"Since 2005, parts or all of 14 Manhattan sites have been sold or are in contract to be sold by Verizon, the successor to New York Telephone, property records show. The sales reflect the once vast scope of the old phone company's real-estate holdings, everything from two-story garages to modern towers to Art Deco skyscrapers. A telephone-exchange building that dates to 1917 is now on the market by Verizon on West 36th Street near Seventh Avenue as a potential hotel site. No asking price has been set. Properties are also on the market in Philadelphia and Boston. The Art Deco edifices were designed to illustrate the grandeur and power of [...]
"For those youngsters unfamiliar with it, Pong was a rudimentary video game that seemed nothing short of miraculous when it first appeared in the mid-'70s. It consisted of two cursors meant to simulate players' table tennis rackets. An electronic ball (though my recollection is that it more closely resembled a puck) traveled between them, careening off in unexpected directions when struck. The challenge was to avoid letting the ball get by you."
"Younger New Yorkers might be shocked to hear that the blocks around Bloomie’s were once a place for action. Dylan’s Candy Bar’s kiddie legions can’t replace the trendies who flocked to Yellowfinger’s. Cinemas I, II and III can’t touch the original Cinema I, where another generation lined up for hours to see 'A Clockwork Orange' rather than to eat at Mission Chinese."
Were you old enough to catch the Very Special "Diff'rent Strokes" when it originally aired?
"It was the dawn of the Lilith Fair era, and the Cranberries were hardening their sound just as Jewel and Sarah McLachlan were enchanting America with a mellower, rootsier sound." —Do you ever read something and think, "Oh my God, now it is time for me to kill myself?" Because that is how all of this makes me feel. And I don't even like the Cranberries.
"They are frequently portrayed as primitive cave-dwelling brutes, but it seems that Neanderthals were the original home makers. A study of archaeological remains at a site where Neanderthals lived up to 100,000 years ago has shown that they carefully organised their shelters. Activities like butchering [...]
"The last Guinness World Record set of people wearing zany costume eyewear was in [...]
Oh, man, remember how much you hated the Bush administration, and how you felt like, "Once that is over everything will finally get good again" and then everything stayed shit and somehow actually got worse? Here: This will help you recall the simpler times, when hate was all you needed to give you hope.
"Launched in 1978 by the Mead Corporation (which was acquired by ACCO Brands in 2012), Trapper Keeper notebooks are brightly colored three-ring binders that hold folders called Trappers and close with a flap. From the start, they were an enormous success: For several years after their nationwide release, Mead sold over $100 million of the folders and notebooks a year. To date, some 75 million Trapper Keepers have flown off store shelves."
"The Greenbriars’ house is bedecked with the trappings of 1990s popular culture: Magic Eye images; homemade VHS recordings; posters for rock shows featuring musical acts like Weezer and Soul Asylum and Lisa Loeb (as well as obscurities like Veruca Salt); TV listings that include 'Family Matters,' 'The X-Files' and 'Walker, Texas Ranger.'"
"Harlan Coben, the best-selling thriller writer, was 9 years old, another Newark refugee in Livingston, when he met Christie on a Little League field, the future governor a chunky kid in a catcher’s get-up coming toward him, saying his full name: Harlan Coben—Hi, I’m Chris Christie. 'What 9-year-old does that?' Coben said to me 42 years later. New Jersey then was barely the Jersey we know now, but by the time Christie was a teenager and a Bruce Springsteen fan of extreme emotion and attachment, the persona of the state was beginning to take hold."
"Setting up a new iOS device earlier this week, I skimmed through the list of apps I’ve installed over the years and I got nostalgic about the early days of the smartphone revolution."
There are a whole number of reasons I feel disassociated from the generations that came after me but I think the biggest factor in the weird sense of distance I have from them is that whenever I try to explain what life was like in a world of three channels they cannot even fathom that level of existence. It is as if I were speaking a different language, which I suppose all explanations of the past are actually expressed in. Anyway, youngsters, watch the first minute of this clip here and try to imagine a time when this was the thing on Saturday night that your babysitter would let [...]
You have probably seen that commercial for the Toyota Corolla that shuffles through the last 50 years or so of musical styles and, if you are anything like me, you experience a brief bit of shock when it gets to the end and the beautiful group of multiracial young people are, I guess, twerking to EDM or whatever and you're like, "This is supposed to be now." It's jarring in a lot of ways, particularly if that actually is what's going on out there (I don't get around much anymore), but even if it's not the power of persistent imagery can hang a vision on an era and [...]
"Finding an unpublished George Gurley piece is like opening a perfectly written time capsule. In May 2001, New York City was preparing to say farewell to a term-limited Rudy Giuliani and welcome anyone from Mark Green to Freddy Ferrer to Michael Bloomberg as its first new leader in eight years. An intrepid young Observer reporter named George Gurley hit the party scene to ask prominent New Yorkers what they thought would happen to the city. He wrote it up and then … it disappeared. —You know what? It IS like opening a time capsule. It really, really is.
"The sailing was better when we were young." —Guess what kind of sailing. GUESS!
"In olden days, people hoping to get their rocks off using the Internet had no choice but to try their luck on services like Match.com or OkCupid — which require them to fill out profiles, choose flattering photos, and spend hours crafting messages that likely went unread — or wade into the sketchy backwaters of Adult FriendFinder or Craigslist postings. "