Thursday, May 30, 2013

New York, New York.

 Well, BEA has started, and almost every fun person in the whole wide world IS IN MY CITY RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THESE WORDS.
And the chances of me seeing any of them are quite small, because I'm not going.

Enough whining.

But, coincidentally, that would be what today's Thursday's Children post is- New York.
I'm a born and bred New Yorker- born in LIJ, lived in the 718 since the day I was born, which, to a lot of people, seems like some sort of foreign concept.

"OMG, you're actually FROM NY?.... Can I touch you?"

Uh, no, that's creepy.

But today I won't be rambling about my childhood in NYC (another time, though, for real)- today is a combination of two of my favoritest things!

Old pictures & New York City.

Are there words to describe the amount of love I have for old pictures? No. No, there are not.
My grandmother, God bless her, has hundreds and hundreds of pictures in her house- not just the embarrassing pictures from when I was a kid and from when my mom was a kid, but pictures of her grandparents. Her basement is a magical wonderland of family history, and every time I'm there, there is at least one afternoon that's dedicated to pulling out a random box of pictures and going through them.

Photography is an incredible medium- one to express yourself and one for inspiration, especially for writers.

Pictures from New York City, dating back to the 1800s.
They are a magical treasure trove of awesome.

Coney Island. Not much has changed. picture via

Now, this has led me to doing some research about the neighborhood I grew up in. I was aware of a lot of the history of the neighborhood- where I lived was part of a park for the incredibly wealthy people who lived nearby. The highway at the edge of the neighborhood was once part of a golf course. This dates back to the mid 1800's. Before then, it was part of a large farm.

I currently have around 17 SNIs, so God knows the last thing I need right now is another idea.
Especially one that requires copious amounts of research.
But I find my self control slipping, especially since it's where I grew up.

So we shall see if I end up adding a historical fiction to my list of SNIs. I'm going to go with perhaps.

WHAT WE LEARN FROM HERE: Pretty much anything will trigger an SNI for me. This is slightly dangerous.

Question for you: What is one (weird) historical fact about the neighborhood you grew up in?
Tell me tell me tell me!
And now, I'll go see if I can find any bizarre facts about my neighborhood. Ghosts, criminals and other fun things would be nice.

Happy Thursday!

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  1. Great photos! Hmm. The town where I grew up was a hotbed of conflict between 17th century English settlers and Native Americans (King Philip's War was fought around that area, King Philip was what the English called Chief Metacomet). In more recent history the extremely nasty elderly woman who lived next door to us died and was partially eaten by her cats before someone finally found her.

    1. That is AWESOME.
      the cat thing is incredibly creepy, though. Sounds like some warped horror story of some sort.

    2. Yes, it would make a good one. She totally had it coming...

  2. I love black and whites and there are some really wonderful oldies of NYC floating around the web. My family and I lived an hour outside of the city for almost a decade--going in was always an adventure, providing more than enough inspiration for any writing project.

    I grew up in Chicago. We dye the Hudson River green for St. Paddy's day, and have a giant mirrored bean in our Millenium park. :)

  3. I love old pictures, too! My mom has been on a genealogy tear recently (like, for the last several years), so I've been exposed to lots and lots and LOTS of old pictures. Like, tintype-old. I love seeing the clothes, the faces, the hairstyles.

    Don't really know much about the history of my hometown, besides that most of it used to be apricot and plum orchards. There are still a few old trees scattered around, if you know where to look. I do, and usually make pilfered-apricot jam at least once a summer...

  4. I'm totally bummed about not being at BEA myself today. :(
    I'm a Boston girl, but for the sake of writerly camaraderie I'll keep my sports smacktalk to myself! ;) Here's to hometown spirit!
    Love the pics!
    ~Dannie @ Left to Write

  5. I'm drawn in to your experience and your treasure trove of photos your Grandmother passed along--many you find many, many stories in them.

  6. Hiya NY'er. I'm downtown. And I missed BEA too. Very sad. I had to be out of town.
    I used to spend hours looking at photos with my grandmother. Great shots!