Merchant’s House Museum Garden Talk

July 15th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I was so nervous before my talk at the Merchant’s House Museum Garden on Thursday, but it was delightful. Margaret Halsey Gardiner, the executive director of the Museum, couldn’t have been more welcoming, as was Tim Ranney, who invited me. Then afterwards I joined the group tour of the museum.

The Merchant’s House is a building on West 4th Street that was bought by a hardware merchant, Seabury Tredwell, in 1835. His family lived there until his youngest child, Gertrude, died there in 1933. It’s now a museum with most of its original furniture and contents (clothes, decor, etc.)

On the floor for the servants was a list of people who had worked there at one time or another. I plan to research whether or not any of them ever ended up on Blackwell’s Island. I can’t research “Bridget Murphy,” or “Mary Smith,” because it would be too difficult or impossible to determine if one of the Bridget Murphys I found, for instance, was the one who used to work in the home of Seabury Tredwell. But there the names of three women were unusual enough to give it a try. Even better, they were 40 years old, so the chances are a little less likely that they married and changed their names.

Merchant's House Museum Garden

I Miss my Pigeons

July 12th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I used to feed pigeons on the roof of my building, but I had to stop due to landlord complaints, and the expense. The pigeons would wait for me every day and it broke my heart when I knew they’d be waiting in vain. Sob. I took this picture of a pigeon on my roof a couple of weeks ago and I thought I had already posted it. I love it because it looks like a painting.

I’m very late at promoting these events!!

July 11th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’ve got two book events coming up, both in very lovely settings. One is tomorrow. TOMORROW. It will take place in the Merchant’s House Museum garden as long as it doesn’t rain! The other one is on Monday, July 16, at Brooklyn’s Books Beneath the Bridge series in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. My reading there is sponsored by Freebird Books. Thank you so much, Freebird Books!

A detail from a drawing of prisoners on Blackwell’s Island.

Manhattan Samba

July 8th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The band I played with for many years, Manhattan Samba, played out on a pier near where I live. I went down and shot some film of them, and I’m going to edit it later in the week. This is a screenshot. It was a lovely evening and I envied their playing out in the sun and sea air!

Manhattan Samba, New York City, 2018

Fireworks From My Roof

July 5th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I don’t know why, but every year I feel less and less inclined to go up to my roof to watch the fireworks.  Who am I?? The first time I saw fireworks was out in a great big field on a farm on Long Island, and I was completely spellbound, of course. After that night it became my life mission to see fireworks, and to get as close as possible.

The pinnacle for me was the 1983 centennial for the Brooklyn Bridge. I was able to wend my way practically right up against the Manhattan side of the bridge and it was simply glorious. I wonder if there’s a video of it somewhere. Found one! This gives a glimpse of how astounding it was. And I was this close. I’ll never forget it. What happened to me??

Maybe the problem is I watch them from a distance now. Except every year I say next year I will go back to going up close and every year I have to make myself climb one flight of stairs! I do it for the photographs. I still love taking pictures.

Fourth of July Fireworks, New York City, 2018

Fourth of July Fireworks, New York City, 2018