May 2018

Invisible Advertising

by Don Friedman on May 31, 2018


It’s possible to roll your name into a piece of steel as it’s being made. Simply engrave the text in the last set of rollers that the hot metal passes through and look “TRENTON NJ” appears on the web of the beam. (Presumably this I-beam was made at Peter Cooper’s Trenton Iron Works.)

Why you’d want to is a different question. The only people who are assured of seeing the message are iron workers, and I doubt they care.

Differentiating Through Failure

May 31, 2018

That’s the slightly-rusted bottom flange of an old I-beam, surrounded by more or less modern concrete that replaced the original brick vault floor. The end of the beam is a bit rusted – not severely, not necessarily enough to require repair – but enough to show that it’s wrought iron. One of the questions that […]

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Manhattanhenge

May 30, 2018

Today is Manhattanhenge, the twice-per-year event when Manhattan’s tilted-at-29-degrees-east-of-true-north grid happens to line up with sunset, so that the sun goes down in line with the facade walls on the side streets. It’s meaningless but pretty. The picture above is 42nd Street, which is one of the wide, two-way crosstown streets; the effect is even […]

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A Different View Of The World

May 30, 2018

So I was getting a hamburger and decided to sit in the solarium… In case it’s hard to read the photo, the restaurant extends past the facade of the old tenement building it’s housed in. The bulk of the space is the old indoor commercial space, and the extension outward has a skylight/curtain wall that […]

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Easy To Understand

May 29, 2018

That’s the bottom of an old elevator shaft. As it true for many small old elevators, the rails that guide the cab are located diagonally across the shaft – in this case on the far right (visible) and near left (not really visible). ┬áIf you look at the base of the rail at the far […]

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A Cross Between A Ghost And A Zombie

May 29, 2018

That’s a nice old commercial building on Thomas Street, with its west flank exposed by past demolition and the fact that the new apartment house next door is set back from the building line. You can see the old joist pockets in the west face of the wall, lined up in rows where the floors […]

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Decoration Day 3 of 3

May 28, 2018

And back to 1876, the statue of Lincoln in Union Square has been decorated. Decoration Day post 1 and post 2.

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Decoration Day 2 of 3

May 27, 2018

In 1917, during World War I, a Decoration Day crowd collected at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on Riverside Drive. Decoration Day post 1 and post 3 to follow.

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Decoration Day 1 of 3

May 26, 2018

Before Memorial Day was officially called Memorial Day, it was Decoration Day. That’s part of the crowd for the Decoration Day parade in 1876, surrounding the equestrian statue of George Washington in Union Square. Decoration Day post 2 and post 3 to follow.

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The Passage of Time Illustrated

May 25, 2018

A pretty day in Chelsea…I took the picture for the piece highlighted below. A is a mid-1800s house, B is a 1930s group of apartment buildings, and C is a 2010s group of highrises. Serendipity got them all lined up for a group picture.

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