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American Cultural History on Walking Off the Big Apple: A Chronological Guide to a Selection of Posts

Over the course of the last two years writing Walking Off the Big Apple, and it's been two years this week, I realize that many posts situate themselves in a category that would best be described as American cultural history. While I spend most of my time on contemporary issues and urban matters, I often explore topics in the history of visual and performing arts, literary history, and architecture.

When I'm out looking for the past, I often find that historical walks find their way into current preoccupations. For example, last fall when I was trying to recreate the fictional world of Lily Bart and her creator, writer Edith Wharton, the Wall Street collapse drew immediate parallels with the writer's time. Even seeing an art exhibit on Babar drew parallels with the Gilded Age.

To better understand the city involves being able to perceive the layers of its history, so when I'm out walking I often chase the furtive shadows of the past. I've put together a chronological guide to a selection of posts, approximately 42 of the 700 on this site, thinking it would be useful to share with student types and with readers who may see old posts that they haven't yet read.

(Ed. note - This list will be updated, as needed. - Teri)

1600s
The "fresh, green breast of the New World- Mannahatta/Manhattan
Towards a New Amsterdam: Celebrations of Henry Hudson
In New Amsterdam, the Half Moon Drops Anchor at the Battery

1810s
Washington Irving's Solitary Walk through Christmas

1850s
Before the Whale: Ishmael Takes a Walk in Manhattan
Art and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century New York

1860s
Walking Broadway With Abraham Lincoln: The Visit to New York for the Cooper Union Speech
Living Now in the New York of the Gilded Age: Inheriting the Built Environment of the Nineteenth Century

1890s
Reservoir Dog: New York's Demon-Cur of the Winter of 1893
Charles Hemstreet's Nooks and Corners of Old New York: Lessons in Mortality
Tribeca Living: A Building for Chocolate and One for the Wool Trade
The Making of the Monumental Metropolis: New York and the Ecole des Beaux Arts

1900s
New York 1900: Edith Wharton and The House of Mirth
A Walk for a New York Christmas: O. Henry and "The Gift of the Magi"
Henry James' Uneasy Homecoming to Washington Square
A Visit to Audubon Terrace and Environs

1910s
Fifth Avenue and the High Road to Taos: Mabel Dodge and Flannery O'Connor
Harvey Wiley Corbett and the E. 8th Street Apartments
The Woolworth Building
1917: Trotsky's Flâneur Boy Wanders Downtown
Focus on POTUS: The Two Washingtons of the Washington Square Arch

1920s
A Visit to Astoria, Then & Now: The Marx Brothers at Paramount Pictures and Notes on Contemporary Attractions
Making My Own Manhatta (on Paul Strand)
New York's Theater District: The Legacy of the Golden Age, A Walk and a Map
The Marx Brothers on Broadway, & Notes on New York Theatres in the 1920s
From The Great Gatsby: Nick Carraway's Walk
Walking New York: Theodore Dreiser on St. Luke's Place
James Weldon Johnson's New York and Four Stops in Central Harlem

1930s
Lessons from the Days of the "Empty State Building"
The New York of Raymond Hood, Architect: The Daily News Building
Walker Evans, a Block on E. 61st Street in 1938
The Light in Edward Hopper: The Sunny Side of the Great Depression

1940s
Flannery O'Connor's Six Months in New York City
E.B. White and the New York of Stuart Little

1950s
Mapping Holly Golightly: Walking Off Breakfast at Tiffany's
Places From The Bell Jar: Sylvia Plath's New York
The Classic New York of Mame Dennis
Garbo Walks: Into the Modern

1960s
JFK: The Presidential Candidate From the Bronx
The New York Hotel That Looks Like It's in Miami
Freewheelin' Jones Street
Bye Bye Penn Station: Mad Men Takes on an Epic Battle

1970s
After Walking, A Place to Sit: Greenacre Park, E. 51st

2000s
Walking Off the Wall Street Bears: A Subprimer (November 2007)
After the Closing Bell, A Protest Against the Wall Street Bailout (September 2008)
A Timely Visit to The Museum of American Finance
Follow Your Money: The New York Financial Crisis and Walk
A Stroll Down Pennsylvania Avenue
J.P. Elephant: Drawing Babar at The Morgan

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.

Comments

Bruce Oksol said…
Yours is one of the best blogs I've seen on contemporary New York City. It combines two of my greatest joys: reading and walking.

I just finished The Great Gatsby and was curious if any blogger had talked about this book. What a great surprise to find your blog. Thank you. I have added it to my list of favorite blogs that I follow.
Anonymous said…
Happy WOTBA Birthday from London.
I love your site and I am going to be very busy on my next trip to NY with all the great ideas you have given me for walks and explorations. This chronological guide is great.Do you have any info on the now gone restaurant chain of Schrafts? I had a student job as a waitress in summer 1971 in the branch at Madison and 77th St.The corner premises is an art gallery now. I was a realy bad waitress !!!!
Teri Tynes said…
Thanks, Bruce.
Bruce- Many thanks for appreciating my work here.

And thank you, too Anon, for the WOTBA birthday wishes -
Wow, Schrafts. I found this book online - "When Everybody Ate at Schrafft's: Memories, Pictures, and Recipes from a Very Special Restaurant Empire." In the comment section, one reviewer mentioned she went to your Schrafts after going to the dentist.

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