Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The Flats Staircase was the center of the action. The two public bathrooms on the left and right were cruising spots and shooting galleries covered in graffiti. If you didn't know anyone here after dark was dangerous.
The Hall leading to Bethesda Fountain. Fully restored.
The fully restored ceilings are beautiful.
Site of the infamous Baby Face Killer murder. Daphne Abdela whom I went to school with, butchered a man with her boyfriend in 1997. Read Nancy Jo Sales tale of upper east kids gone wrong. She was known to bribe private school kids with beer and weed for gossip. Read here
The top of the Rambles. This was the infamous gay cruising zone featured in many movies including "Cruising" with Al Pachino. NetFlix that. Still creepy even at day time. Many ghosts inhabit this area.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Home" as the title of her best-selling autobiography?
A. Polly Adler, the most renowned madam of the Jazz Age.
Q. What Upper West Sider claimed to be the "real" designer
of Central Park?
A. Brigadier General Egbert L. Viele, a West Point-educated civil engineer. He sued the city
over the Park issue, and eventually won a court award of ten thousand dollars.
Q. What famous old Upper West Side institution once occupied the present site of
A. The Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum. Morningside Heights was also known as "Asylum
Q. Early in the century, Mary Mallon was arrested while working as the cook for a
family on West 89th Street. Why?
A. "Typhoid Mary" was a carrier of the deadly typhus bacillus. The city health department
had repeatedly warned never to work as a cook, but it was the only trade she knew. She
ended her days in quarantine on an island in the East River.
Several square blocks of tenements were torn down to make way for Lincoln
Center, yet you can still see them today. Where and how?
A. The empty streets were used for location shooting and dance numbers in the movie
West Side Story.
Q. In 1896 two Upper West Siders, Arthur Smith and Henry Bliss, crossed paths in a
tragic landmark event. What and where?
A. As Mr. Bliss turned to help a lady alight from a streetcar at Central Park West and West
72nd Street, taxi driver Smith ran over him, crushing his chest. Bliss dies the next day, the
country's first auto fatality.
Q. Besides Mr. Bliss's accident the peaceful-looking corner of Central Park West and
West 72nd Street has an extraordinary number of associations with violence and
crime. How so?
A. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the convicted kidnapper-killer of the Lindberg baby, worked
as a carpenter in the Majestic Apartments on that corner at the time of the crime. Later,
mob bosses Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello all lived in the Majestic.
Costello was shot (not fatally) in the lobby in 1957. And across the street, John Lennon
was murdered in front of his home in the Dakota Apartments in 1980.
What Upper West Sider was the first woman to be honored with a ticker-tape
A. Seventeen-year-old Gertrude Ederle, daughter of an Amsterdam Avenue butcher,
became a hero to New Yorkers in 1926, when she became the first woman and the first
American to swim the English Channel.
Q. What Upper West Sider was the first New Yorker to own a private car?
A. The flamboyant James Buchanan Brady, of West 86th Street -- known to history as
Diamond Jim. (Diamond Jim may actually have been beaten out for the honor by another,
quieter Upper West Sider, the industrialist- lawyer-publisher Isaac L. Rice.)
Q. What national dance craze was introduced in an Upper West Side musical?
A. The Charleston, introduced in 1922 by Elizabeth Welch in the last act of the all-Black
musical Runnin' Wild at the Colonial Theatre, Broadway and 63rd Street.
Church on Broadway and West 67th Street, even broke through the plate-glass
window before the police restored order. Who or what was inside?
A. The body of silent-screen Sheik Rudolph Valentino, who had died at a nearby hospital.
Interestingly, Valentino had started his show-business career just a few blocks away and
13 years earlier as a "taxi dancer" in a cabaret on Upper Broadway.
Owney Madden. BOSS
he Westies are a predominantly Irish American organized crime association operating from the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan's West Side in New York City. They were most influential from 1965 — 1986. During this time period, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Organized Crime Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other organized crime experts believe that the Westies murdered 60-100 people. Westies victims were often dismembered and in some cases tortured to death. Organized crime experts consider the Westies to have been one of the most violent and feared crime groups in New York City during the time of their operation.
Despite the long-time presence of Irish-American organized crime in Hell's Kitchen and the notorious generational rise to power in the mid-1960s, the Westies did not receive their title until 1977, from a detective investigating the murder of Genovese crime family-affiliated loanshark Charles "Ruby" Stein.
According to crime author T.J. English, "Although never comprised of more than twelve to twenty members — depending on who was in or out of jail at any given time — the Westies became synonymous with the last generation of Irish in the birthplace of the Irish Mob...."Mickey Featherstone. Thug then Snitch. no props.During the late 1970s, Coonan tightened his alliance between the Westies and the Gambino organization, then run by Paul Castellano. Coonan's main contact was Roy DeMeo, who had brought him word of Spillane's assassination. With Coonan's cunning and Featherstone's reputation, the two men ensured a notoriously vicious stranglehold on the already brutal racketeering circles of Hell's Kitchen. In 1979 both Coonan and Featherstone were acquitted of the murder of a bartender, Harold Whitehead. Another Westie, Jimmy McElroy, was acquitted of the murder of a Teamster in 1980.
Even as both Westies leaders were imprisoned in 1980—Coonan on gun possession charges, Featherstone on a federal counterfeiting rap—the gambling, loansharking, and union shakedowns continued on the streets of the West Side. After DeMeo himself was murdered, Coonan's Gambino family connection became Danny Marino, a capo from Brooklyn. Coonan eventually interacted directly with John Gotti, who took over the Gambino Family after the murder of Castellano in December 1985. From time to time, the Westies worked for the Gambino Family as a contract killer squad.
Bad blood between Coonan and Featherstone, in part due to Featherstone's distaste for Coonan's Italian mob connections, eventually led to Featherstone being framed for the murder of Michael Holly, a construction worker and neighborhood bar owner who refused to give the Westies "protection money." Holly became an enemy of the Westies gang when an off-duty policeman saw John Bokun shoot Michael Holly in Holly's bar. The policeman shot and killed John Bokun and the Westies blamed Holly for the death. Holly was murdered in broad daylight on West 35th Street in April, 1985 by Westie member, and John's brother Billy Bokun, while wearing a wig and moustache to impersonate Featherstone, and renting a car identical to the one Featherstone was driving.
Featherstone was convicted in early 1986 and began cooperating with the government in hopes of getting the murder conviction overturned. The information he and his wife Sissy provided, and the recordings they helped make, achieved this aim. In September 1986 the prosecutor who oversaw Featherstone's conviction in the Holly frame told the presiding judge that post-conviction investigation had revealed Featherstone was innocent of that particular crime. The judge immediately overturned the verdict.
At that point the information provided by the Featherstones resulted in the arrest of Coonan and several other Westies on state charges of murder and other crimes. Shortly afterward, federal prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani announced a devastatingRacketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) indictment against Coonan and others for criminal activities going back twenty years. Featherstone testified in open court for four weeks in the trial that began in September 1987 and concluded with major convictions in 1988. Jimmy Coonan was sentenced to sixty years in prison on assorted charges. Other leading gang members were also sentenced to long prison terms, including James "Jimmy Mac" McElroy, a top enforcer who was sentenced to 60 years, and Richard "Mugsy" Ritter, a career criminal sentenced to 40 years imprisonment on loan-sharking and drug related charges.
 Jimmy Coonan. BOSS.
The war began when James "Jimmy C" Coonan, an 18-year-old Irish hood, had sworn revenge against Michael "Mickey" Spillane, the boss of Hell's Kitchen. The vendetta was undertaken for two reasons: the first was the Spillane initiated kidnapping and pistol whipping of Coonan's father. The second reason was that Spillane had an open affair with Coonan's mother. Coonan's whole purpose was to restore his father's honor. The "war" began in 1966 when the younger Coonan purchased an automatic machine gun and fired off a magazine from the top of a Hell's Kitchen tenement building at Spillane and his associates. Although Coonan failed to murder Spillane and his followers, not even wounding one man, Spillane received the word that the younger hoodlum was not to be taken lightly.
Coonan was imprisoned for a short period of time because of murder and kidnapping charges that were pleaded down to a Class E Disorderly Conduct Felony Charge and a Class C Manslaughter Felony Charge. He was released in late 1971 and continued on with his war and his criminal career. He and his gang of young Irish hoods began kidnapping, beating, and murdering Spillane loyalists. Coonan soon enlisted a 24-year-old Vietnam Vet by the name of Francis "Mickey" Featherstone as his right-hand man in his war against Spillane. The war became so intense that citizens of Hell's Kitchen had to choose sides. Those who took Spillane's side were subject to beatings, kidnappings, store vandalism, and robberies, all at the hands of Coonan's younger generation of Irish hoods. Those who chose Coonan's side were immune from these harsh activities because Spillane's gang was much older and more respectable.Mickey Spillane. BOSS.
n the early 1960s Mickey Spillane — no relation to the author of the same name — stepped into a power vacuum that had existed in Hell's Kitchen since gang leaders fled the area in the early 1950s to avoid prosecution. A mobster from Queens named Hughie Mulligan had been running Hell's Kitchen since then; Spillane, a Hell's Kitchen native, was his apprentice until inheriting the fief.
Spillane ran the area with a "Godfather" style, sending flowers to neighbors in the hospital and providing turkeys to needy families during Thanksgiving in addition to running gambling enterprises such as bookmaking and policy, accompanied inevitably by loansharking. Loansharking naturally leads to assault, and Spillane had burglary arrests as well. However, among all his criminal activities, the most audacious was his "snatch" racket (kidnapping and holding local businessmen and members of other crime organizations for ransom); this probably most contributed to his eventual downfall.
Nonetheless, he was able to add to his neighborhood prominence by marrying Maureen McManus, a daughter of the prestigious McManus family which had run the Midtown Democratic Club since 1905. The union of political power with criminal activity enhanced the Westies' ability to control union jobs and labor racketeering, moving away from the declining waterfront and more strongly into construction jobs and service work at the New York Coliseum, Madison Square Garden and later the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
 Eddie Comminskey. THUG.
- Robert Lagville killed by Jimmy Coonan
- Jeremy Morales killed by Jimmy Coonan, William Murtha, Jackie Coonan and Eddie Sullivan
- John Riley killed by Mickey Featherstone and Tommy McElroy
- Emilio Rettagliatta killed by Mickey Featherstone
- Linwood Willis killed by Mickey Featherstone
- Michael Yelovich killed by Eddie Cummiskey
- Dennis Curley killed by Paddy Dugan
- Patrick "Paddy" Dugan killed by Eddie Cummiskey and Jimmy Coonan
- Charles Stein killed by Danny Grillo, Jimmy Coonan, Richie Ryan, Billie Beattie and Jimmy McElroy
- Walter Curtis killed by Eddie Cummiskey and Jimmy Coonan
- Richard Tasiello killed by Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone
- William Walker killed by Jimmy McElroy
- Harold Whitehead killed by Jimmy Coonan
- Henry Diaz killed by Kenny Shannon and Kevin Kelly
- Thomas Hess killed by Richard "Richie" Ryan
- Thomas Moresco
- Vincent Leone killed by Kevin Kelly and Jimmy McElroy
- Michael Holly killed by Billy Bokun and Kenny Shannon
The Apthorp is one of the rare New York City apartment buildings to occupy an entire city block. The Renaissance Revival building was designed by architects Clinton & Russell, was built between 1906 and 1908, and occupies the full block between Broadway and West End Avenue and between 78th and 79th Streets. The building is built around a huge interior courtyard. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a City Landmark.
In 2008 the building, which had been rental, became a condominium.The asking prices, nearly $3,000 a square foot, or an average of $6.5 million per apartment, make it "one of the most expensive condominium conversion projects" ever, according to the New York Times.Notable residents have included Nora Ephron  Al Pacino, Gelsey Kirkland, Conan O’Brien, Cyndi Lauper, Rosie O’Donnell, 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft, Rita Moreno from West Side Story, Barry Farber of talk radio fame, and newsman Roger Grimsby.
Growing up in Manhattan I've come across incredible apartments. My best friend growing up lived in a duplex on the 16th floor. His family had a wrap around terrace facing Central Park West. I spent many great days and nights in that building. It is truly one of the best residences on the UpWest. Shout out to Tone aka Sone one.
The Majestic was home to some of the former heads of the Luciano crime family (later called the Genovese crime family) including Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Frank Costello. In 1957, Vincent "The Chin" Gigante shot Frank Costello in the lobby of the Majestic in a failed assassination attempt.
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter lived in apartment 17J in 1933. Buchalter was a founding member of the New York syndicate, along with Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, and was head of its security arm, Murder, Inc.
The Majestic is a housing cooperative located at 115 Central Park West between 71st Street (Manhattan) and 72nd in New York City. The apartment building was constructed in 1930-1931 in the Art Deco style by real estate developed by Irwin S. Chanin. The building has 238 apartments in 29 storeys. Like the San Remo cooperative three blocks north, it has two towers facing the Central Park.
The apartment building replaced the Hotel Majestic designed by Alfred Zucker in 1894. The steel framed building was originally planned as a 45 story hotel, but the plans where changed mid way in the construction due to the depression and the passing of the Multiple Dwelling Act.
By Carter B. Horsley
One of the world's greatest residential buildings, this huge structure is distinguished by its three towers and its two major facades, one overlooking Central Park and the other Manhattan Square, the park that contains the American Museum of Natural History.
It is one of the masterpieces of architect Emery Roth, who also designed the twin-towered San Remo a few blocks south on Central Park West and whose firm, Emery Roth & Sons would design more office buildings in the city than any other firm.Although the building is only 22 stories tall, its presence is significantly more because of its scale. The towers, which have illuminated finials, are quite large and are spaced far apart. Originally, the north tower was open. The southeast corner tower contains a multi-level apartment that was occupied for a while by Mike Nichols, the director, and, at another time, by Helen Gurley Brown, the magazine editor, and her husband, David Brown, the producer. Other residents have included Beverly Sills, the opera singer, and columnist Leonard Lyons. In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian, bought a duplex apartment in the building from Isaac Stern, violinist, for about $4,350,000. City records indicated in September 2007 that David M. Brown paid $8,400,000 for a three-bedroom apartment next door to another three-bedroom he had purchased in 2004 for $10,500,000, and Vikram Pandit paid $17,850,000 for a 10-room apartment that had been owned by Tony Randall, the actor.
The building has 30 floors. The highest floors are in the two separate towers, a design it shares with other Central Park West co-ops like The San Remo, The Century and The Majestic. It was constructed in 1929-31 to the design of Margon & Holder, for Louis Klosk, a Bronx-based developer. The painted metal finials of the towers are a design of Emery Roth, in association with Margon & Holder."The futuristic sculptural detailing of the El Dorado, as well as its geometric ornament and patterns and its contrasting materials and textures, make it one of the finest Art Deco structures in the city. The towers are terminated by ornamented setbacks with abstract geometric spires that have been compared to Flash Gordon finials," observes Steven Ruttenbaum Details are cast in imitation stone, and there are bronze panels of low relief. The symmetrical massing of the building, with its terraced set-backs can be compared to the strikingly similar massing of Roth's classically-detailed The Beresford, completed in 1929, months before design of The El Dorado began.
The name is an inheritance from the former El Dorado, an undistinguished eight-storey apartment block of 1902 that formerly occupied the full block-front site.