“Mesopotamian” in Manhattan

Although New York skyscrapers bear no restraint in height or a lack of diversity in architectural influences, colorful they are not! What separates the Fred F. French Building from the rest is its warm hue and multicolored decorations. The only “Mesopotamian” or “Babylonian” inspired skyscraper in Manhattan, The Fred F. French Building, is covered in…

Tiffany Blue

If you ever wanted to paint a room with that delicate shade of robin egg blue – you are fresh out of luck! Pantone color No. 1837, called Tiffany Blue, is trademarked by Tiffany and Co and not commercially available. Also trademarked is a little blue box with the white satin ribbon tied around it:…

Alva Vanderbilt’s Party of the Century

March 26, 1883 “Petit Chateau” – 660 Fifth Ave @ 52nd Street When Alva Vanderbilt built a home, she built a castle, and when she threw a housewarming party, it was the party of the century. Alva Vanderbilt, the wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt (Commodore’s grandson), had a mission: to carve out her own rightful…

Alva Vanderbilt’s “Petit Chateau”

Completed 1882 Demolished in 1926 Architect Richard Morris Hunt 660 5th Ave at W 52nd Street If you found yourself back in the 1880s and were standing at the corner of West 52nd Street and Fifth Ave, you’d be in awe of the massive castle-like white limestone structure modestly referred to as “Petit Chateau.” The…

Vanderbilt’s 5th Ave Triple Palace

  Completed 1881 Demolished 1945 A stretch of Fifth Ave from 52nd to 58th street has the moniker of Vanderbilt Row. Although now mostly gone and forgotten, it was once upon a time lined with glorious mansions which belonged to the Vanderbilt family. Cornelius Vanderbilt, the dynasty founder, was crude, uneducated and pretty cruel to…

Owls in Manhattan

James Gordon Bennett Jr. was obsessed. His obsession was quite unusual – it was owls. Some of them, with flickering eyes, can be seen on Herald Square, guarding James Gordon Bennett Monument. Herald Square takes its name from the New York Herald, a newspaper founded by James Gordon Bennett Sr and inherited by Gordon Bennett…

Lucky Luciano

Romanticized by Hollywood as a fearless and dashing mob boss, Lucky Luciano was one of the biggest criminal minds of the 20th century. Should he have lived in a different era and applied himself to a legitimate business venture, he could have climbed to the very top of the corporate ladder. He is considered the…

Mona’s

Mona’s 224 Avenue B at 14th St A place that remains untouched by time as the world turns. Mona’s would probably be the last place you would plan to visit on your trip to New York City. Why would you? It’s a dive bar way out on the East Side with no decorum and no…

The Flatiron Room

The Flatiron Room 37 W 26th St Step into The Flatiron Room and find yourself transported to 1920s. You are about to experience a truly classy establishment with cocktails, jazz, and over 1000 variants of whiskey. According to the New York Magazine bar guide, “Time stops when you pass through the doors of the Flatiron…

Umberto’s Clam House

Come here for clams or scallops, and don’t mention what happened here in 1972… Location: 132 Mulberry Street, between Grand and Hester Streets in Little Italy Umberto Ianniello, the original owner, recognizing the dearth of Italian seafood restaurants in Little Italy, decided to open his own establishment. The restaurant, with its unpretentious atmosphere and flavorful…