Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wacky, windy and weird: 1964 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Linus the Lion-Hearted at the 1964 Macy's Parade

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade of 1963 had been a downer of a parade.

President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated a few days before but, deciding that cancelling the event would be "a disappointment to millions of children," the parade went on as planned.  Leading the parade that year was a 38-foot rubber Unisphere to promote the upcoming World's Fair. Further back in the line was young television star Michael Landon.

Flash forward to the following year -- the World's Fair out at Flushing-Meadows had celebrated a rocky first year. Landon's Bonanza was about to become the most popular show on television, a distinction it would hold throughout the mid-1960s. New York City was, generally speaking, in a cautiously more festive mood.

Not that the specter of the previous year's tragedy was far from people's minds. "Americans plan to savor the traditional cheer of Thanksgiving today in an atmosphere that contrasts with the numbing experience of last year," said the New York Times. [source]

Below: Macy's in 1964 (courtesy The Paper Collector)

For their part, Macy's was trying to whip New Yorkers back up into a holiday shopping frenzy. Among the hottest items advertised by the department store during Thanksgiving week were Hitachi record players, Consolette hair dryers and mink coats for $99.99.

The 1964 Thanksgiving Day parade (November 27) held a certain campier flair than normal, loaded with family-friendly cheerfulness slightly more heightened than normal, with a few assorted mishaps and lots of goofiness mixed in. Why? For the same reason the 1964 is among the most memorable in parade history -- television:

-- First in Color:  NBC has been broadcasting the parade since 1952.  By 1964 coverage had expanded to 90 minutes -- in 2014, it's three hours -- and now, for the first time ever, it would be broadcast in color. Several NBC shows had gone to a color broadcast previously, but Americans didn't yet have affordable color sets at home. But by 1964 sets were finally being mass produced and sold as luxury items in department stores.

There were a little over one million color televisions in American homes with the potential to tune in to a color broadcast in 1964. Ten years later, that number would rise to almost 45 million.

-- The Official Debut of Lip-Syncing:  But some lamented the attention to the television audience. At one point, the parade was held up for eight minutes while waiting for a television signal.  "Near Herald Square television took over the parade .... and some of the spontaneity went out of it."  [source]

Performances were pantomimed while songs were pumped in for the television audience. The Times notes that cameras zoomed in on "performers who were only feigning a performance." Today, of course, this is a regular feature of the parade and almost none of the performances (outside of the marching bands) feature live singing.

At right: The hosts at the 1968 parade

-- Lorne and Betty:  The hosts of NBC's 1964 broadcast were Lorne Greene -- Landon's Bonanza co-star -- and the effervescent Betty White, celebrated star of a 1950s show called Life With Elizabeth.  Greene was perhaps one of NBC's hottest actors at the time, while White was busy as a television spokeswoman. She was also a regular host of the Tournament of Roses parade.  Almost every role you've ever loved Betty White in lay far in the future for her at this time.

-- First Men In the Moon: Being a special televised event meant more promotion of film and television properties.  Among the most unusual was the space-themed float promoting the new film First Men In The Moon, a British sci-fi romp featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen.

The float did its best to simulate Harryhausen's unique creations -- 'Moon Cows', gigantic bugs who poked their heads out of craters upon a floating moonscape. Lorne Greene is reported to have said, "Wow look at those big grasshoppers!" [source]

-- The Sound of Puppets:  A few stars of the upcoming film The Sound of Music would appear in the parade. No, not Julie Andrews, bur rather the colorful marionettes of Bil Baird, featured in the 'goatherd' scene of the film.  I'm not sure how they were presented, and I assume most of the spectators were unable to see them perform.

-- The Fate of Dino the Dinosaur:  A great danger threatened the 1964 parade -- horrible winds. Fortunately no spectators were injured by the gusts, some up to 21 miles an hour.

The balloons did not emerge unscathed.  Dino the Dinosaur (not to be confused with Dino, the dog from the Flintstones) would grow to become a favorite site in the 1960s and 70s. (He's pictured at right, from the 1963 parade.)

But at the 1964 parade, a sudden gust blew the dinosaur into a lamppost at Columbus Circle, tearing a hole in its side.  Its handlers along the avenue continued to pull the beast down the street, but by the time they got to Macy's, the dinosaur was partially deflated and dragging the ground.

-- Popeye The Limp Sailor: Dino wasn't the only balloon with performance mishaps. The impressively sized Popeye balloon failed to properly inflate the night before; or as the papers note, "there was not enough spinach in the pumps, and Popeye wouldn't expand at all."

He was unceremoniously replaced in the parade by a dragon balloon that Macy's just had lying around.

Donald Duck (pictured below from 1964) had fewer troubles that year.

-- Linus the Lion-Hearted: Pictured at top, this balloon with excellent posture debuted at the 1964 parade. It was based upon a Crispy Critters breakfast cereal spokesman who had his own television show which debuted just a couple months earlier.  However, when the FCC determined in 1969 that advertising mascots could not also have children's show, Linus was abruptly cancelled. He would still make frequent appearances in the parade until 1991.

-- The Soupiest Star: New to NBC, New York City and to the parade itself was children's comedian Soupy Sales (pictured at left), whose daily show Lunch with Soupy was a local hit that year. He was probably one of the biggest hits in the parade, riding atop a rocking horse, as his trademark beaming grin was as noticeable as the floats themselves.

-- The Drunk Munster: And then there was Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, the stars of NBC's monster comedy The Munsters.

 From a prior article -- because this incident has fascinated me for years -- "[The] stars of The Munsters, appeared in the 1964 parade in their ghoulish costumes, riding along in their 'Munster Koach' car. Neither star was very amused. Gwynne was high on 'nerve medicine' and began cursing at the crowd."

According to their makeup man (pictured below, in the front seat): "I was in the Koach handling the loudspeaker and radio system that was playing the Munsters song.  Fred had brought along a bottle with him, wrapped in a paper bag, and he got fractured [drunk]. And Al was mad at him. Fred was cussin' at people. I just kept the music up so nobody could hear him." [source]

Passing the hosts Greene and White in the media box, Herman Munster fired off a rude expletive in their direction as well

Here are some video highlights from the parade, with the Munsters stars prominently featured:

"Peacock NBC presentation in RCA color" Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of NBC via Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Astor Place Cube is going away (but, really, don't panic)

The Alamo, aka the Astor Place Cube, 1978. Photographed by Manel Armegol/Flickr

Like many remaining stalwarts of the East Village, the Astor Place Cube is headed into a "rehabilitation" of sorts.

Alamo, the sculpture by Tony Rosenthal, is being removed as Astor Place goes through an extensive $16 million renovation. The blog Bedford + Bowery observed the sculpture being lifted into a flatbed truck and driven away, to return sometime next year.  The cube has been boxed up for over a month in anticipation for its temporary removal.

It's coming back! They swear! Still with the closure of so many East Village institutions, it's a startling thing to see.  When it returns, it will be surrounded by pedestrian lanes and Sawtooth Oak trees.  Like many of us, it will look around its new environment and wonder what the hell just happened.

Meanwhile the Cooper Union building -- the original, classic one -- will still be there. As will Jerry's Newsstand.  And, of course, the office building that was once the location of the Astor Place Opera House, famous for the 1849 Astor Place Riots.

So, goodbye for now, swirly cube. We'll see you in 2015.

The Alamo in 1980, photographed by Michael Sean Edwards.

The Alamo in 1988, photographed by Stu Brown.

The Alamo in 1989, photographed by firedoctor/Flickr

The Alamo sometime in the early 1990s (judging from the lack of Starbucks and K-Mart in the picture), photographed by smilerwithaknife/Flickr

The Alamo in 2009, photograph courtesy juanamarie33/Flickr

Thanks to the photographers above, and thanks to the Bedford + Bowery for being on top of this! They have a video of the removal if you want to cry cube-shaped tears.

Monday, November 24, 2014

History in the Making 11/24: Big Thanksgiving Rodents Edition

[Mickey Mouse balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.]

Mickey Mouse at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1980 (courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

The Christmas Trash Strike of 1981 My new story for A24 Films and A Most Violent Year is up -- a look at the strike by the New York sanitation department which kept New Yorkers in feet of garbage. And just in time for the holidays! [NYC 1981]

Thanks Untapped Cities!  They've named the Bowery Boys podcast one of the top ten best produced podcasts in New York City. And we're in some very good company. [Untapped Cities]

Cass Gilbert, the architect of the Woolworth Building, was born 155 years ago today.  Before the Woolworth, he designed three other beautiful structures for the city, and all of them -- including the Alexander Hamilton Custom House -- are within a short walking distance from his most famous building. [Bowery Boys]

Bright Idea: Did you know New York city had 62 lampposts that have been given official landmark status? [Off the Grid]

Killer 'Serial': The true-crime mystery podcast Serial is almost single-handedly changing the way people thing of podcast. If you're a fan of podcast, you'll find this article from the Wall Street Journal especially fascinating. [Wall Street Journal]

Save the Edison: The mission to save the Cafe Edison in the old Hotel Edison is underfoot, including weekend lunch mobs and celebrity appearances (well, fake celebrities). [Jeremiah's Vanishing New York]

Meet Me for Afternoon Tea:  Another midtown classic, the Russian Tea Room, is still going strong and still worth a visit. [Gothamist]

#bikenyc:  Where should New York put its next protected bike lanes? [Streetsblog]

And sadly DeRobertis Pasticceria & Caffe, the Italian bakery which has fed cannoli to New Yorkers since 1904, is closing its door. [Gothamist]

Friday, November 21, 2014

A very happy 50th birthday to the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge! Ten facts you may not know about the bridge's origins

[Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.]

The new span in 1964, photographed by the Wurts Brothers (MCNY)

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge -- the first land crossing between Staten Island and the rest of New York City -- officially opened for traffic fifty years ago today. It is one of America's greatest bridges and a graceful monumental presence in New York Harbor.  Below is a list of ten things you may not have known about the bridge.  In addition, I'm also including our podcast on the bridge's history via SoundCloud. (You can also download it from iTunes -- it's episode #119 -- or from here.)

1)  The Tunnel to Staten Island
People have been dreaming of spanning the Narrows for several decades before the bridge was finally constructed. In New York's subway fervor of the early 1920s, Mayor John Hylan authorized a tunnel be built to connect Staten Island to Brooklyn, ostensibly to link it to the city's expanding subway network. Due to massive cost, however, the project was cancelled. For many years, the remnants of the aborted tunnels on either side of the Narrows were referred to as "Hylan's Holes."

2)  Verrazzano-on-Hudson
Giovanni da Verrazzano, who explored the shores of the North American continent in 1524, might have lent his name to the bridge which became the George Washington Bridge, a few decades before the Narrows Bridge was completed. The suggestion was made by a Newark resident and was at least passingly considered that the New York Times ran an article about it: "WOULD NAME NEW SPAN VERRAZANO BRIDGE."  The article casts aspersions upon the notion that the explorer would ever be seriously considered enough to warrant his own bridge.

[Aerial view of Brooklyn, Staten Island and New York Harbor.]
Overlooking New York Harbor, Staten Island (and Fort Wadsworth) to the left. (MCNY)

3)  What's In A Name? Tanto!
The Florentine explorer had much symbolic value to Italian New Yorkers, and in 1960, the Italian Historical Society of America managed to convince Governor Nelson Rockefeller to apply the name to the brand new bridge about to go under construction.

Some were not pleased with what many considered mere political appeasement. "I wouldn't be surprised if the next move is to rename the Hudson River," grumbled the vice president of the Staten Island chamber of commerce. [source]  Gripes over the name continued well up to its opening and beyond.  A couple weeks before its opening, one naysayer wrote the Times to propose alternate names: "Let's call it Freedom Gate or Liberty Gate." [source]

4) Spell Check
Even then, there was some debate about the proper spelling of the explorer's last name -- Verrazzano or Verrazano. (There was even a small, if vocal, group for Verazzano.) Official construction signs did say Verrazzano, in keeping with the traditional Italian spelling. However, despite strong support for the double Z version, the shorter spelling eventually won out.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

5) The Grand Builders
Although this would be one of the final great projects overseen by Robert Moses, it's also the final project of New York's great bridge and tunnel builder Ottmar Ammann.  He died on September 22, 1965, less than a year after the bridge's opening.

Milton Brumer is sometimes overshadowed by those two great icons of city building, but the chief engineer of the Verrazano-Narrows had worked with Ammann on almost every one of his projects and was probably more involved in the day-to-day operations than his boss.  In total, there were 200 engineers employed on building the bridge, on top of the hundreds of construction workers employed to bridge the Narrows.

Verrazano Narrows Bridge, general view  from Ft. Hamilton S.E.
Courtesy Museum of City of New York

6) Curvature of the Earth
When it opened on November 21, 1962, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world, so long, in fact, that bridge engineers had to take the curvature of the planet into account in its design.  As a result the tops of the towers are slightly farther apart than the bases. Or to put it another way, if the Narrows were drained, the towers would appear to slightly lean away from each other.

7) A Big Boy, and Loud Too
The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge weighs 1,265,000 tons -- the longest suspension bridge in the world at its completion, surpassing the Golden Gate Bridge -- but was not the most welcomed neighbor to the areas of Bay Ridge and western Staten Island when ground was broken in August 1959.  Many residents railed against its necessity, the displacement of businesses, even the constant noise assault. "That bridge -- who needs it?" [source]  Once construction began, however, many business owners benefited from the influx of hundreds of workers entering the area.

Three workers were killed during the construction of the bridge, including young Gerard McKee who fell to his death in an accident which could have been prevented.  His death sparked an improvement in safety procedures at the bridge.  He's memorably commemorated by Gay Talese, who closely documented the construction of the span in his classic book The Bridge.

Fort Lafayette, 1861, from Harper's Weekly (courtesy NYPL)

8) Goodbye Fort Lafayette
In building the Brooklyn anchorage, crews swept away the remainder of old Fort Lafayette, an entrenchment built during the War of 1812.  During the Civil War, Confederates were held prisoner here, including Robert Cobb Kennedy, who attempted to burn down New York during the Great Conspiracy of 1864. During the two World Wars, it held reserve ammunition. Moses personally fought an effort to turn the fort into a night club and now had a hand in dismantling it entirely.

Not only was the fort destroyed, the entire island on which it sat was virtually erased.  In addition, areas near Fort Hamilton and Fort Wadsworth were cleared away to make way for the bridge's approaches. Perhaps to nobody's surprise, the construction company tasked with clearing away the old fort employed the son-in-law of Robert Moses.

9) First Class Reception
The U.S. government did something a little different to honor the opening of the bridge -- it issued a postage stamp featuring the bridge, to be sold on opening day.  For its 50 year anniversary this year, the Postal Service replicated the honor with an anniversary stamp.  The original stamp was for five cents.  The commemorative stamp is for $5.60 priority mail. (Times change.)

Photo NY Daily News/Leonard Detrick

10) Opening Day, First Traffic Jam
The opening of the bridge not only brought great pride to New York City, although a small number of protesters noted that the span did not have pedestrian walkways or bike paths (and it still doesn't).  Among the dignitaries as the ribbon cutting ceremony were Governor Rockefeller, the Archbishop of New York Cardinal Spellman, Robert Moses and Mayor Robert Wagner.  They were all transported over the bridge in a somber 52-limousine procession.  The press of vehicles was poorly handled for it resulted in "a traffic jam ... a half-mile beyond the point where the ribbon-cutting ceremony had been held."

The first 'regular' toll-paying person over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was a carload of young men in rented tuxedos (pictured above), "driving a pale blue Cadillac convertible with flags flapping from the fenders," who had parked behind the toll gate for an entire week to earn the special privilege."

Below: The bridge's most famous film appearance in Saturday Night Fever -- but don't watch if you haven't yet seen the entire film!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lovely photos of the horrible New York garbage strike of 1911

New York street cleaners and garbage workers (sometimes referred to as 'ashcart men') went on strike on November 8, 1911, over 2,000 men walking off their jobs in protest over staffing and work conditions.

More importantly, that April, the city relegated garbage pickup to nighttime shifts only, and cleaners often worked solo. This may have been acceptable in warmer weather, but winter was approaching. At a union rally that evening, a union representative proclaimed, "A 200-pound can was a mighty big load for one man to lift into a garbage wagon ....... [Our] men are already falling ill with pneumonia and rheumatism and ... they demanded the right to work in the sunlight and the warmer weather of the daytime."

In total, almost over 2,000 workers left their jobs in retaliation, "because they didn't like to work in the dark," said the New York Sun, derisively. [source]

By Nov. 11, garbage was heaped along street corners, and coal ash swirled into the street, creating a blackened, smelly stew along the cobblestones. The city brought in temporary workers to carry off the more egregious piles of filth away, but harangues and violence by union protesters --"mobs assaulting and stoning drivers" -- required they be protected by police.

New Yorkers had lived through such a strike before, as recently as 1907, but strikers found little public support this time around. Newspapers, little sympathetic to the strikers, highlighted the growing threat of disease and the perceived selfishness of the workers. "The right to strike of public employees, who enjoy the advantage of being listed in the civil service, is more than doubtful," said the New York Times.

During bouts between strikebreakers and police, over two dozen people were injured and one man was even killed by a falling chimney. Meanwhile, Mayor William Jay Gaynor was resolute in rejecting the cleaners demands. The efforts of the workers failed, and many went back to their jobs the next week, some heavily penalized for their participation in the strike.

Here are a few images from those foul-smelling days. These photographs are far more pleasant to look at than they must have been to shoot!

Horse-drawn garbage wagons collect trash during the four-day garbage strike.

Police protection those who broke from the strikers to clean the city streets.

The city shipped in workers from out of town to sweep the streets during the strike

Crowds form in the streets watching the garbage carts go by.  I don't know whether these are strikers or just curiosity seekers!

Boys captivated by the mounted police guarding the garbage carts.  In the second photography, a couple rowdy boys are actually chasing after a garbage cart.

Violence against a garbage cart.  This vehicle is pelted with stones at the corner of East 57th Street.

Another set of strike breakers rush by this street corner in their garbage cart.

Meanwhile, a boiler company took advantage of the strike to run this grim advertisement for their garbage burners in the New York Sun.

This photo series courtesy the Library of Congress.  Portions of this story originally ran on the 100th anniversary of this event in November 2011.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More signs of 'A Most Violent Year': New movie tie-in column

Looking over the East River at Brooklyn and Queens, 1981, where much of the film's action takes place.  (Photo courtesy GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago I posted the trailer to the new film by JC Chandor called A Most Violent Year, set in New York City in 1981.

As support for the film (which releases in late December), they've asked me to do a few columns each Monday about New York City history for the film's tie-in site about the year 1981.  The year is a turning point in the city's struggle with crime, deteriorating infrastructure and urban decay.  It's the year The Clash caused a riot in midtown, the year the New York Times first reported on a "rare cancer" killing gay men, the year Ed Koch ran both as a Democrat and a Republican.  Robbery and murder rates in the city would reach their highest peak.  But it would also be the year where things begin turning around in New York.

My first column is on a particular incident which occurred two minutes before midnight on December 31, 1980, and how that incident reflected upon the grim state of affairs in the city.  Check out the full story here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ruins of the World's Fair: The New York State Pavilion, or how Philip Johnson's futuristic architecture was almost forgotten

A little bit Jetsons, a little bit Gladiator, a little bit P.T Barnum. Photo/Marco Catini

PODCAST The ruins of the New York State Pavilion, highlight of the 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, have become a kind of unofficial Statue of Liberty of Queens, greeting people as they head to and from LaGuardia and JFK airports.  Its abandoned saucer-like observation decks and steel arena have inspired generations of New Yorkers who have grown up with this oddity on the horizon.

The Pavilion holds a great many surprises, and its best days may be yet to come.  Designed by modernist icon Philip Johnson, the Pavilion was saved from the fate of many of the venues in the World's Fair. But it's only been used sporadically over the past 50 or so years, and the fear of further deterioration is always present.

For the first part of this very special episode of the Bowery Boys, I take you through the pavilion's presence in the World's Fair, a kaleidoscopic attraction that extolled the greatness of the state of New York.  In its first year, however, a battle over controversial artwork was waged, pitting Robert Moses and Nelson Rockefeller against the hottest artist of the day -- Andy Warhol. Other controversies at the Fair threatened to derail the message behind its slogan 'Peace Through Understanding'.

In the show's second half, I head out to record at the Queens Theater -- the only part of the New York State Pavilion that's been rehabilitated -- to explore the venue's 'lonely years' with filmmaker Matthew Silva, a co-founder of People For The Pavilion, an organization that's successfully bringing attention to this weird little treasure.  Matthew gives us the scoop of the pavilion's later years, culled from some of his interviews in the film Modern Ruin: A World's Fair Pavilion.

This is crucial time in the history of this spectacular relic. With public attention at an all time high, we may now be at the right time to re-purpose the Pavilion into a new destination for New Yorkers. What do you think should be done with the New York State Pavilion?

An airplane passes over the park, its shadow captured inside the Pavilion. (Photo by George Garrigues)

To get this week's episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services, subscribe to our RSS feed or get it straight from our satellite site.

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio and Player FM from your mobile devices.

Or listen to it straight from here:
The Bowery Boys #173: Ruins of the World's Fair

And we would like to thank our sponsors:

-- Audible, the premier provider of digital audiobooks. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at Over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player Audible titles play on iPhone, Kindle, Android and more than 500 devices for listening anytime, anywhere.

Here's the trailer to Matthew's film Modern Ruin: A World's Fair Pavilion:

Modern Ruin: A World's Fair Pavilion - Promo I from Matthew Silva on Vimeo.

Thank you Matthew for helping out with the show this week!  He's finishing his film.  If you would like to help out, go over to the Modern Ruin GoFundMe page and donate.  You just be helping out the film, but the Pavilion itself.  The film will probably be the first time many people ever hear of the New York State Pavilion.

And for a different (fictional) film take on the Pavilion, try out these appearances from The Wiz, Men In Black and Iron Man 2:

And thank you to commenter Signed D.C. who points out that the venue was featured in an music video by They Might Be Giants who, generally speaking, who a bit obsessed with the World's Fair. (It pops up in several of their songs, including a lyric to their song "Ana Ng.") At one point, the lead singer floats over the Texaco map.


Looking down at the Texaco map of New York state. (Courtesy New York Daily News)

A close up of Long Island, photo taken in 1964.  (Courtesy Flickr/Susan DeMark)

An overhead shot of Philip Johnson's extraordinary rooftop, a stunning colorful ovoid that projected a rainbow of colors down upon fair-goers.(Courtesy AP)

Theaterama, part of the New York State Pavilion, is today's Queens Theater.  Johnson commissioned the work of several pop artists to hang along the walls of the pavilion. (Courtesy Bill Cotter/World's Fair Community)

A view of Theaterama showing the Roy Lichtenstein mural upon its side (Courtesy Jon Buono):

Andy Warhol's Ten Wanted Men on the side of Theaterama, with the Tent of Tomorrow in the background.  Although we can almost guarantee that it was not beloved by Robert Moses, it's believed it was taken down because of Governor Rockefeller.

Robert Moses beams from the sidewalk of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.  The mosaic is based on the work of Andy Warhol.

The Federal Pavilion -- "the square donut on stilts" -- was designed by Charles Luckman, who also designed the current Madison Square Garden.

The photographer Marco Catini has taken some recent images of the Pavilion.  You can find much more of his work here. Thanks Marco for letting me use your work here!

Here are a few of my photos taken on the afternoon of recording.  The New York State Pavilion Paint Project is responsible for keeping the place is festive shape. The candy stripes are similar to the look of the 1964 pavilion.

MY THANKS AND GRATITUDE to the Queens Theatre in The Park for allowing us to record in the cabaret room!  I know we went on and on about the observation desks and the Tent of Tomorrow, but you should really check out a show within the greatly renovated theater.  Coming in December: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol!

Visit the People For The Pavilion website for more information on upcoming events, news and fund-raisers. And a shout-out to the organization's co-founder Salmaan Khan!

The New York Daily News just yesterday published an article about People For the Pavilion and its co-founder Christian Doran who passed away in February. There's a fund-raiser tomorrow in his honor. [More info here]

ALSO: I didn't get to plug this on the show, but historian Christian Kellberg has just released a book of photography of the New York State Pavilion, part of the Images of America series.  Most of the pictures are exclusive to this book including some extraordinary shots of the pavilion construction.

And of course there's Joseph Tirella's terrific book Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America, putting the entire fair within context of the rapidly changing America of the 1960s.

And since I mentioned it on the show, here's a link for Robert Caro's The Power Broker as well!