Movies set in New York City after 1969: Midnight Cowboy, French Connection, Shaft, Godfather I and II

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about movies set in NewYork after 1969. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

People wore layers of heavy clothing, regardless of the weather. Film characters appeared to be sweating continuously, or else had oily-looking skin. The shag carpeting spread to hairstyles — thick, bushy hair, including facial hair, from pork-chop sideburns to thick mustaches and beards on men.

The cinematic streets of New York were often full of trash and scuzzy-looking characters. The vehicles all needed a good car wash. If there was snow, it was dirty. The town looked decrepit, and its flirtation with bankruptcy in the middle of the decade indicated the decrepitude went to the Big Apple’s core.

Basking in this grit and grime, the movies had a gutsy, unique character rarely seen before or since. Cops could be dirty, either literally or figuratively, and even the most upstanding officers could have three days’ growth on their faces. Back in the day, cops, either uniformed or detectives, always wore crisp, neat clothes, were clean-shaven and never looked disheveled, even after roughing up a hood for information. As far as 1970s movie lowlifes, they were free to be raw and ruthless. In the past, there was double-crossing but still an implicit code of conduct: only kill other thugs, don’t shoot men in the back, never kill women, etc. This all went out the window in the 1970s. All was fair in love, war and street drama.

And now, the movies.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

The first volley in this new raw era of New York films came out a year before the 1970s began. Midnight Cowboy told the tale of a stereotypical rube (Jon Voight) from the South who, like many before him, comes to New York to make it big, in his case as a cowboy gigolo for wealthy women. He finds a seedy path ahead of him and befriends a sickly, street-smart lowlife with a heart of gold (Dustin Hoffman) who becomes the cowboy’s guide and de facto pimp.


French Connection (1971)

In old-school New York movies, if drugs reared their head at all, they usually were a minor plot point or, if a major one, merely acted as a device for the lead to shine, like Frank Sinatra in Man With the Golden Arm. The French Connection takes on drugs head-on. Like Panic in Needle Park, which came out the same year, the film deals with heroin. Whereas the former dealt with New York junkies and their sad plight, French Connection, based on a true story, explores New York law enforcement efforts to choke off a heroin pipeline into New York’s streets from abroad. Detectives Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider target a French drug kingpin as they race to find one of his big shipments and track him down. Few 70s films captured New York streets so well aesthetically.

Shaft (1971)

Shaft has become a magnet for pointy-headed film analysis because of its trailblazing place in black exploitation movies and because of its reimagining the Black Hero, but much of its charms lies in presenting a world in which there are black and white cops AND black and white thugs, with good, bad, but mostly shady characters in the mix. Race comes up only in passing, as when characters toss a racial slur or related insult at Det. John Shaft or another character, but it’s dealt with, often violently, and the plot moves on. Before Shaft, filmgoers rarely saw Harlem, and after the opening, driven by a sharp, funky score, as Shaft emerges from the subway, with the confidence of someone who believes he owns the town, let alone Harlem, the scene is set for a crisp, gritty urban crime drama.

The Godfather I and II (1972 and 1974)

Considered by some to be the alpha and omega of organized crime movies, the Godfather saga provides a darker side of the American Dream as achieved by a Sicilian immigrant child and carried on by his children. The European immigrant booms of the 19th and early 20th centuries established New York City as the first American site these immigrants saw as their ships dropped anchor, so a sense of new beginnings and ambitions had been hardwired into the city’s character. The Corleone crime family felt like it owned the town, and the town coursed through its veins. The rubout scene in a small Italian neighborhood restaurant in the Bronx during part one gives a homey feel to cold-blooded murder, while the claustrophobic atmosphere of the immigrant neighborhoods of the 1920s as shown in part two has a very organic feel. The films envelop the viewer in a thickly textured mix of family, crime and despair.

Budget Travel: Passage to New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick about budget travling in New York City. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

The first, and probably the most important question is: how to get there with a decent deal that is not going to break your heart? If you are based in a place over 2,500 miles from New York, say, San Francisco, what are the choices you have? Of course, you can hitchhike all the way and do something really hip, given you are a die-hard Kerouac-maniac on a beat pilgrimage. Otherwise, this would be way too much hassle for average travelers.

Don’t feel dejected by the geographical fact that some ten states sit between you and one of world’s most exciting cosmopolitans. Your dream holiday à la Sleepless in Seattle is just six hours away at flight level 390. Remember that you can always try booking your flight using miles or award points accumulated from your past excursions. Don’t have enough miles for a round trip? No worries. Even securing a free single trip will significantly lower your total spending. Then, book the other segment on the cheapest flight you can find. Check as many reservation websites and airline websites as you can. A flexible traveling date may also be helpful when you are in for the best deal.

You certainly won’t be disappointed by the amenities on transcontinental flights from SFO/LAX to JFK/LGA/EWR. If you fly United, their specially configured fleet of Boeing 757-200s features three classes of service: First, Business and Economy Plus. The worst you can get on United Premium Service is still better than other domestic flights. Economy Plus offers you extra leg-room and WiFi service. Alternatively, American has its Flagship Service with three-class Boeing 767-200s. Delta transcontinental flights are on two-class Boeing 757-200s with personal TV. For other non-stop flights, JetBlue A320 gives you 36 channels of live satellite TV. Virgin America now provides WiFi on their A320s.

 

If there’s no way for you to save on flights with awards, New York is still a great budget travel destination where freebies and cheapies abound. Fly in, and start saving then and there.

Megabus and BoltBus are great inexpensive solutions for those located near the Big Apple. They offer a limited number of $1 seats on their stylish buses, with only a $0.50 booking fee. Plus, you get to enjoy free internet access. Simply plug in, and you are ready to check your email on I-95. Keep in mind that you should book as early in advance as you can, for these offers are red hot and they are quietly and quickly sold out.

However, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution for a best itinerary. You should always keep an eye out for deals, research different options and utilize whatever resources available. The beauty of traveling lies partly in these preparations before you actually hit the road.

Find a cheap accommodation in New York

Choosing the right type of place to live in New York City is crucial to keep you financially sound. Crashing with friends or relatives is probably the ultimate saving solution. If you are on your own and you don’t have enough points in your Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) or Hilton HHonors accounts to redeem you free night(s) in fancy hotels in Midtown, still, there are plenty of places to stay for the night.

Though Manhattan is generally expensive to live, many inexpensive hostels are available in Queens and Brooklyn. New Jersey is also comparably inexpensive, but commuting cost may rise.

If you are staying for an extended period and no friend can help you out with lodging, you may consider sharing a room with someone else. You will be able to find roommates online.

In short, carefully research the place, the neighborhood and, if applicable, the people before you move in will help you find a clean and safe little den. You definitely don’t want to throw bedbugs a grand party of warm blood or get into troubles with gangs.

Roam around NYC

New York City, especially Midtown and Uptown Manhattan, is fairly easy to navigate. Refrain from taking cabs, they are expensive and you could get stuck in rush hour traffic, watching hopelessly as the digits on the meter dance.

Instead, use MTA trains and buses to the extreme or just simply walk. MTA sells Metrocard for subways and buses, which replaced tokens. There are different types of cards for commuter with different needs. For short-term visitors, a seven-day pass offers unlimited rides for a week on subways and free transfer between buses and trains. Likewise, a monthly pass would be great for those who stay relatively longer. You can also refill your card with whatever amount of money you wish.

Meet some New Yorkers

There’s nothing you can’t do in this city. In fact, there are a million things to do every day. To maximize your experience in New York, plan ahead. An appointment with free, voluntary but extremely resourceful and knowledgeable local tour guides known as Big Apple Greeter need to be arranged at least three weeks in advance. A tour inside the Federal Reserve Bank also requires early reservation. Get CityPass, which covers six top New York City attractions, before you go. That will give you a huge discount on tickets and get you to the place without waiting in line.

Free official guidebooks are available at visitors’ center located near Times Square on 7th Ave. and 53rd St. You can also get it from a tourists’ information booth in Penn Station or just download it and other maps and guides online.

Search for amazing freebies, including the Staten Island ferry, New York Public Library tour and many more, you will not be disappointed. They are just a few clicks away. Have fun researching!

For travelers who want to blend in with locals, do check out event listings on Time Out and NYCgo.com. There are a few free events every day, and always changing!

Finally, walk around as many neighborhood as you can, get a feel of the diversity, and try street food. They are wonderful bargains that you should not miss out. A chicken over rice feeds you well. Enjoy your cozy lunch on a bench in Union Square with pigeons and squirrels around!

Free Live Music in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about free music in New York. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Some of these locations require a drink minimum, but some of these places do not enforce the drink minimums. These locations include the Back Fence, which offers free music every night except Saturdays and the Living Room which offers lots of indie rock and acoustic music as well as an upstairs room that plays free music every night. Another location, Dempsey’s Pub, offers traditional Irish music.

The Back Fence in New York City

 The Back Fence has been a popular spot for music in New York City for over 60 years. They offer free music nearly every day of the week, and usually offer two or three different entertainers every night. On Saturdays they do charge admission, but every other day of the week they offer free admission. They also offer free peanuts at the bar. They’re most known for playing country, classic rock and folk rock.

  • The Back Fence, 155 Bleecker Street, (212) 475-9221, www.thebackfenceonline.com

The Living Room in New York City

The Living Room is one of the most popular places in New York City to listen to music cheap. They offer a large variety of artists and offer a lot of indie rock and acoustic musicians. They’re well known for musicians like Norah Jones that played there before becoming popular. Many of their popular musicians that used to play there, such as Norah Jones, will return for a performance here and there. Although they do not have a cover charge, they do have a one drink minimum. However, this minimum is rarely actually enforced. They also offer a completely free second room that is upstairs that plays free music every night.

  • The Living Room, 154 Ludlow Street, (212) 533-7235, www.livingroomny.com

Dempsey’s Pub in New York City

Dempsey’s Pub plays traditional Irish music and they are known for having jam sessions at pm every Tuesday. Admission is free and they do not require you to purchase any drinks either. Dempsey’s pub is also known for their pool tables, and their food is quite popular as well.

Touring New York City’s Christmas Decorations in One Day

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about touring New York City’s Christmas decorations in one day. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

See the Empire State Building, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Rockefeller Center, Saks 5th Ave, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Midtown Manhattan at Christmas.

With Thanksgiving Weekend and its sales having ended on Sunday November 28, 2010, and with the world famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree scheduled to be lit on Tuesday November 30, 2010, many New York inhabitants and tourists want to tour the Christmas windows of Manhattan’s famous stores, and it is possible to see almost all of the most famous Christmas decorations in only one day.

Holiday Windows of Macy’s and Lord & Taylor

The majority of the most famed window decorations are in Midtown Manhattan, so the route to take is in this area.

Begin at Macy’s department store on 34th Street. Due to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the vast and crowded department store prepares their seasonal windows among the earliest of Manhattan’s department stores.

Walk from Macy’s to 5th Avenue. Walking up 5th Avenue, on the left side of the street, one will first see the Christmas windows that are traditionally the most beloved by New Yorkers, the windows of Lord & Taylor.

The Christmas windows of Lord & Taylor are different every year, but the display usually features miniature figures and settings designed to represent scenes of theme connected to Christmas.

The New York Public Library, Bryant Park Christmas Market and ice Skating Rink, and Views of the Empire State Building

Continue to walk along the left side of the street to 42nd Street, where one passes the New York Public Library. With the exterior of the library being repaired, decorations may be slight, but traditionally, the large lion statues outside the impressive building are each adorned with some seasonal decoration.

At the corner of the library, turn left to enter Bryant Park behind the library. The park hosts a Christmas Market that is reminiscent of the Christmas markets that are famous in Germany. Fresh dipped chocolate covered fruit and other food treats are sold, and a variety of crafts and goods are all available for purchase.

If one looks beyond the central Christmas tree in the market, one has an impressive view of the Empire State Building which is often lit in holiday colors during the festive season.

The park also provides another of Manhattan’s winter skating rinks.

Times Square and Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball

Continue through the park, and walk to Times Square, the bright lights of which cause the area to always appear as if it is lit for Christmas.

Depending on which point of the holiday season one passes through Times Square, one can catch a glimpse of the famed New Year’s Eve Ball already in place to ring in the next year.

Children may enjoy entering the Toys ‘R’ Us store in Times Square to have a ride on the Ferris Wheel made of toys.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Saks 5th Avenue, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral

When done exploring Times Square, return to 5th Avenue along 48th Street. One will pass some of the inventive 6th Ave Christmas decoration and the entrance to radio City Music Hall on route. Rockefeller Center will be approached from the side, and once having seen the Christmas tree and ice skating rink, walk through Rockefeller Plaza to 5th Avenue.

Directly across the street is the decorated Saks 5th Avenue. Cross the street, and walk along to right side of the street to the very near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Cartier, Henri Bendel, Tiffany & Co, Bergdorf Goodman, and Central Park

Continue to walk up 5th Avenue to see the seasonal decorations of Cartier, Henri Bendel, Tiffany & Co, Bergdorf Goodman, and a variety of other buildings.

The Fendi Christmas cream and iridescent lights, which are designed to resemble melting frost and snow, are particularly impressive, but many of both the small and large buildings outdo themselves with creative or glittering displays.

At 57th Street a huge glowing snowflake hangs suspended over the cross roads, and at the entrance to Central Park, a Hanukkah Menorah stands tall.

The famed New York toy shop, F.A.O. Schwarz is directly across from Central Park.

57th Street and the Avenue of the Americas

It is also worth walking along 57th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, where it is possible to see candy canes, cut from foliage, hanging from the architectural trimmings of one office building, and if one proceeds to walk down 6th Avenue, many of the larger business buildings put up striking decorations.

A Coyote in Central Park: New York City’s Surprising Wildlife

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about a Coyote in Central Park . Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Trees, grasses, birds and small wildlife are common to urban parks. But in recent years, New York’s Central Park is becoming host to unexpected visitors. Coyotes are more and more frequently sighted, often mistaken for small dogs.

Coyotes’ Natural Habitat

Coyotes can live in mountains, deserts, woods, and prairies. In recent years, they are often seen in suburban areas, and sometimes even in cities. Coyotes used to live mostly in the western part of the United States. In the last century, however, they began to expand their range. Coyotes are now found in every state of the U.S., except Hawaii.

 Even so, people were surprised to see a coyote in Manhattan. That’s mostly because Manhattan is an island. To get to Manhattan, people must take a ferry, train, tunnel, or bridge to cross one of the rivers. Somehow, the coyote crossed over and found its way to Central Park.

Food for Coyotes

In the streets of a city like New York, it would seem to be hard for a coyote to find food. In the wild, coyotes eat mice, rabbits, rodents, birds, and insects. In New York, coyotes might learn to eat garbage from trash cans or leftovers from people’s lunches, but there are also plentiful small urban wildlife.

Small Wildlife In Central Park:

  • Squirrels
  • Ducks
  • Birds, such as robins and starlings
  • Mice and rats
  • Pigeons.

Coyote Traits

Coyotes look something like dogs, but they are actually part of the wild-dog family. Coyotes can run very fast (up to 40 miles per hour) and jump high (leaping 8 foot fences easily). They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

How to Recognize a Coyote:

  • Long thin legs
  • Large pointed ears
  • Thick tawny hair
  • Bushy tail
  • Tails hanging down (no wagging).

Coyotes in Cities and Suburbs

Although coyotes are sometimes seen in cities and suburbs near people, they are still wild animals. It can be dangerous to approach them. Residents need to learn what to do in coyote encounters. Luckily, coyotes are usually shy of humans. It’s also not a good idea for people to feed coyotes, especially since they may be hazardous to domestic pets.

Coyotes are able to thrive in many habitats and they seem to be adjusting to being near people. Cities and suburbs must find ways to deal with coyote populations. The coyote in Central Park was not allowed to stay there. After several days of running and hiding, the wily coyote was finally caught. It was taken to a wildlife center far outside the city where it was released.

The Theatre Guild 1923 New York City Premiere of Saint Joan

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about 1923 New York City Premiere of Saint Joan. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Theatre Guild Premiere of Shaw’s Saint Joan

George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan premiered in New York in 1923 rather than in England where his popularity declined after he wrote Common Sense About the War in 1914. The socialist playwright may have wanted to test the play prior to presenting it in England. Critics expressed their concerns that the irreverent Shaw would not produce an appropriate play about the Christian saint and martyr.

The Theatre Guild, founded in New York City in 1918, selected old and contemporary, intellectually stimulating plays that commercial producers ignored. Some of its early productions were Shaw’s Heartbreak House, and The Devil’s Disciple staged at the Garrick Theatre. The Guild, selected to produce the world premiere of Saint Joan, eventually became the official Shaw interpreter in the U. S.

 

Saint Joan Rehearsals and Revised Script

Rehearsals with young actress Winifred Lenihan in the lead role proceeded with the usual problems inherent in theatrical productions. Lawrence Langner, co-director of the Guild recounted that the script’s length presented considerable difficulty.

Another problem arose when the Guild began rehearsing with the first script received from Shaw, and learned that the playwright would be sending a revised version. In response to their protest, Shaw reproached them for rehearsing from a copy they knew to be only a first proof.

“Begin at Eight – Or Run Later Trains”

Saint Joan opened at New York’s Garrick Theatre December 28, 1923 to mixed reviews. Some audience members and critics complained the length of three-and-a-half-hours was too much. Co-Director Theresa Helburn asked Shaw if he would consider making some cuts so that suburban visitors would not miss the last trains home if they stayed for the full performance. Famously, Shaw replied, “Begin at eight – or run later trains”.

Thoughtfully, the playwright sent an article to be printed if business dropped off because of the play’s length. The article, unpublished for 28 years, was printed by Life magazine in its October 22, 1951 issue as a “memento of the late, great G. B. S.”

Shaw’s Response to Recommendations and Nobel Prize

In that article, Shaw wrote, “…there seems to be a misunderstanding in the New York press of my intention in writing Saint Joan…”. He commented on the assumption made that he was “providing the paying public with a pleasant theatrical entertainment whilst keeping the working hours of professional critics within their customary limits”. Having worked as a critic, Shaw understood the job’s time restraints, but refused to “cut the cackle and come to the burning…”so that the curtain could rise at eight-thirty and descend at ten minutes to eleven.

Though cautiously accepted during its first run, the play eventually gained recognition as a modern masterpiece. Acclaim for Saint Joan led to the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature being awarded to George Bernard Shaw, who gave the money to charity.

More Movies Set in New York City after 1969: Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, Saturday Night Fever

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about moves set in New York City after 1969. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

The films of the day looked at short-fused civil servants, desperate bank robbers, troubled loners and people losing their jobs and minds.

Once the city got past the Son of Sam murders and blackout riots in 1977, things began looking up — and those who looked up long enough were met with a spinning, shimmering disco ball.

Lights, camera, angst:

The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (1974) Sure, it’s a heist movie, but in this case, the real fun takes place away from the heist scene. The criminal crew’s objective: Take subway passengers hostage and demand a ransom from the city. All hell breaks loose at City Hall and among mass transit officials as a plethora of brash New Yorky character actors ham it up as they rage and rant over what to do. Should they pay the ransom? How can the crew be stopped after the ransom is paid? Looks simple, considering the hostage area is a subway car underground, seemingly hemmed in, but it isn’t so simple. One gets the feeling the city was seriously on edge before the standoff, then was pushed over the cliff after the caper goes down.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)The besieged Everyman has been done before. Mr. Blandings had a hell of a time building his dream house, and George Bailey went through a gantlet of horrors before learning it’s a wonderful life. But in Prisoner of Second Avenue, Manhattan dweller Jack Lemmon loses his job and begins losing his mind as everything and everyone seem to be aggravating an already tough situation. His wife, played by Anne Bancroft, grows more stressed by the day after going back to her old job to make ends meet. Lemmon’s pushy older brother won’t let him alone. His annoying neighbors’ antics become much more annoying as he wrestles with so much spare time at home. It’s a tale of jaded New Yorkers, but there’s a heart at its core. Think of Lemmon’s character from The Out-of-Towners, another Neil Simon-penned story about the darker side of New York, then add 10 times more anxiety.

 

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)Sidney Lumet and Al Pacino made a good team for Serpico, and their reunion on Dog Day Afternoon reaped a jackpot of hot, New York summer angst. Pacino plays a squirrelly bank robber whose desire for quick money has a purpose that adds to an unfolding midsummer soap opera of madcap proportions that percolates around the Brooklyn bank. For most of the film, Pacino and partner John Cazale are holed up with hostages, demanding a ransom after the heist plan unravels. Like Pelham, the reaction outside the hostage area sizzles with grit and characters, but unlike Pelham, the action in the hostage area gets just as tense as the situation outside the bank, where throngs of people cheer on Pacino as a kind of folk hero. Like Serpico, this also is based on a true story.

Taxi Driver (1976)In a world gone mad, cab driver Travis Bickle’s deteriorating psyche acts as a microcosm for a New York populace forced to absorb such 1970s horrors as Son of Sam, the summer blackout riots of 1977 and general urban decay. Bickle is portrayed as a lonely, decent man whose despair over the depravity he sees in his fares — from a homicidal jilted husband to a 15-year-old prostitute — melds with an already festering loneliness, pummeling his sanity with a one-two punch. Desperate for some level of control over his environment, he turns to violence in a bid for justice. It’s less in-your-face than Martin Scorsese’s Little Italy thug drama Mean Streets three years earlier — at least until the climax — but like Mean Streets, there’s heart beneath the blood spatter.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Finally, a tense town lets loose and gets down. Just ignore the disco music if you can’t stand it. Sure, it’s ubiquitous in this youth drama, but it does set the scene of New York in the late 70s. From Studio 54 in Manhattan to the disco in Brooklyn where John Travolta becomes a hero every weekend, the city pulsated with “four on the floor” beats during this era. The real driving force of this film is the American yearning for acceptance and success. a yearning that always seems more pronounced when New York is the backdrop. It’s really the Great Gatsby transferred from Long Island to Brooklyn. Gatsby created his persona, and in Saturday Night Fever, Travolta creates a weekend persona of a suave disco stud, admired by men, adored by women, yet he knows deep down — especially while working a dead-end job during the week — that he’s mired in the old neighborhood. Little is resolved at the end as far as his future. (Screen the wretched sequel “Stayin Alive” at your own peril.) But one feels a glimmer of hope for him. There’s also a subtext of immigrant striving as well. Travolta’s crew is made up of second- and third-generation Italian Americans who act like they own the world as they try and cloak their inner insecurities about their lots in life. Their ancestors came here at the turn of the century hoping for a better life, and they find themselves going no place fast in polyester, on the dance floor.

Profile: The New York City Department Of Buildings

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about the New York City department of buildings. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

A Brief History of New York City

After being explored from the mid 1500s to the early 1600s, the New York City area was discovered by Dutch settlers, who christened the land “New Netherland” and enjoyed their new home for about 40 years. The English arrived in 1664, seized and occupied the area, and named it New York, after an English duke. Disagreements with King George III led to the colony declaring independence, along with its twelve fellow colonies, in 1776.

 The early settlers and colonists built their homes and businesses along the rivers. Homes, businesses and recreational structures quickly spread across the five-borough area, in all directions throughout the island of Manhattan (minus the Frederick Law Olmstead-designed Central Park) and spilling onto the surrounding islands and mainland, a total of approximately 470 square miles. Today, visitors seeing New York City for the first time may be amazed at the river-to-river, densely packed buildings on Manhattan Island and its fellow heavily populated boroughs.

NYC’s Department of Buildings

Shortly after their arrival the Dutch developed and implemented rules for buildings and their safety. In 1860 the position of Superintendent of Buildings was created, followed by the Buildings Department in 1892. In 1936 a citywide Superintendent of Buildings position consolidated the individual boroughs’ superintendents. The current New York City Department of Buildings has been operating since 1977.

Facts About NYC’s Department of Buildings

The New York City Department of Buildings Enforces:

  • Building Code
  • Electrical Code
  • New York State Labor Law
  • New York State Multiple Dwelling Law
  • Zoning Resolution

The department’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Issuing construction permits
  • Inspecting properties
  • Licensing trades
  • Performing plan examinations

Buildings In New York City Are Taken Care Of

Those who are concerned with the construction and maintenance of buildings in the city of New York, whether architect, contractor, resident, visitor or interested observer, will find answers to their questions, information and further reading at City of New York Department of Buildings.

With “safety, service and integrity” as the department’s focus; and Robert LiMandri, esteemed for his achievements in construction safety, as Commissioner; the buildings of New York City are in good hands.

Free After-School Programs in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about free After-school programs in New York city. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post , Patrick speaks about free after school programs in NY City.Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Beacon Schools, offering over eighty locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, also offers homework help and tutoring, as well as endless activities. Including vocational training, health classes, performing arts and computer classes.

New York Recreation Centers in New York City

New York City Recreation Centers are held throughout the five boroughs of New York City. There are over forty of these New York City Public Recreation Centers, and each location offers different programs. All of these locations put emphasis on school work, but also offer things like sports classes, computer classes, swim programs, arts and crafts and even classes in performing arts, visual arts and much more. They all also offer homework help and tutoring to students. More information can be found on the website, including the locations and information on what is being offered.

 

  • New York City Recreation Centers
  • (212) 639-9675

Beacon Schools in New York City

Beacon Schools offers over 80 locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. These Beacon School programs are offered to all students in New York City, and are spread throughout the school districts of all five boroughs. These programs offer after-school, evening and even weekend programs that are free, and are more similar to day camp than they are the typical after-school programs.

These locations offer homework help and tutoring, as well as endless activities. These activities often include arts and crafts, music, dance, sports, music, computer, photography and even martial arts classes. Some even offer vocational training and health classes. Sometimes these programs also are offered to adults, and more commonly the parents of the children that attend. It’s important to register, but these programs are all free and even tend to offer snacks to those that attend. The website offers information on locations in each neighborhood.

  • Beacon Schools
  • The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development
  • 156 William Street
  • (212) 788-6754

Free Live Dance Performances in New York City

The following is a post to from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick speaks about free live dances in the city of New York. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

These locations include Central Park, which offers Central Park Summerstage during the summer, which offers free performances from June through August. This includes dance performances that usually occur on Friday nights. There is also Celebrate Brooklyn, which is one of the more popular locations for free dance performances, offering performances throughout the summer.

 Dancing in the Streets, on the other hand, offers performances throughout the year. Their dance performancies occur in many locations throughout the city with many outdoor and park performances, as well as some indoor performances. Most of their dance performances are free and open to the public, but some of them do have an admission price.

Central Park Summerstage in New York City

Central Park Summerstage offers a complete schedule of free performances during the summer that last from June through August. They offer a large variety of performances including music, spoken word as well as dance. It’s one of the more popular vanues during the summer for free performancs, so it’s always best to claim a spot in line early on. The dance performances are usually on Friday evenings.

  • Central Park Summerstage, Midpark, (212) 360-2777, www.summerstage.org

Celebrate Brooklyn in New York City

Celebrate Brooklyn is Brooklyn’s most popular series of free performances. They offer many of the local artists from New York City, as well as many internationally recognized dance companies. They present dance performances throughout their summer schedule, which also offers free films, music and readings as well.

  • Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park Bandshell, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 855-7882 Extension 45, www.brooklynx.org/celebrate

Dancing in the Streets in New York City

Dancing in the Streets offers a large variety of dance and movement performances that occur throughout New York City. Their productions are often in local parks, as well as many other indoor and outdoor spaces. Although some of these performances have admission cost, most of them are free and oen to the public.

  • Dancing in the Streets, 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 8SE, (212) 625-3505, www.dancinginthestreets.org