cut fries and fresh corn on the cob. The service is friendly and quick so that nothing will come between you and your dog.
For the true weiner connoisseur, every Fourth of July is the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. In 2004, for an unprecedented fourth straight year, 145 pound Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi stuffed the competition by downing 53½ dogs in 12 minutes.
If you visit Nathan's, don't worry. No one will make you eat 53½ dogs in any amount of minutes. Unless, of course, you want to.

For more visit:

The Cyclone!

In the period since it first opened on June 26, 1927, the Cyclone has emerged as the outdoor amusement industry's most famous, most influential, and most copied individual ride.
Brothers Jack and Irving Rosenthal commissioned Vernan Keenan to design, and Harry C. Baker to construct, a monumental wooden-tracked twister, which was forced to be exceptionally tight and steep because of the small ground space that was available to them. Construction then began on a site historically significant in the world of roller coasters -- the Cyclone occupies the space, which contained the world's very first roller coaster, LaMarcus A. Thompson's Switchback Railway, as well as the world's first successful looping roller coaster, Loop The Loop. With power supplied by the Eisenberg Brothers of Brooklyn, signs from Menheimer and Weiss of New York City, steel from the National Bridge Company, also of New York City, and lumber from Cross, Austin & Ireland, located in Long Island City, the Cyclone quickly became Coney Island's number one attraction, a status it maintains to this day.
When the Rosenthal Brothers left Coney Island to operate their newest property, Palisade Amusement Park, they turned over the operation of the Cyclone to Chris Feuchts, who lovingly maintained and ran the ride for decades. Eventually, ownership of Cyclone was acquired by the City of New York, and it was operated by the City's Parks Department.
For more visit:

Ralph's Italian Ice Coney Island

Our grandfather, Ralph Silvestro, came to the United States from Italy as a young man. In 1928, he established his Italian Ice business, and a reputation for making the best Italian Ices in New York. Grandpa would not sacrifice quality; he insisted upon the finest ingredients.
People came from all over to "have an ice" and to take a pint home. As young men we can remember the countless times that Grandpa watched over our shoulder, and guided us through his secret recipes. Now, we would like to share with you that same family tradition... great tasting Italian Ices.

Up, Up and Away!!!!

Beth was in NYC last week vacationing with her sister. She spent time the first day at Coney Island.
This is a great picture!
Since the early 1800s, Coney Island, “playground of the world,” has played many roles in the lives and imagination of New Yorkers and the world. From its beginnings as a quiet seaside town, Coney Island went on to boom years in the 1880s, as entrepreneurs rushed to stake their claims and make their fortunes. The area enjoyed brief stability in the late 1890's and early 1900's, the heyday of Luna Park (1903-1946), Dreamland (1904-1911) and Steeplechase Park (1897-1907, 1908-1964), Coney Island’s famed amusement parks, but with the Great Depression, Coney Island transformed once again. The area became a “Nickel Empire” of cheap amusements; a nickel paid the fare on the new subway line, and visitors were greeted by the original Nathan’s Famous, home of the five-cent hot dog. The amusement parks struggled to stay afloat and Coney Island began to experience hard economic times. Nevertheless, Coney Island continued to provide an accessible and affordable opportunity for a diverse population, always looming large in the history of New York.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Keller Kids and William.

Here's Laura's children with there new cousin William.

Welcome William David Sharpe

Uncle Dave welcomes William David Sharpe into the world today at 5 PM in Guelph Ontario.

William David Sharpe is the son of my cousin Mark and his wife Ronda. Mark is 12th in the line of my 13 direct cousins. His son is my Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary's 7th grandchild I think!

Just think with a good life ahead of him William at 93 will see the year 2100!