Joseph Mason and Ernest Von Au, “The Candy Men”

Mason and Von Au had a factory that manufactured Mints and Candy Bars as Mason, Au and Mangenheimer Candy in 1885 at #20 Henry Street, at the NW corner of Middagh in Brooklyn. The company was founded in 1864. By 1880 Mason and Au were joined by Emil Zollinger, and the name changed to Mason, Au & Zollinger. Two of their most popular candies were Mason Peaks, a coconut-chocolate combination (like Mounds) and  Mason Mints, a chocolate-covered mint patty (like today’s Peppermint Pattie). Mason also made Dots, a fruit or cinnamon-flavored gumdrop, and Crows, a licorice-flavored gumdrop. Both are still… Read More

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Arbuckle Brothers, coffee entrepreneurs

Brothers John and Charlie (died 1891) Arbuckle moved to Brooklyn in 1881 to become the greatest coffee roasters of their generation in the 1860s. By the early years of the 20th century, their operation in Dumbo received, stored, roasted and packaged more coffee than any other company in America. Arbuckle invented a machine that efficiently roasted, ground, and packaged coffee into small bags for mass distribution throughout the country. Prior to this innovation, coffee beans had to be sold unroasted from barrels and were easily spoiled. These beans burnt easily as they were roasted at home. Their first national brand… Read More

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Edward “Monk” Eastman, gangster, war hero

Edward “Monk” Eastman (1875 – December 26, 1920) was a New York City gangster who founded and led the Eastman Gang, which became one of the most powerful street gangs in New York City and is considered to be one of the last of the 19th-century New York gangsters. His father was a civil war veteran who abandoned the family by the time Edward was 5 and he lived with his maternal grandparents, mother and siblings.   His first arrest was in 1898 and while in prison became part of the Allen Street Cadets. He was known for his messy… Read More

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Herbert Von King “the Mayor of Bed-Stuy”

Herbert Von King was a tireless neighborhood activist nicknamed “the Mayor of Bed-Stuy.  He worked tirelessly to serve his community for over fifty years. In 1933 he founded Boy Scout Troop 219 to provide a constructive outlet for the local boys. This earned him the Vigil award, one of the highest honors one can get form the organization. While working as a contractor, Mr. Von King served on the local school board, the Police Civilian Committee, and the Magnolia Earth Tree Center (a conservationist organization).  Herbert Von King Park was dedicated to this civic leader in 1985 and this was… Read More

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Truman Capote and his memoirs of Brooklyn Heights

Truman Capote, an author who is most famous for his novels Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, lived in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, from 1955 to 1965. Besides the aforementioned titles, he also wrote a short autobiography called Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir, about the neighborhood. The book begins with the line, “I live in Brooklyn. By choice.” Although he was fond of the years he lived at 70 Willow Street, it wasn’t so much “by choice”. At the time, he needed a cheaper place to live than Manhattan. The owner of the magnificent 1839 house and a friend of his,… Read More

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Brooklyn Academy of Music

The Brooklyn Academy of Music was created in 1861, but certainly has kept up with the times. BAM has expanded its offerings beyond music and now includes theater, opera, dance, and recently, film, visual art, and literature. You can see modern works in both 100 year old buildings and newer buildings as well. The theaters are located in the Fort Green area of Brooklyn — a neighborhood filled with great restaurants and a diverse population. The venues are easy to get to via Subway or car. There is even limited parking in the area. Check out their calendar of events at… Read More

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The Bushwick Collective – Street Art, not graffitti

In 2012, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick started the transformation from neighborhood plagued by crime to the largest outdoor art exhibit in the five boroughs, all thanks to Joe Ficalora. Bushwick contains art on many of the streets between the Morgan and Jefferson L train stops from international artists including Buff Monster, Icy and Sot, SheryO and Yok, and Al Diaz. Artists have come from as far away as Australia to paint on the walls of Bushwick,,,for free. No payments go to either the artists or the businesses that own the walls. You can watch a 30 minute documentary on… Read More

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