The New York Times has a great article in this Sunday’s paper about urban exploration, Children of Darkness. Seeing photos of decaying historic artifacts and hidden landmarks reminds you of the layered history of New York. We don’t have any Stone Henge’s, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a fascinating, layered story beneath the surface of the five boroughs.
I was never interested in history, of any type, until a few years ago, after seeing Martin Scorcese’s film, Gangs of New York. My interest stemmed from the fact that my father is from Queens, NY and his father’s family came to the United States from Ireland at the turn of the 19th century. I remember walking out of the movie theatre on 11th Street and 3rd Avenue, realized all that had taken place on this very ground over 100 years ago. I literally got chills.
Since then, I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy history. Though learning about New York’s past, I’ve obviously learned more about the history of all sorts of other countries, filling in the Big Picture better in my brain. It’s all connected.
I recently picked up The Five Points, by Tyler Anbinder, which is great as well as New York, Then and Now, by Edward B. Watson.