Filed under: Queens
d made a very astute observation regarding this post:
I thought I recognized the parachute drop from Coney Island – it was in Queens for the Worldâ€™s Fair and moved to Coney in the 40s. I absolutely love that thing, and on a recent jaunt to Coney (I go there pretty frequently), this old Brooklyn character sat down (with a beer in a paperbag, natch) at the table where my friend and I were sitting on the boardwalk and told us loads of stories, including that the parachute drop is called the â€œEiffel Tower of Brooklyn.â€
It’s true: Brooklyn’s “Eiffel Tower” is in fact sloppy seconds from Queens!
The ride was built in and towered over the fair’s “Amusement Zone”. The Life Savers company sponsored the ride, investing $15,000 and decorating the new tower with brightly lit candy-shaped rings. Eleven parachutes were used, leaving the tower with one empty arm. Adult riders paid 40 cents, children a quarter. The trip up took about a minute and the drop down was over in 10 or 20 seconds. The official 1939 Fair guidebook describes the ride:
Eleven gaily-colored parachutes operated from the top of a 250-foot tower, enable visitors to experience all the thrills of “bailing out” without the hazard or discomfort. Each parachute has a double seat suspended from it. When two passengers have taken their places beneath the ‘chute, a cable pulls it to the summit of the tower. An automatic release starts the drop, and the passengers float gently to the ground. Vertical guide wires prevent swaying, a metal ring keeps the ‘chute open at all times, and shock-absorbers eliminate the impact of the landing. One of the most spectacular features of the Amusement Area, this is also a type of parachute jump similar to that which the armies of the world use in early stages of training for actual parachute jumping.
At one point entangled cables left a Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Rathborne aloft for five hours; the next day they returned to ride again, probably at the behest of publicists for the ride or the fair. Another couple, Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward, were married on the ride in a celebrated “parachute wedding”. The entire wedding party was suspended aloft until the newlyweds completed their vows and descended.*
Tilyou paid $150,000 for this parachute drop and it opened in 1941. At face value this would appear to be bad timing. It wasn’t: per this article from June 23, 1943 edition of the New York Times.
You can read the rest by clicking here. Otherwise here are a few pictures from Coney Island the month the previous article was written.
Father and son at Coney Island. Note the parachute drop at the far left!
From what I can tell about the lot of negatives of I have this chap was in the Navy During World War II. He looks glum about his future in this photo (and rightfully so). Coney Island’s future nowadays looks equally dismal.
*Too bad it is inoperative now. Sounds like the perfect place for Levi Johnston’s shotgun wedding.
Photo Credit: Parachute Jump Postcards, www.history.amusement-parks.com
From Metropolitan Avenue.
Filed under: Area 51
After seeing all these sad stock traders via Gawker I felt sad. I asked myself:
How can I help these chaps?
Time and time again. The solution finally came to me in the most of unexpected places: while knocking around Sunset Park.
Put on your best Brooks Brothers suit and polish your resumes chaps, because this deli at 41st Street and 7th Avenue (despite the recession) is hiring!
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic
The last two weeks I have noticed A LOT of discarded mattresses gracing the sidewalks of Greenpoint. Initially I chalked it up to “moving day”. Now I have my doubts.
I encountered this impressive bedding behemoth— the Robert Scarano of sleeper super-structures— on Franklin Street between Green and Huron last night. I was aghast.
Even a chap walking his dog (as seen at the far left in this photograph) was taken by its majestic presence.
Egypt can keep its pyramids (as beautiful and wonderfully engineered as they are). It’s the 21st Century now and we need to adjust our expectations/criteria accordingly (READ: downward).
Behold The 8th Wonder of The World: Greenpoint’s very own Colossus of Abodes. Once slept on by humans, now it is affordable housing for bedbugs.
Filed under: Area 51
From 7th Avenue and 56th Street, Sunset Park.
I’m writing in the hopes that you might be able to help me
reach out to Greenpoint residents about something that happened to myself and several friends on Friday night.Â Apologies if this is somewhat long, but I think the details are important to understanding the situation.
This is what happened. I met with four friends shortly after 10pm on Friday night (Oct. 10th) at the Black Rabbit, where we scored a large table in back. There were 3 women and 2 men. Two of us had met earlier for dinner, the rest arrived from elsewhere. I know that my friend and I had had one cocktail at about 7:30 and one glass of wine with dinner. The other people arrived from disparate places– most had consumed one, maybe two drinks earlier in the evening. In short, we weren’t stone cold sober, but we were by no means drunk– this is a pretty quiet group of people in their mid-30s to early 40s.
We ordered one round of drinks– 3 of us had Sixpoint pints, two had mixed drinks. Everything was fine, we all were totally lucid, talking about Halloween costume ideas. At approximately 11pm, we ordered a second round of drinks– 4 of us ordered Sixpoints, the 5th had another mixed drink. For those who have not been, there is table service at this bar– a waiter orders and retrieves the drinks from the bartender. We know this waiter from having come many times in the past. There is a kind of staging area at the end of the bar where the drinks are placed, waiting to be picked up.
I remember everything we were talking about, and I remember ordering the drink. I remember the drink being put down in front of me. The next think I remember is waking up fully clothed lying on top of my bed. My boyfriend was lying on the floor in the living room. I have no recollection of how we got home (just a few blocks away), but later learned that I had melted down about 5 minutes after starting my drink and asked to be taken home. My boyfriend was trying to pay the bill but started slurring and not speaking coherently. The two other women we were with were too spaced out to notice. The only person who was aware of, and alarmed by the sudden change in our behavior was the mixed drink drinker, who was completely fine.
Apparently on our walk home, we were stumbling and my boyfriend was clinging to the sides of buildings trying to stay standing up. I guess he fell twice, although I can’t remember a single thing. Two of our friends had come from Fort Greene– luckily the person who was not affected was there to get his girlfriend home, who found she could barely stand after she got on the G train. She threw up repeatedly for 24 hours. The rest of us had splitting headaches and have been unnaturally exhausted for two days.
I don’t know what to say about what caused this reaction, and I don’t want to throw around accusations. But the severity and the suddenness of this group response seems very, very strange, and very suspicious. I’ve NEVER had a reaction like this and the symptoms, while consistent with drunkenness, involved a severely disproportionate loss of motor skills. It’s honestly very frightening– I feel fortunate that we were able to get home without getting injured or worse.
I’m telling you all this for two reasons– the first, to try to find out if anything like this has happened to anyone else. I posted an inquiry on Craigslist, but thought that your readership might a better place to look for advice.
The second is that, if something underhanded did happen, I think that people should know and should take extra precautions in terms of monitoring their drinks. I’m especially concerned about women out by themselves. I’m a regular at the Black Rabbit– I honestly don’t think it was anyone who worked there, and I don’t want to cast a pallor on a great local business. But this is serious, and I think people need to know about it. We were INCAPACITATED, utterly unable to fend for ourselves, and it happened within a span of 10-15 minutes. I am having trouble finding an explanation for what happened that doesn’t point toward something being put in our drinks. If this is someone’s idea of a sick joke, people need to be on the look out– bartenders/owners especially, as this is the kind of thing that can cause you to lose your liquor license.
We’ve spoken to the owner of the bar and asked him to file a police report. If anyone had a similar experience, it is important for them to contact me so that we can gather as much information as possible to get to the bottom of this case.
I’m sorry to send such a strange message, but I’m at a loss about what to do. I’m not sure if you would be willing to write about this in your blog, but I thought it was worth a try. I feel a little uncomfortable posting my real name and email address (I’m a professor at CUNY with a pending tenure case, and while I’m sure there’s no direct conflict there, I’d rather not have a google search of my name be linked to getting slipped a mickey)…
As soon as I read this missive I immediately said to myself:
GHB (AKA: gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid) or Rohypnol. Both are siblings in the family of “date rape” drugs.
I have mentioned once or twice before on this blog that I once worked for a crime victims board. The state I worked in had a problem with violence against women, e.g.; aggravated battery, domestic violence and rape. To this end the V.A.W.A. and V.O.C.A. office worked very hard to raise awareness about “date rape drugs”. I am neither an expert nor do I have the benefit of drug test results. But Anonymous’s story sounds a lot like a heavy dose of GHB and or Rohypnol. Possibly both.
Apparently on our walk home, we were stumbling and my boyfriend was clinging to the sides of buildings trying to stay standing up. I guess he fell twice, although I can’t remember a single thing… We were INCAPACITATED, utterly unable to fend for ourselves, and it happened within a span of 10-15 minutes…
Rohypnol (per Wikipedia):
The sedative effects of Rohypnol begin to appear approximately 15 to 20 minutes after the drug is ingested. The effects typically last from four to eight hours after administration of the drug, but some cases have been reported in which the effects were experienced for twelve or more hours after administration.
“Rohypnol can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. It can produce “anterograde amnesia,” which means that individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the effects of the drug.”…
…Two of our friends had come from Fort Greene– luckily the person who was not affected was there to get his girlfriend home, who found she could barely stand after she got on the G train. She threw up repeatedly for 24 hours. The rest of us had splitting headaches and have been unnaturally exhausted for two days…
GHB (per Wikipedia):
Common recreational doses of GHB are in the range of 1.8 to 2.7 grams, a large amount compared with most other sedative drugs, which can be active in amounts measured in milligrams. Doses required to induce complete sedation are even higher in most individuals. This makes detection of a drink tainted with GHB more likely and makes use of GHB to spike drinks considerably more difficult. Victims may not necessarily be “knocked out” by the drink but are often in a walking blackout and may or may not pass out.
It should also be noted that vomiting under the influence of GHB is not uncommon.
As it would happen I was at the Black Rabbit that evening. It was very busy. It would have been very, very easy for someone to spike drinks without the staff of the Black Rabbit (and they’re great folks all) without noticing. It also would have been very, very easy for someone to follow Anonymous and her friends from the bar and rob them. Fortunately, this did not happen.
Unfortunately GHB leaves the system very, very quickly. That’s why people choose to use it for nefarious purposes. My advice: if you experience symptoms like the ones described in this post PLEASE call the police (or have someone call them for you). Time is of the essence when it comes to detecting “date rape” drugs. The fact of the matter is no bar— even one as professional as the Black Rabbit —is immune from someone who wants to do bad things. Be careful. And if being careful doesn’t work, call 311 911 IMMEDIATELY.
Photo Credit: Switchedonset.com
If you lose your vacation shots “in a bikini” and some “modeling photos” just let them go. Posting a flier (such as the above-depicted one which hails from Franklin and North 14th Street) will not help you get them back. If anything this virtually ensures you will never ever see them again*. Until they hit the Internet, anyway.
*How much do you want to bet immediately after this flier was posted men were beating the bushes looking for these pix?
Filed under: Queens
One of the benefits of being a pack rat and a wee bit lackadaisical with the house keeping is when you finally DO get around to organizing it feel likes Christmas. There’s a treat under every pile of old magazines, old books, etc. This was certainly the case this weekend. Which brings me to the pile of old negatives gracing the beginning of this post: I have had these for months— but alas my scanner cannot process them. Until I exercised a little ingenuity, that is. Then I got a real treat; something so utterly nifty I simply had to share it!
Snapshots of the 1939 World’s Fair!
This negative was in pretty bad shape, yet I really like the finished image. Very moody.
I’m a big fan of this family unit. “Grandma” looks like one tough character.
There are twelve photographs in total. You can see them on my Flickr page by clicking here. By all means do check them out. They’re an incomparable sneak peek into the New York City of yesteryear!
P.S.: There are many, many more old pix (of New York City!) where these came from so stay tuned. You’re in for are real treat!
I spied this last night at the Black Rabbit and found it too good to pass up. What does a Greenpoint zombie look like, you wonder? Well, head over to the Diamond Bar between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Halloween and find out! Given the offer of “$3.00 pints for all zombies” I imagine they will be quite plentiful!
From India Street.