Oliver E. Allen, historian, writer, editor, Tribeca preservationist

Oliver E. Allen, historian, writer and editor for Life magazine and later editor at Time-Life Books, authored more than a dozen books, including two histories of New York City: “New York, New York”  and “The Tiger,” a history of Tammany Hall. In Tribeca, where he moved to a Hudson Street loft overlooking Duane Park with his wife Deborah in 1982, Allen was best known for his Tribeca Trib column, “Old Tribeca,” and for his volunteer contributions to the community as co-founder of Friends of Duane Park. He also was part of a small group whose work led to the designation… Read More

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John de Morgan, author, Staten Island park advocate

Frank Sheridan a.k.a. John de Morgan, (1848-1926) was an Irish-born writer with a background in the classics. He worked as a tax-collector in Staten Island, New York. He  was a regular contributor of historical novels (specializing in Colonial and American revolutionary War stories), science fiction and other subjects for serials for Norman L. Munro’s Golden Hours from 1888 and also published three serials in George Munro’s Fireside Companion. He also wrote parodies and essays using the pseudonyms Captain Luther Barr, John L. Douglas, Frank Sheridan, and An Old Salt”. Mr. de Morgan lived on Staten Island from 1883 until his death… Read More

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Iris De La Cruz, AIDS activist

Iris De La Cruz helped found a support group for prostitutes and after she became infected with the AIDS virus, she started several groups for people like her. She started the first support group for positive women and another for hetero singles. She confronted people who looked at her struggle with drugs and prostitution and finally with AIDS as shameful and telling them she was not ashamed. She fought the stigma of AIDS, her body weakened but her spirit and humor never waned.  She was an inspiration to so many people. She did a lot in the short time she was… Read More

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Ida Rauh, suffragist, actress, sculpture, poet

Ida Rauh (March 7, 1877 – February 28, 1970) was a lawyer, suffragist, actress, sculptor, and poet who helped found the Provincetown Players in 1915. The group originally performed in Provincetown, RI, but moved to MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. She directed the first production of O’Neill’s one-act play “Where the Cross Is Made”, and in the Village she became known for her intensely emotional acting. Ms. Rauh graduated from New York University Law School in 1902, but had little hope of practicing law as the profession did not allow women to present cases. She moved her interest to Union organization and helped with… Read More

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Dorothy Ripley, evangelist

Dorothy Ripley (1767-1831) was a British evangelist who came to America in 1801 and in 1831 died in Virginia. She was raised a Methodist, but followed the Quaker ideals, though not ordained in any specific sect of the Christian religion. She preached to under-served populations such as slaves, slave owners, prisoners, the poor and women as well as Native Americans. She even rebuked President Jefferson for his slave ownership. She crossed the country many times and the Atlantic dozens of times. Her time in NYC was spent preaching with various male preachers at many African-American churches and a large open air revival with Evangelist… Read More

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Holly Beye, reporter, writer, civil rights advocate

Holly Beye (1922 – 2011) was a graduate of Swarthmore College and moved to New York City and became a reporter at PM, the left wing newspaper started by Marshall Field, although her intent was to write fiction, poetry and drama. In 1946, she married David Ruff and they lived at 120 Charles Street in Greenwich Village, which became the title of her published journal of the life of a struggling artist in the 40’s, published in 2006. She eventually moved to San Francisco and then Woodstock in upstate New York. In Woodstock, she began to write more dramatic work.… Read More

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Edward Sibley Barnard, writer and tree-watcher

Edward Sibley Barnard is an editor, writer, and photographer specializing in fully illustrated how-to and nature books for adults and children. He lives and tree-watches in New York City. His most famous book is New York City Trees. The book is a must for tree lovers in NYC and is dedicated to the idea that every species of tree has a story and every individual tree has a history. Mr. Barnard worked with Ken Chaya and the Central Park Conservancy to put together the Definitive Illustrated Map of Central Park. The map covers not only the trees in the park in… Read More

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