This is the story of the USS Turner (vessel designation DD-648), a World War II-era United States Navy destroyer. The Turner was nearly 350 feet long, weighed about 1600 tons, and she was armed with torpedoes, depth charges, and a plethora of guns. The Turner was a newly launched warship when it entered WWII in June 1943. Less than a year later, her flaming hulk would sink to the bottom of New York Harbor. How the ship came to meet such a fate in a place far removed from enemy fire remains a point of debate among many.
Most people outside New York City know that Madison Square Garden is the name of the city’s premier indoor sports facility. However, most don’t know that the Madison Square Garden of today is neither the original venue nor is it in the location of the original. Amazingly, the current Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth structure to bear the iconic name of the most storied sports and entertainment facility ever to exist here in my native New York City. Continue reading
Here’s another New York City “Fact-O-Gram”: There is a single block within Midtown Manhattan that, at different points in time, has held a park, a reservoir, an exhibition hall, and a library. It has changed as New York City has changed, with each new element within its borders forming a unique and important facet of the lives of the city’s residents. This is a story of change and rebirth within the heart of New York City. This is the story of Bryant Park. Continue reading
Here’s another New York City “Fact-O-Gram”: NYC holds two international records for building destruction. The tallest completed building ever brought down through planned demolition was the city’s towering (and somewhat phallic looking) Singer Building in 1968.
Conversely, the tallest buildings ever brought down through officially unplanned demolition were the “Twin Towers” of the city’s World Trade Center due to Islamic terror attacks on September 11th, 2001.
Ramblings About Houston Street, Bad Spelling, and the Best Deli in NYC.
This might blow the minds of people outside of New York City. Here in NYC, there is a road that runs from east to west across the island of Manhattan named “Houston Street.” The wide road extends to the very edges of the island and forms a boundary for the island’s “villages”–East, Greenwich, and West–and is home to the world-famous Katz’s Delicatessen. Given its name, it comes as a surprise to most persons outside of New York City to learn the street is not named after Sam Houston, the legendary hero of Texas. In fact, it is not even pronounced as “HYOO-stən”!