Historic, but not famous

Andrew H. Green, NYC planner, preservationist, leader

(October 6, 1820 – November 13, 1903) was a lawyer, New York City planner, preservationist and civic leader. He is considered “the Father of Greater New York,” and is responsible for Central Park, the New York Public Library, the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also participated in or led significant projects including many parks and the joining together of the 5 boroughs of New York into one city.

In 1835, he moved to New York, where two of his sisters lived and taught from Massachusetts. He began working with a merchant and lived in Trinidad working in the sugar importing and exporting business for a year before returning to the city. He eventually returned to Massachusetts to pursue a law degree and worked with Samuel Tilden, future presidential candidate. He returned to NY and in 1854, Green was elected to the New York City school board. He became its president a year later. For 13 years he was involved in the Central Park Commission and in many other park projects throughout the city and New York state until his death in 1903.

Mr. Green was shot 5 times outside his home in a case of mistaken identity. You can find a memorial to him in Central Park overlooking the Harlem Meer and surrounded by five elms, representing the five boroughs. Green and his extensive contributions to New York City are the subject of a recent biography by Michael Rubbinaccio titled “New York’s Father is Murdered! The life and death of Andrew Haswell Green.”

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Historic, but not famous

David Hess, owner of smallest private property in NYC

David Hess was a landlord who owned The Vorhiss, a 5 story apartment building at Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue in the early 1900s. In 1910, the city was widening Seventh Avenue and putting in the 1 and 9 subway lines and a subway station at that corner. The city used eminent domain to seize the property.

Upon examination, the Hess family discovered that the city survey had missed a small corner of the plot and they set up a notice of possession. The plaque is an isosceles triangle, with a 25 12-inch (65 cm) base and 27 12-inch (70 cm) legs (sides). The city asked the family to donate the diminutive property to the public, but they chose to holdout and installed the present, defiant mosaic on July 27, 1922.

In 1938 the property, reported to be the smallest plot in New York City, was sold to the adjacent Village Cigars store for $1,000 (approximately $17,000 adjusted for inflation in 2016), approximately $2 per square inch. The cigar store, which still remains, left the plaque in place.

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Around NYC

The Grammy Awards are coming back to NYC

Music’s biggest award show will be returning to NYC for the first time since 2003

It was recently announced that the Grammy Awards will be returning to New York City next January. It will be the first time that the ceremony will take place in New York since 2003. The event is scheduled for January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden.

Over the years the Grammys generally rotated back and forth between New York and Los Angeles. That was until 2004 when the award show began a 14 year run at the Staples Center in L.A.

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, was asked about the move back to New York in Billboard.

We’ve been in L.A. for many years; we used to bounce back and forth from time to time. With the East Coast being the home for half the membership of the Academy — certainly there’s a very vibrant, vital part of the music industry on the East Coast and in New York — and given that this is an anniversary year for us, it’s a special chance to celebrate.

Norah Jones poses with her five Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album for 'Come Away With Me,' Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for 'Don't Know Why,'Album of the Year for 'Come Away With Me,' Record of the Year for 'Don't Know Why' and Best New Artist at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 23, 2003 in New York City. 


The reaction to the news was met with enthusiasm by many on Twitter:

According to the Mayor’s office, the Grammys are expected to bring $200 million in economic benefits to the city — $82 million in direct spend and $120 million indirectly — as well as an additional several hundred million in tourism.

“It is incredibly exciting that Music’s Biggest Night will return to the world’s greatest city,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Playing host to the music industry’s marquee awards show is a unique creative, artistic and economic boon to the rich cultural fabric of our city. We welcome the Grammy Awards back to New York City with open arms and we look forward to continuing to partner with a music industry that supports access and empowerment in the arts.”

If you’re interested in visiting Madison Square Garden We Can Tour That. Contact us and we can make it happen: wecantourthat.com

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