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    A legal thriller and an intricately plotted gruesome mystery, Grisham and Galbraith join the top five this week.

    Rogue Lawyer Cover

    #1 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, some enduring legal thrillers:

    Presumed Innocentby Scott Turow

    Anatomy of a Murderby Robert Traver

    Defending Jacobby William Landay




    Career of Evil Cover

    #2 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, more intricately plotted gruesome mysteries:

    Broken Monstersby Lauren Buekes

    Mr. Shiversby Robert Bennett

    Nocturnalby Scott Sigler




    See Me Cover

    #3 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed See Me by Nicholas Sparks,  more characters with secrets in their pasts:

    The Matchmakerby Elin Hilderbrand

    The Undomestic Goddessby Sophia Kinsella

    Me Before You by Joju Moyes




    The Martian Cover

    #4 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Martian by Andy Weir, more survival stories:

    Annihilation by Jeff Vadermeer

    The Strainby Guillermo Del Toro

    Lock Inby John Scalzi




    The Survivor Cover

    #5 Recommendations for readers who enjoyed The Survivor by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills, conspiracy theories and government coverups:

    The Octopus: secret government and the death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith

    The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

    JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedyby L. Fletcher Prouty

    For more recommendations, see
    Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your picks! Tell us what you'd recommend: Leave a comment or email us.

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    Gone Girl

    Girl meets Boy. Girl marries Boy. Boy meets Another Woman.

    Girl goes out of her mind with rage. Big Time.

    This familiar trope plays out in a complex web of nail-biting intrigue in Gillian Flynn'spopular mystery novel and screenplay Gone Girl, but this theme of punishing a philandering spouse to the extreme has ancient roots. This month in the Reader's Den, we compare Gone Girl to Euripides's Medea, and look at other works that deal with this similar theme of femme fatales.

    She is deliciously tall sort of a long girl
    She is delightfully small sort of a song girl
    She freely admits to the world that she was a wrong girl
    That's nothing compare to the fact that she is a gone girl
    Johnny Cash 'Gone Girl'

    Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott met and courted as journalist/writers in NYC, but after losing their jobs, they move to a rented McMansion in Nick's hometown of North Carthage, Missouri to take care of his dying mother and play out their disintegrating marriage ritual in slow motion. Amy is an exacting perfectionist, and the subject of her parents' popular children's book series Amazing Amy. Nick buys a bar in North Carthage with his twin sister Go (Margo) using Amy's trust fund money. On the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne disappears out of thin air. Nick and Amy take turns narrating chapters in a 'Dear Diary' fashion through the novel to articulate each character's mindset, or so it seems. In these 'diary entries' we learn of Amy's condescension towards her life in North Carthage, Nick's affair with a college student, and Amy's miscarriage. The book unravels as a great thriller as Nick perilously jumps through the many traps implicating him in Amy's murder, as she masterfully twists the media's eye to smear Nick's character as the principal suspect in her apparent disappearance/murder. Flynn crafts a razor-sharp psychotic mind residing within Amy Dunne, she acts only minimally rashly, until she realizes she still has strong feelings for Nick, and then becomes willing to do anything to gain back the love of her husband.

    Medea. Image ID: 1622990

    "Ah my sufferings, my wretched sufferings, they invite a world's tears! O cursed children of a hateful mother, I want you to die along with your father, and all the house to go to ruins!" (from Medea ). Euripides's play of the Medea story, first produced in 431 BC, takes place about two and a half millennia earlier than the Gone Girl travails, but contains many similar elements of matrimonial revenge. Medea and Amy Dunne both relocate and leave their family of origin for the sake of their spouses; Amy from New York to Missouri, while Medea leaves Colchis to follow Jason to Corinth, after she aided Jason in locating the Golden Fleece (in exchange for marrying her, by some accounts). Nick also takes advantage of Amy's trust fund in order to finance the bar he opens with his sister back in North Carthage. Amy disappears herself after learning of Nick's infidelity, while Medea is banished by Creon, King of Corinth, fearing the wrath of her revenge. Gone Girl's Amy Dunne and Medea both use children as a means of hurting and manipulating their spouses, Amy blackmails Nick into staying with her though a pregnancy, while Medea amps up her game to an unthinkable level by threatening to kill her children, Mermeros and Pheres. And stylistically speaking, the play Medea makes use of a Greek Chorus to add emotional charge and an external voice to the story, while the film version of Gone Girl features an ethereal and edgy soundtrack composed by Nine Inch Nails's Trent Reznor to heighten the emotions of the audience.

    Euripides (480 - 406 B.C.) is one of Greece's greatest dramatic writers, and in many ways, revolutionized Western theatrical traditions that endure to this day. He often portrayed 'ordinary' characters under extraordinary pressures and circumstances; in order to distil the most emotional reactions that could come alive on stage. He stood apart from other writers of his age by giving voice and depth to all echelons of society, including female characters, such as Medea. Like Euripides, Gillian Flynn has said of her work that she wanted to write about female aggression in an honest way "...we still don't discuss our own violence. We devour the news about Susan Smith or Andrea Yates—women who drowned their children—but we demand these stories to be rendered palatable."

    In our next installment of the Reader's Den, we will discuss other books, films and dramatic works similar to the femme fatale themes seen in Medea and Gone Girl.

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  • 11/02/15--09:24: Rock 'n' Read: Colleen Green
  • Colleen Green

    “To me the library represents peace, warmth, and understanding.”

    Colleen Green's musical output began as one-woman lower-than-lo-fi cassette recordings made in her bedroom. More apparent than her love for The Descendents (two album titles make reference to the seminal punk band, and her cover of "Good Good Things" is highly recommended) was her loner ennui. With the release of I Want To Grow Up in February, Green's third full length album, she may have left her bedroom and entered a proper studio, but her indie-pop is still fuzzy and her tone remains endearingly straightforward. While pop music may not have a reputation for particularly deep lyrics, the LA (by way of Boston) transplant smashes this stereotype. It comes as no surprise that such a skilled writer has been a lifelong reader. Check out Green's literary predilections and rock 'n' read forever!

    Love You Forever

    What role have libraries played throughout your life? 

    As a kid I was constantly at the Dunstable Town Library, always reading a new book and acting in the plays they would present. In high school it was a welcoming place, a gathering place, like your parents' living room. In college it was my secret spot to be alone and eat lunch on a comfy couch. I have very fond memories of school libraries. To me the library represents peace, warmth, and understanding. 

    Is there a specific person or book that made you into the reader you are now? 
    Catcher in the Rye
    My mother is undoubtedly the force that made me into a reader. She would always read to me when I was young, so much so that I would memorize the stories she'd read to me even before I was literate myself. To this day she can invariably be found with her nose in a book. 
    Has any one book in particular had a lasting effect on you? 
    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is a memorable story from my childhood that my mother would read to me. I can barely look at the title without bursting into tears.   
    Who is your favorite character from literature and why? 
    At the risk of sounding trite, my answer is Holden. He just gets it, and I relate to him because he's an outsider and feels alienated from all the people and things he perceives as being phony. This is a feeling I've always coped with but especially with the advent of social media and society's obsession with it. He thinks he's crazy because he isn't like them, but actually he is the most sane, present, and thoughtful of all. All of Salinger's characters are pretty wonderful; he has a gift for making them seem real and not imagined. But especially being the age I was when I first read The Catcher in the Rye, Holden was the most real to me. Patrick Bateman [from American Psycho] is also pretty awesome. 
    Gene Wilder Kiss Me Like a Stranger
    What genre do you prefer? Are there any you can't get into? 
    At present I'm most interested in reading celebrity autobiographies. Chris Rock, Ronnie Spector, Gene Wilder, Don Rickles,Rob Lowe, Pattie Boyd, and Bob Dylan all have great stories and I'd love recommendations in that category. You had a question earlier in the interview about "classic" books, and I'd say that is probably the genre that I have tried to get into in the past and can't quite seem to, and I deleted that question! But maybe I am not trying the right ones. 
    What are you currently reading? If nothing at the moment, what was the last book you read? 
    I just started reading Rose Madder by Stephen King. I've gone through his best and now on to the rest. He has a lot though. The last book I read was Gone Girl.

    "I recently realized that I can download books on my iPad...and that's kind of fun because I can easily take it with me when I travel and don't run the risk of thrashing a precious paperback."

     George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me
    Are you looking forward to any books to be released soon? 
    The day Mel Brooks releases an autobiography, I will be first in line! 

    While on tour, are you able to get much reading done? 
    Oh yes. Long car and plane rides are perfect for reading. I recently realized that I can download books on my iPad, and it's OK and it doesn't make me a complete piece of sh*t, and that's kind of fun because I can easily take it with me when I travel and don't run the risk of thrashing a precious paperback.
    Do you have any tour memories involving books or libraries? 
    Pet Sematary
    While on a U.S. tour with my first band, we would go into public libraries to use the internet and get directions because smart phones and laptops weren't really in use yet. On another tour, I had just finished reading Pet Sematary and was staying deep in the woods in Colorado and couldn't sleep because I was too scared.  
    Where is your favorite place to read? 
    Most of my reading is done on the road because there's so much downtime and there's no TV. But it's been really hot here in Los Angeles lately, so a couple of days ago I went out and sat in the shade in my driveway and read for a couple of hours and it was quite nice. 
    Do you do any other writing aside from songwriting? 
    Sometimes I write comics. 
    Bob Dylan Chronicles
    What kind of book would you write? 
    My book would probably be a sardonic kind of self-help book. 
    Have any specific authors, books, and/or poems influenced your songwriting in any way? 
    There's a line in my song "Goldmine" that alludes to something Holden Caulfield says: "I told her I loved her and all. It was a lie, of course, but the thing is, I meant it when I said it." I've always felt like a hopeless romantic and always connected with that sentiment. The line in my song goes: "I can't help myself / When I see you I believe I need you." 
    Do you have any favorite memoirs by musicians? 
    Mole People
    I don't enjoy Bob Dylan's music at all but I really enjoyed his Chronicles books. They are interestingly compiled and poetic.  Ronnie's [Spector] is also very fascinating and sad.
    What is the best book recommendation you have received? 
    The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City by Jennifer Toth. This non-fiction work was recommended to me by my dear friend Marisa. She has very good taste.
    Do you prefer physical books, e-books, or no strong opinion either way? 
    No strong opinion either way, because  I really just like to read but my hands and arms still get tired from holding the object. 
    Do you have a library card? If so, which library system are you a member of? 
    Yes, I am a member of the Los Angeles Public Library system. 

    Check out two of Colleen Green's albums from NYPL:

    Sock it to Me
    Colleen Green I Want to Grow Up

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    Rhiannon has a boyfriend called Justin. She desperately wants him to fulfill her needs, but he falls short in many ways. However, she is blown away by another soul that she encounters called, mysteriously, "A." A inhabits a different body every day of his/her life. A gets the opportunity to experience vastly different people's lives and to forever alter them for better or worse. A inhabits a suicidal girl, a gorgeous girl, a homeschooled boy, boys who are identical twins, Justin, Rhiannon, and more.

    A and Rhiannon express their widely different experiences. Rhiannon struggles to explain what it was like to have A hijack her life for a day. A tries to convey how disconcerting it is to wake up each day in a different location with different parents in a different body with a very different life. Despite their varying perspectives, A is smitten with Rhiannon, and Rhiannon desperately wants to make this relationship work since she has never met anyone who captivates her like A. Rhiannon emails A every day to discover where he/she is and whether they can meet up. It is a tenuous love.

    Another Day by David Levithan, 2015

    A sequel to Every Day, this book once again displays Levithan's brilliance. I almost think that this is a book about dissociation, or Dissociative Identity Disorder. "A" inhabits so many personalities and bodies.

    David Levithan's web site

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    Subscribe on iTunes.

    Each year Library Lions honors several distinguished individuals for outstanding achievements in their respective fields of arts, letters, and scholarship. This year we are thrilled to recognize Alan Bennett, Judith A. Jamison, Maira Kalman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Gloria Steinem as our Library Lions class of 2015. This week for the New York Public Library Podcast, we're proud to present the Library Lions on truth and inspiration.

    Maira Kalman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Gloria Steinem, Alan Bennett, and Judith A. Jamison

    Judith A. Jamison, dancer and choreographer, led the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater for twenty-one years.

    “Go after your own truth is the best piece of advice I have, and look at yourself in the mirror and get over it. You know, hey, you're gorgeous. You're profound because of your uniqueness. It's not conceit. It's the truth. And find what your truth is deeply inside of you. That's the only way you can inform someone sitting out there in the audience what their truth is. Otherwise, if you're putting all this camouflage on everything, then what's the point?”

    Gloria Steinem founded Ms., one of the most important magazines in American history, in 1971. A pioneering feminist, Steinem spoke about reconsidering social structures:

    “I think that the most sinister thing that happens to us perhaps is the belief that hierarchies, war, gender, race are human nature. And what libraries can give us by opening up other sources is an understanding that they're not human nature, that for ninety-five percent of history, in many cases as far as we can tell, the paradigm was the circle, not the pyramid. Not the hierarchy. And what once was can be again, not in the same way. But it could be again.”

    Beloved author-illustrator Maira Kalman is a true maker and intriguing thinker. She mused on the democratic gifts of libraries:

    “Going to a library in New York is a great experience because you can go to the park and you can go to the movies and you can go to the museum, but when you go to the library in the city, everybody's equal. And that's one of the greatest important things is that nobody is more important than anybody else. And you have to feel that way when you're a child, certainly when you're a child, that you're as important as anybody else, and I think that's what happens when you're in a library. The potential of every person is full and valid. The library is a smart safe haven. It's really a palace of good thinking in a way in that you can go in there and find whatever you need. You can really find whatever you need to navigate through life. I can't think of another place that's like that. Libraries are probably more important than ever.”

    As both a playwright and an author, Alan Bennett has a knack for capturing voices. The best tip he ever received? An approach to writing from Flannery O'Connor:

    “I picked up, I think from Flannery O'Connor who I've talked about, that if you've got a story to tell, don't start at the beginning. Start at the middle and go back and pick up what you need later on. For somebody who's starting to write, write what you want to write. Write the stuff that you're interested in. Write the parts that give you pleasure to write, and then fill it in, fill in the rest. I still do that. I write the lollipops, as it were, first and then do the drudge afterwards.”

    Karl Ove Knausgaard's six autobiographical novels created their own force field when they were published. He discussed moving books and inspiration:

    “It's a very difficult thing to realize yourself who you are inspired by or what is important for you. I just read things and somehow it's like I'm eating it and digesting it almost blindly. Then I write something five years later that you could follow the trace back to that book. It's a very narrow thing that I can do, and that's what I can do, and I'm doing that. And I can't do better. I'm doing the best I can. There's an enormous variety of really, really good things. And I never think, ‘I wish I had written that’ anymore because what I want to be when I read is moved. It's that simple. And if you are thinking about yourself in that or ambition or technique or something, you are not moved. So I'm a really bad reader in that way. But then again it's not that many books that move me anymore. You get used to it. You can see something and you know you are being tricked when you are, so that good literature has a scent around it, a concrete thing.”

    You can subscribe to the New York Public Library Podcast to hear more conversations with wonderful artists, writers, and intellectuals. Join the conversation today!

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  • 11/03/15--07:44: Printing Women: Diane Victor
  • St. George's Despair, Diane Victor, Print, 2012.
    St. George's Despair, Diane Victor, Print, 2012.

    While the exhibition Printing Women focuses on Henrietta Louisa Koenen’s (1830–1881) collection of female printmakers from the 16th to 19th centuries, it is only appropriate to signal women’s continuing participation in the medium as well as the Library’s longstanding commitment to acquiring and exhibiting prints made by women from around the world. To complement this earlier history, therefore, I worked with the Library’s Digital Experience Team to display online a small sampling of works by contemporary printmakers in the Library’s collection. We began reaching out to artists, asking if we could display their work on the exhibition’s web page and digitize it for our digital collections. The majority were delighted to contribute, many also provided writings about their work and the exhibition. Throughout the exhibition’s run, I will choose and present a piece by one artist every other week on the exhibition’s web page. Additionally, I will produce a blog post about their work as well as about works in the exhibition, featuring their own words when possible. 

    For those who are interested in the long history of women’s involvement with the medium of print, there is much more to explore within the Library’s deep and varied holdings. The exhibition features only a smattering of Koenen’s collection (which numbers over 500 prints of which only a little over 80 are shown in the exhibition). In addition, the Print Collection not only owns large numbers of additional prints from the period in which Koenen collected, but also many, many more works from the 20th- and 21st-century.

    The third blog post in our series is from David Krut Projects about Diane Victor's 'St. George's Despair,' 2012. In our previous post, from artist Sara Sanders, a quiz was presented. Answers follow this week's post.

    “My images attempt to explore the metaphorical burdens people attach to themselves and drag through their lives as proof of their positions as scapegoats and martyrs.” After visiting an exhibition, called Vodun, at the Foundation Cartier in Paris in 2011, Victor became fascinated with the West African fetish effigies from collections of Jacques Kerchache (1942-2001). “I responded to the psychological implications that these bound and burdened figures evoked, transferring them into our obsession with contemporary fear and indulgences.”

    St George Despairs formed part of a body of work titled Little White Lies and was exhibited in Reap and Sow, Victor’s second solo exhibition at David Krut Projects in 2012. Set in a vast landscape, the print depicts a woman with baby on back and child at side struggling to contain a large and restless crocodile, a substitute for the dragon slain by St George in the original story and perhaps a symbol of the “reptilian mind”. The woman is joined by a stout and balding white man, who offers no assistance and instead points towards a non-existent destination, urging her to continue her struggle with a deceptive promise of a reward at the ‘end’.

    St George Despairs was created in 2012 during Victor’s residency in New York in March/April 2012. She had a studio at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and made the print at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, working with Master Printer, Johee Kim. The print was later editioned by Jillian Ross of David Krut Print Workshop (DKW) in Johannesburg.


    Answers to the Sara Sanders quiz :

    From left to right, Chairs 3 and 4 are based on actual chairs from Sara's life. Chairs 1, 2, and 5 are imagined character studies. Chair 3, the green chair, "belongs to a friend whose mother spent the last decade of her life primarily in it. When I would visit, I always found myself drawn to sit in that chair, and I did the portrait before I knew its history and importance to their family." Chair 4, the yellow chair, "has been a fixture in my family home since long before I was born. It continues to be a favorite in my home because of tis generous proportions and cozy comfort, despite its homely appearance."


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    Mobile Dev Corps is an intensive training program designed to prepare New Yorkers for careers in mobile development, one of the most in-demand skills in the tech ecosystem.

    In direct response to industry feedback, the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline developed this program in partnership with some of the city's largest tech employers.  Provided by the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline in partnership with the Flatiron School, the 16-week program is provided free of cost to participants and includes a four-month on-campus training, and connection to jobs in technology.

    The NYC Tech Talent Pipeline is a $10 million industry partnership designed to support the growth of the City's tech sector and deliver quality jobs for New Yorkers and quality talent for New York's businesses.


    The Mobile Dev Corps is an intensive program designed to train New Yorkers with no prior coding experience to become production-ready mobile developers.

    The program is adapted from The Flatiron School's iOS Development Immersive - a course that has successfully trained students for the workforce and helped them find mobile development jobs.


    The Mobile Dev Corps is full time and free of cost.  All applicants must be able to make the full 16-week commitment followed by a rigorous job search.  Because the program focuses heavily on collaboration, Corps Members are required to be on campus Monday through Friday, 9 am - 6 pm.  Many Corps Members also choose to complete additional work on campus over the weekends.

    Only 20 students will be selected for the class.  Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and go through a competitive screening process.

    Eligibility Requirements

    After a competitive application process, 20 Corps Members will be admitted into the class beginning January 2016.  All admitted Corps Members must commit to being on campus from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday - Friday, from January 4, 2016 through April 22, 2016 (dates subject to change).

    Apply now    

    Partner with Mobile Dev Corps

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    NYPL Labs and the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy are excited to announce the launch of Emigrant City, the Library's newest, online participatory project. Emigrant City invites you to help transcribe recently digitized mortgage and bond record books from the Library’s collection of Emigrant Savings Bank records. Your transcriptions will help make the materials digitally accessible to all, including genealogists, educators, historians. In the process, you'll get a detailed glimpse of real estate transactions and immigrant life during a foundational period of New York City's history. Help the Library build this exciting new resource!

    Emigrant City Home Page Screen Short

    Still operating today, Emigrant Bank is the oldest savings bank in New York City and the ninth-largest privately owned bank in the country. It was founded in 1850 by 18 members of the Irish Emigrant Society with the goal of serving the needs of the immigrant community in New York. NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives Division houses the Library’s collection of the early records from the bank. The collection’s first mortgage record is dated February 20, 1851. From the mid-19th century through the 1920s, there are an estimated 6,400 mortgages, each telling a story of upward mobility in a rapidly expanding city. (Two of these stories are found in mortgages 1 and 87, belonging to Francis A. Kipp and Mary O'Connor, respectively. Stay tuned for a forthcoming blog post detailing their stories.)

    First Mortgage

    These real estate records have remained largely invisible and difficult to search. However, the full Emigrant Savings Bank collection is frequently consulted by genealogists and historians, among others. This collection contains a wide variety of materials about the bank's depositors and borrowers, including minutes of the board of trustees and finance committee. Portions of this larger collection, the test books,  have even been digitized and made available through (This resource is available onsite at all NYPL locations.) Through digitization of the real estate records, and transcribing the hand-written information they contain, we hope to expose this underused portion of the collection to enable new discoveries and research.

    Emigrant City is also an experiment. Digitizing materials is much more than simply creating a digital image of a manuscript or artifact. Though computers have made fantastic advances in automatically converting digitized pages into searchable text, vast troves of information exist in libraries and archives that require careful human labor to unlock their deeper contents to search engines and digital researchers. So here at NYPL Labs, we’ve been working with the citizen science mavens at Zooniverse, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to prototype of a highly configurable crowdsourcing framework called Scribe that could be used on a wide range of historical and archival material.

    Emigrant City Mark Task

    Emigrant City joins a collection of crowdsourcing projects launched by NYPL in recent years, including Building Inspector and What's on the Menu? Go to to get started! There are lots of records to go through, and when finished, we’ll have a robust data-set of verified, structured data. Meanwhile, the team is working to create browsing and bulk download options for this wealth of information. With the growing data set, we’ll be able to find myriad stories, like those of Francis Kipp and Mary O'Connor, and to ask innumerable questions. It’s a lot of work, but we’re confident we can do it. Join us!

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  • 11/04/15--13:22: Emigrant City: Two Stories
  • Emigrant City is a project by New York Public Library’s NYPL Labs, in cooperation with the Library’s Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, and the Manuscripts and Archives Division, to digitize (already done!), and transcribe (this is where you come in) Mortgage and Bond ledgers from the Emigrant Savings Bank. The ledgers contain details of 6,400 mortgages held by customers at the bank, between 1851 and 1921, information that, until now, was available only on microfilm. Emigrant City: An Introduction is a post by Willa Armstrong of NYPL Labs, that describes what the tool is, and how it works. This blog post examines two entries in the ledgers . The first entry records a loan given to a German-born man, Francis A. Kipp. The second records a loan given, to a New York-born woman, Mary O’Connor, the first woman recorded in the ledgers. We will look at the history of the buildings offered as security, the lives of the mortgage holders, and the lives of the people who lived in those buildings. To record the lives and lifetime of a plot of land in New York City would necessitate a multi-volume set, but hopefully this post will dip its toe in the water, and give you a taste of the resources that NYPL has at your disposal.

    Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond No. 1: Francis A. Kipp.

     Francis A. Kipp.
    Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond No. 1: Francis A. Kipp.

    On February 20, 1851, Francis A. Kipp borrowed $6,000 from the Emigrant Savings Bank, using some real estate on the Lower East Side in Manhattan as security. The loan is the first entry in the Mortgage and Bond ledgers. The security is described in the book as consisting of 48 and 50 Delancey Street, two frame houses, and 121 Eldridge Street, a four story brick house. Kipp values the property at $25,000. The ledger entry includes a map, describing a plot of land measuring 50 by 80 yards. The entry includes a later assessment, made November 1879, which values the property at $15,000.

    Maps of the city of New York, surveyed under directions of insurance companies of said city, Plate 21 / William Perris. 1852
    Maps of the city of New York, surveyed under directions of insurance companies [...] Plate 21 / William Perris. 1852

    The map above, dating from 1852/4, describes the properties vividly, and confirms the information in the ledger. We see the two houses, 48 and 50 Delancey Street, to the right of the map, colored yellow, describing their frame construction, and we see that they had space at the back of the lot, a yard, or possibly a garden. 121 Eldridge Street is colored pink, denoting it being made of brick, and is built on and also has a space at the back of the building.

    New York City Directory for 1851-1852 / Doggett & Rode, NY
    New York City Directory for 1851-1852 / Doggett & Rode, NY

    Doggett’s City Directory of 1851 listed Francis A. Kipp, a starch manufacturer who lived and ran his business at the same address, 60 Allen Street. The earliest record of his living in New York City dates from 1837. Longworth’s city directory of that year records his home and place of business as 55 Forsyth street.

    Kipp was married to Margaret (Nash) Kipp, born in New York City, 1816. Census records show that they had at least 6 children. In 1850 Francis, Margaret, their daughters Catherine [born c.1836], Evanna [1843-1912], Sarah Jane [1844-1912], and Margaret [1847-1925], along with various other relatives and employees, all lived at 60 Allen Street. The census of that year describes Kipp as owning real estate valued at $10,000.

    U.S. Census 1850, 16th Ward, New York County, NY, Francis Kipp
    U.S. Census 1850, 16th Ward, New York County, NY, Francis Kipp

    Digging deeper, we learn that Kipp bought the property on Delancey and Eldridge, recorded May 1st, 1847, from the executors of the estate of the late John Phyfe. Owners are not always occupiers, and so it goes that Kipp did not live at any of the addresses. Doggett’s 1851 Street Directory, one of only two address directories for 19th century New York City, describes Kipp’s tenants.

    Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851
    Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851

    In 1851 50 Delancey was home to Gottlab Bollet, hairdresser; Richard King, policeman, and Andrew Dewitt, rulemaker. Confusingly, as the maps appear to describe them as quite separate addresses, the three men are also the listed residents for 121 Eldridge Street: mistakes have been known to occur. At 48 Delancey the listed residents are Thomas Forrest, and one J.T. Perry, blacksmith.

    Kipp did not own the properties for long. He died instantly, on the morning of September 3rd, 1852. According to his death notice, in following day’s Evening Post, he was 49.

    Kipp died intestate, so his wife Margaret, and William Kipp (possibly a male relative) were made executors of his estate, September 17, 1852. On January 3rd, 1853, Maragret Kipp sold the three lots, including 48 and 50, Delancey Street and 121 Eldridge Street, to former tenant, James T. Perry, the blacksmith.

    The Kipp family maintained connections with the Emigrant Savings Bank. Francis A. Kipp had an account with the bank, that lists his middle name as Antonius. One Franz Antonius Kipp was born March 18, 1804, in Natzungen, Germany. Kipp’s account contained $1644.65 held in trust for a William Wegge, living in "either California or Germany.” Margaret Kipp, her daughter Catherine, and a possible son, John Kipp, all briefly held accounts at the bank. Margaret’s account tells us that she was born in 1816, and had 6 children. Emigrant Savings Bank accounts are, as many genealogists already know, an excellent source of genealogical information.

     Margaret A. Kipp
    New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883: Test Books: Margaret A. Kipp

    Kipp appears to have left his family financially secure. The 1860 census describes Margaret and 6 children, including daughter Catherine, her husband Mathew Lomas, and their son John, 3 months, and two staff, living in NYC’s 10th Ward. The 1910 census shows several of the Kipp children, still single, living with servants, in some comfort, on Lexington Avenue.

    Although he did not live at the address, James T. Perry, the blacksmith who bought 121 Eldridge, plied his trade on the Lower East Side for many of those years at 123 Eldridge, next door. New York City directories record Perry being a blacksmith on Eldridge Street, mostly at 123, from 1836 until 1872, when he moved to Stanton Street for 3 years, before disappearing from the listings. According to the 1860 and 1870 censuses, Perry was born in New Jersey, c.1810. He was married to Sarah, born New York c.1820, and they appear to have had one child, Theresa, who was born in either 1848 or 1852: censuses can be sketchy! The 1870 census records Perry’s self-declared financial worth, with real estate valued at $7,000, and a personal estate of $1,500.

    Emigrant Savings Bank: Bond and Mortgage No. 87: Mary O'Connor.

     Mary O’Connor.
    Emigrant Savings Bank: Mortgage and Bond No. 87: Mary O’Connor.

    Looking through the indexes of the Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond ledgers, one notices that the entries are a mix of mostly Irish and German sounding names, though French, Swedish, English, and numerous others are present. A quick survey suggests that approximately 30% of the mortgage holders are women.

    The first woman listed in the ledgers is one Mary O’Connor, who was loaned $2000, January 22nd 1855. The security she offered was a building, 9 Frankfort Street in Manhattan, a 3 story brick building, 115 yards from the Southeast corner of Chatham and Frankfort. The property is not valued at the time of the loan, but was in 1879, to the tune of $12,000.

    9 Frankfort Street offers us a wealth of information, and stories.

    I.N. Phelps Stokes’ The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 records that Frankfort Street was laid out in 1721, and initially named Frankfurd street. Henry Moscow’s The street book : an encyclopedia of Manhattan's street names and their origins states that the street was named by the Governor of New York, Jacob Leisler who owned the land on which the street was built: he named it for his place of birth. (p.52).

     Nassau Street - Washington Street
    Manhattan: Nassau Street - Washington Street, showing the Tammany Hotel, and, far left, No. 9 Frankfort Street

    From the late 1700s until the late 1880s No. 9 Frankfort Street (above, the 2-story building to the left of the Tammany Hotel) was a place of work, and a place where people lived. There women and men plied their trades, taught, met to discuss important issues of the day, lived – sometimes comfortably, sometimes in abject poverty – and ate and drank. The lot on which it stood was, for a time, also home to No.9 ½, or No. 9 rear. At some point the buildings on the lot were razed, rebuilt, demolished again, and a restaurant was built, which stood for about 10 years, from the mid-1890s. That building was flattened and the property absorbed into the offices of the New York Tribune newspaper, in 1905. Further along, the Tribune building would be sold again, at one point to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, demolished, and sold in 1967, by the City of New York to become the site of Pace University, which currently occupies the block.

    The five maps below, from New York Public Library’s collections, chart the built history of the lot, and block on which No. 9 stood, from 1854 to 1903-5. The maps, mostly property or land maps, describe how 9 Frankfort Street appeared, and then disappeared.

    A new & accurate plan of the city of New York in the state of New York in North America, published in 1797.

    A new & accurate plan of the city of New York in the state of New York in North America, published in 1797

    A New and Accurate Plan of the City of New York [..] was originally drawn by cartographers Benjamin Taylor and John Roberts, in 1797. Above is a copy made for D.T. Valentine's Manual of 1853, drawn by George Hayward. Shown are Frankfort Street, north of George Street, now Spruce Street. Maps describing individual buildings are few and far between at this time.

    Maps of the city of New York / surveyed under directions of insurance companies of said city, Plate 10. Perris & Browne, 1852

    Maps of the city of New York / surveyed under directions of insurance companies [...], plate 10. Perris & Browne, 1852

    Kate Lauber's entry maps of New York City, in Kenneth Jackson's The encyclopedia of New York City, perhaps the single great NYC reference resource, tells us that

    After the Great Fire of 1835, engineer and surveyor William Perris began making fire insurance maps of Manhattan and Brooklyn that included streets, blocks, tax lots, and current use classifications [residential, storehouse, place of business, type of business, etc], as well as previous land uses, roads, and natural features. p.796

    The Perris map above, describes two buildings, built of brick, Nos.9 and 9 1/2 Frankfort Street. The key to the atlas that this map is taken from tells us that both buildings are constructed of brick or stone, and that the building at front is First Class, with a slate or metal roof, coped, and a store underneath.

    Plate 5 [Map bounded by Worth St., New Bowery, Pearl St., Cold St., Beekman St., Barclay St., College Place, West Broadway] Elisha Robinson (1893)

    Plate 5 [Map bounded by Worth St., New Bowery, Pearl St., Cold St., Beekman St., Barclay St., College Place, West Broadway] Elisha Robinson (1893)

    This later map, from 1893, by Elisha Robinson, describes a different grouping of buildings on the lot occupied by No.9, and includes the Block and Lot number, a useful identifier when researching buildings in New York City. We see what looks like a brick fronted frame building at front, and brick and frame buildings at the rear. We can also see the offices of the Tribune , Sun, and the Pulitzer Building, home to Joseph Pulitzer's World newspaper.

    Manhattan, V. 1, Plate No. 6 [Map bounded by Broadway, Frankfort St., Gold St., Fulton St.] Sanborn Map Company (1884/94)

    Manhattan, V. 1, Plate No. 6 [Map bounded by Broadway, Frankfort St., Gold St., Fulton St.] Sanborn Map Company (1884/94)

    A year later, and we see that the lot has changed. No.9 is now home to a restaurant, no doubt full of journalists, and at least one tipsy policeman - more to follow. This beautifully detailed map describes the restaurant, known that year as Hoenaok's, unofficially as the Pewter Jug, with stores at back, a long skylight to the left of the building, and ironwork to the front. For more details, here's the answer, here's the key.

    [Bounded by Reade Street, Duane Street, New Chambers Street, Roosevelt Street, Cherry Street, Frankfort Street, Cliff Street, Beekman Street, Ann Street, Park Street, and Broadway] G.W. Bromley & Co. (1916)

    [Bounded by Reade Street, Duane Street, New Chambers Street, Roosevelt Street, Cherry Street, Frankfort Street, Cliff Street, Beekman Street, Ann Street, Park Street, and Broadway] G.W. Bromley & Co. (1916)

    The G.W. Bromley map above describes the disappearance of No.9, the restaurant demolished (post-1905), and an extension to the ever growing Tribune Building taking it's place.

    Historical newspapers suggest that 9 Frankfort Street was a place where people met. In 1805, the Humane Society were offering “good and nourishing soup to the poor […] at their soup house, No. 9 Frankfort street,” (Daily Advertiser, February 2nd, p.2), and they were not the only society meeting and presumably doing good works. From 1809 to 1818 newspapers record the Young Men’s Bible Society, the Typographical Society, the Philological Society, and the Philodemian Society all meeting at No.9, often in the schoolrooms of the seminary of Aaron and Temperance Ely. In 1815 a G. Brown took a room at No.9, where he intended to teach “the common branches of an English education, reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English grammar, geography, &c.” as well as Greek, Latin, and elocution.” (Evening Post, August 31st, p.2).

    City directories describe the early occupants of 9 Frankfort Street, the first listed being Albert Rykerman, who lived there in 1800. Other early residents included a teacher, John Coffin, who taught at No. 9, but lived at 11 Reed (1811), Mrs. Field, widow (1812), R. Harding “carv. and gild. […] h 3 Venderwater” (1814), and John Firth, musical instrument maker (1818).

    On January 27th, 1829, Joseph Charles O’Connor bought the lot on which No.9 Frankfort Street stood, from George Heron, and Sarah Fisher. O’Connor, born c.1790, likely in Ireland, was a builder, married to Mary Collard (c.1802-1895), daughter of Isaac and Catherine Collard. The O’Connors had at least 5 children: Margaret, Mary, Charles, Joseph, and Agnes. Mary O’Connor, of course, is the Mary O’Connor we see in the Mortgage and Bond ledgers.

    The 1829 New York City directory lists Joseph O’Connor, builder, as resident at No. 9. He continued to live there until 1843. Historical newspapers describe his life, and offer clues to his career as a builder.

    New York City Directory for 1842 and 1843 / Doggett, New York
    New York City Directory for 1842 and 1843 / Doggett, New York

    Joseph O’Connor was actively involved with the community. He was a patron of the arts, joining a committee sponsoring a “grand concert and ball […] given by the friends and admirers of P.F. White Esq., the Irish Melodist, at Niblo’s Saloon. […] Dodworth’s Cotillion Band “ were engaged to accompany the dancers at the ball following the concert. (Morning Herald, April 22nd, 1840, p.1).

    O’Connor lived just along from the building occupied by Tammany Hall, on Nassau and Frankfort. Joseph was actively engaged in politics, and was a member of the Democratic Republican Party, and the Society of St. Tammany or Columbian Order. Newspapers describe his political career, involved with Tammany and the Democrats at local levels throughout the years 1831-40, perhaps reaching his peak as Chairman of the Young Men’s General Committee of the Fourth Ward, who campaigned to get President Martin Van Buren reelected in 1840 (he lost to Harrison).

    Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine) June 28th, 1836 p.4
    Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine) June 28, 1836, p.4

    As a builder O’Connor appears to have played a part in the construction of St. Peter’s Church, designed by the architects John R. Haggerty and Thomas Thomas, which stands today on the corner of Barclay and Church Streets. An advertisement placed in the Weekly Eastern Argus, of Portland, Maine, July 12th, 1836, seeking suppliers of blue granite, with which to build the church, describes Joseph O’Connor as a contact for examining “the plan and elevation […] and all further particulars,” of the church (p.4). It may be that O’Connor headed up the building of the church. An exploration of that institution’s records may provide answers…

    Joseph O’Connor died August, 15th, 1843. His death notice, in the Commercial Advertiser of the next day, asked that friends and acquaintances, and those of his father-in-law, Isaac Collard, and nephew (and sometime business partner) Michael O’Connor, also a builder, attended his funeral, at 9 o’clock the next day. News as a necessity had to travel quickly. O’Connor’s death notice also appeared in the Evening Post. He left his worldly possessions, money and real estate (including No.9) to his wife, Mary (provided she did not remarry) and their surviving children on her death: Mary O’Connor would outlive her husband by 50 years.

    New-York City Directory for 1844 & 1845 / Doggett, New York
    New-York City Directory for 1844 & 1845 / Doggett, New York

    Mary and the children appear to have remained at No.9 for only a brief period after Joseph’s death: she is listed as Mary O’Connor, widow of Joseph 9 Frankfort in the 1844/5 New York City directory. Michael O’Connor, builder, likely Joseph’s nephew and business partner, lived at No. 9 until 1849/50, before he, like Mary and her children, left Manhattan to live on Staten Island.

    Real estate records describe Mary O’Connor buying and selling property in New York, in Staten Island especially, throughout the 1850s, 60s, and 70s. New York State and Federal censuses show Mary living a seemingly comfortable life in Southfield, S.I., with her mother, aunt, children, their husbands and wives, and grandchildren, various family waifs and strays, and servants. In 1870 she had an estate worth $35,000, over $600,000 as of 2015. Her son Charles, became a successful Manhattan lawyer. When Mary died in Rosebank, Staten Island, January 24th, 1895, her obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Herald. She was buried in the family vault at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Manhattan.

    New York Herald, January 24th, 1895, p.1
    New York Herald, January 24, 1895, p.1

    The O’Connor family maintained possession of No.9 until August 1895, when they sold the property to Julia Foley. Foley sold the lot in February 1897, to Gustavus Lawrence, who sold to Whitelaw Reid, November 1903. Whitelaw Reid, proprietor of the Tribune, sold the property, along with No. 7, to himself, sort of, to the Tribune Association, in May 1905. Although a restaurant named Andre’s appears sometime in the 1930s, No. 9 Frankfort Street as a separate building, disappeared forever, absorbed into the larger Tribune building.

    Richard French's Hotel
    City Hall Park. French's Hotel, with street sign City Hall Square on its wall, Tammany Hotel, Sunday Times, Tribune and Currier on the left. St. Paul's in the background

    No 9, and No. 9 ½ to the rear, make up an interesting lot, featuring two buildings, both occupied by a variety of people, with different backgrounds and occupations. Some people lived at No.9, for some it was a place of business, and for others it was both. In the early years, prior to the restaurant that occupied the entire lot from 1894, No. 9 (and 9 ½) was a meeting place, a school, a coffee house, a porter house, a lodging house and liquor store, and a place of residence. It was in close proximity to Tammany Hall, various hotels (the Tammany Hotel, [Richard] French’s Hotel), and newspaper offices, notably the Tribune, the Sun, and Joseph Pultizer’s New York World. The busy Pewter Mug Tavern (and lodging house) was, for many years at No. 7. One can imagine that the location of No. 9 must have been handy for work, business, and pleasure.

    Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851.
    Doggett’s New York City street directory for 1851

    In Doggett’s New York Street Directory of 1851, No. 9 is home to George Challiol, a tailor, No. 9 ½ to Charles Dunn, a merchant, Andrew Broughwaite, a sail maker, and Francis Kiernan, a hotel porter. Neighbors include Philip Bouchard and his son Augustus, barbers, and various other tradesmen: butchers, cart men, tailors, barkeeps, porterhouse owners, and boot makers. The census of 1850 describes people on the block born for the most part in New York, Ireland, and Germany, but also France, England, and the Netherlands.

    In 1856 No. 9 is home to a business, a grocer Herman Schmidt & Co, and Dederick Estrup, also a grocer, is resident. No. 9 1/2 is home to Charles and Charlotte Helworth, a washerwoman and dyer, respectively; William Hill, armorer, Francis Kerney, a cart man. The pattern of business at the front – a grocer, a tailor, later a liquor store, coffee house, and lodging house – with working people living in the rear, continues for the time the lot has two buildings, for much of the rest of the 19th century. Stories abound...


    Philadelphia Enquirer, November 1, 1889

    On the night of October 31st, Pauline Schultz, of 9 Frankfort Street, New York was visiting her aunt, Mrs. Freund, in Bayonne, New Jersey, when her “adventures[…] almost caused the death of a young man from fright, and her own from exposure” (p.2)

    The young man was walking home across “the salt meadows between Constable Hook and Centereville” when he spied a figure dressed in “the airy robes of a white witch,” which the Enquirer supposed made her look like a ghost. Scared to death, he ran all the way home, back to Bayonne, where he sought the help of a Police Sargent Cavanagh. The Sergent, accompanied by another policeman, set off to capture the ghost. They found the ghost up to her waist in the mud, Pauline in her nightdress. She had been sleepwalking. They took her home to her aunt, and the next day she was in the ‘papers.


    New York Times, August 7, 1887, p.9

    In 1897 the New York Times reported – in fairly melodramatic language, at least by today’s standards – the strange case of Jean Durand, 100, who died at, 9 Frankfort Street, the home of his friend “an old Frenchman' (the 1880 census suggests he was about 47) François Besanceney, who worked as a waiter. Durand was believed to have $2,000 in a bank account, which he had formerly kept about his person, when he died. The account, however, could not be found by Besanceney, nor by Durand’s wife, Mrs. Durand, 45 (no first name given). So, in the absence of any funds, Durand was buried in Potter’s Field, along with several other paupers. To add to the plot, when he died, Durand was awaiting a fortune of some 1 million francs, being to sent to him by a relative in Bordeaux: the missing $2,000 was the first installment, to tide him over.

    According to Mrs. Durand, Jean had been rich, but was too generous, and had given all his money away. “ “[…] poor Jean will be buried at 1 o’clock today.” […] The woman looked at the mantelpiece. It was just 1 o’clock. As she saw this she burst into loud grief and refused to be comforted.”

    Assistant Keeper Fogerty, of the morgue, said [...] that he buried Jean Durand yesterday in Potter’s Field, with 12 or 13 other men. [..] “all he possessed in the word were two gold studs, and they were interred with him. I thought it very strange that a man like that should be buried in a trench. If Mrs. Durand manages to get money she can have possession of her husband’s body, though that will a difficult undertaking during the Summer. She will have to pay for a metallic air-tight coffin. If, however, she waits until November no metallic coffin will be necessary.”


    The Daily Graphic, March 7, 1887, p.8

    The 1890 census was, for the most part, lost in a fire in 1921. City directories and newspapers help as surrogates sources for information lost in that fire. The 1880 census describes a family resident at No. 9, the Reiger family; head one Jacob Reiger, 55, a shoe maker, born in Wurtenburg, Germany. He lives with his wife, Mary, 48, two daughters, Lizzie, 14, and Emma, 9, and boarder Louis Shalk, 26, who will become his son-in-law.

    The Daily Graphic, March 7th, 1887, p.8
    The Daily Graphic, March 7, 1887, p.8

    By 1887 Mary is dead, and Jacob’s daughters have married and left home. Reiger was distraught over his wife’s death, a few weeks prior, and his business was doing poorly. He had been talking about killing himself, and did just that on March 6th, using a shotgun and some string to shoot himself in the abdomen. According to The Daily Graphic, the shot killed Reiger immediately. The bar keep of the saloon at the front of the building, Charles Nolte, came running as soon as he heard the gun go off. Nolte found the deceased shoemaker, and a suicide note:

    I, Jacob Reiger, born July 23, 1821, herewith bid farewell to all my acquaintances and friends. Through me no more trouble will be caused. I wish you all luck.

    Jacob Reiger

    Also, to you who live in a land faraway, I bid you farewell. You have driven me to this death.

    No goodbye to his daughters, some lingering animosity with overseas family, and a tragic tale. For the genealogist, a birth and death date derived from a newspaper report and a suicide note, and for the building researcher, information about a beer saloon at No. 9, and the name of the saloon keeper. Researchers take their data where they can find it, though fact checking is recommended. See also…


    Daily Graphic, June 10, 1874, p.7.

    Adolph Boger, twenty-seven years of age, who lived at No. 9, a porter with Pekhard & Anderson, spurned in love, hung himself in the basement of his employer, at 75 Gold Street.

    The Pewter Mug Tavern, 1860
    The Pewter Mug Tavern, 1860, from the digital collections of the Museum of the City of New York, Collections Portal


    New York Tribune, March 30, 1895, p.10

    The Pewter Mug was a tavern that stood at No. 7 Frankfort for a number of years in the 19th century, next door to the Tammany Hotel, nee Hall. Aaron Burr reputedly lived there (though he isn’t listed in any city directory). It might be imagined that the tavern was frequented over the years by a succession of politicos, hotel guests, and journalists. The 1880 census and various newspaper articles suggest that No. 9 was also, at least for a time, the site of a tavern or hotel of some kind. In that census, Edward Miller, 67, hotel keeper, and his wife Catherine, 47, share their home with 12 boarders, and three other families. Either No. 9 was also a tavern / hotel, or the Miller’s kept a very busy house!

    What is certain is that by 1893 No. 9, lot 5, block 102, was no longer two buildings, but one, a two story building, and the site of a restaurant that, according to classified advertisements in newspapers of the period, went by the name of Hoenaok’s, aka the [New]Pewter Mug.

    At 4’o’clock in the afternoon, March 29th, 1895, a “half-tipsy” policeman, Officer John M. Haynes, walked into the “decent café and restaurant’ the Pewter Mug, and vulgarly insulted the proprietor, Hugo H. Hoenack (sic), and abused the bartender, a Mr. Fuestenwerth, with “the most filthy language,” before showing him “a disgusting picture,” which "he was deputed by Dr. Parkhurst to distribute among the Germans in the district." Officer Haynes then refused to pay for his beer, and threatened to fill the bartender with lead. Fuestenwerth went to fetch a policeman, but could only find one who “declined to interfere with the matter.” The bartender then went to the Oak Street Police Station, where the desk sergeant told him he had to report the incident to Headquarters. At 5pm, Haynes returned, apologized to Hoenack, but not to Fuestenwerth.


    New York Times, October 31, 1903, p.16

    According to property deeds held at the Office of the City Register, Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Tribune, purchased 9 Frankfort Street, and leased No.7 next to it, with an option to purchase later. He bought No. 9 from Gustavus L. Lawrence, and his wife Clementine (wives were usually included when a man sold property, as she was entitled to a percentage of his estate through dower). Reid intended to extend the offices of the Tribune Building, which stood on Nassau and Spruce Streets, built in 1872 and 1873, with an annex that extended to Frankfort Street, built in 1881.

    The Old Tribune building. Photo-Electrotype Co. N.Y. On building to left, sign Daily witness.
    The Old Tribune building. Photo-Electrotype Co. N.Y. On building to left, sign Daily witness.

    From land owned by Jacob Leisler, former Governor of New York, had sprung up a building, and other buildings, which were now absorbed once again by a larger entity, once the offices of the Tribune newspaper, now part of Pace University. As a library student I interned at Pace University, and perhaps walked in the footprint of 9 Frankfort Street. Now years after the buildings have gone, and the people are forgotten, researchers can, through a window into the past, offered by records digitized by New York Public Library and others, explore that historical footprint. Ordinary people like Francis A. Kipp, and Mary O’Connor are integral parts of the City’s own genealogy, a history of a broader, metropolitan family.

    By helping transcribe the data contained in digitized, historical records, like the Emigrant Savings Bank Mortgage and Bond ledgers, using tools like Emigrant City, and others created by NYPL Labs, Map Warper, What’s on the Menu?, and Building Inspector, you can help build new datasets that describe New York City’s history, shedding light on stories like those explored in this blog post.

    Resources used in the research of this post…

    Emigrant City

    Map Warper
    Search for, and download, from thousands of historical maps

    Old Maps Online
    International digitized map search engine

    Family Search
    Property deeds, wills, and vital records indexes, free online

    Ancestry Library Edition
    Federal and state censuses, ship passenger lists, and city directories. Free in every branch of Nerw York Public Library

    City directories

    ProQuest Historical Newspapers
    Articles, classifieds, obituaries, and death notices from digitized historical newspapers

    America’s Historical Newspapers
    Articles, classifieds, obituaries, and death notices from digitized historical newspapers

    NYPL Digital Collections
    Maps, photographs and illustrations of buildings, and more from the collections of New York Public Library.

    Museum of the City of New York Digital Collections
    Images of buildings and streets in New York City

    Property Deeds and Indexes at the Office of the City Register, 66 John Street, New York
    Block and Lot indexes in print - because sometimes the records aren't online!

    Further information on building research in New York City

    Who Lived in a House Like This? A Brief Guide to researching the History of Your New York City Home

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    Author and educator Zetta Elliott is known for her poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. She was born and raised in Canada but has been in the U.S. for over 20 years. She is coming to the Fall KidsLIVE! author talk series at Columbus on Thursday, November 19 at 3:30 PM! We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

    When and where do you like to read?

    I love to read on the train. There's something about being underground and surrounded by so many people, yet being oblivious to it all because I'm completely immersed in an imaginary world. I've missed my stop more than once while reading a really good book on the subway, and long journeys can fly by when I've got a compelling story to read.

    Zetta Elliott photo by Valerie Caesar
    Zetta Elliott photo by Valerie Caesar

    What were your favorite books as a child?

    I loved Ezra Jack Keats's books when I was very young because those were the only books I had access to that included kids who looked like me. I also read everything I could find by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I kept going back to The Secret Garden as I grew older. I just published a book called I Love Snow, which is a tribute to The Snowy Day by Keats. And my fantasy novels often feature gardens, which in a way is a tribute to The Secret Garden. So many things seem possible in a garden where living things are constantly evolving...

    What books had the greatest impact on you?

    I read Great Expectations when I was 13 and fell in love with Dickens's writing style. I read a lot of British literature as a child and teen, and that definitely impacted my own voice. I read mostly U.S. literature in high school, and remember producing a creative writing project on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, which I had read as a child. The only Black-authored books in my public library were the ones that won awards, so I remember seeing that book cover over and over on my weekly trips to pick up and drop off books. I love historical fiction and that book taught me a lot about segregation in the US—it might even have planted the seed that eventually became my dissertation!

    Would you like to name a few writers out there you think deserve greater readership?

    I love speculative fiction and think teens would definitely appreciate Octavia Butler and N.K. Jemisin. Some middle grade and young adult authors folks should know about include Tracey Baptiste, Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charapoitra, Justina Ireland, and Renee Watson.

    What was the last book you recommended?

    The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. I love magic and all things related to Ancient Egypt, so this book was right up my alley!

    What do you plan to read next?

    The second book in the Dreamblood duology, The Shadowed Sun. I'm writing a novel about the Civil War and feel overwhelmed by facts, so it's nice to escape into an imaginary world!

    Don't forget to check out Zetta at Columbus Library, November 19 at 3:30 PM!

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    What is Alternate history, you ask?  Think of it as a kind of "what if" question.  The stories will often be centered on a single event that differs from the history we know.  What if the South had won the American Civil War, or the British had won the American Revolution (well, it probably wouldn't be called the "American Revolution", that's for sure.)  It's a genre full of novels, short stories, movies, and even a fan-fiction community.  Alternate history is an interesting and imaginative look at what might have been, sometimes for the better or worse, but certainly always different.  Check out the list below for a wide range of books, e-books and movies that cover everything from Steampunk worlds to Nazi victory in Europe.

    (If you’ve never tried our e-books, take a look at NYPL’s eBook Central to see how it works.)

    Books and eBooks

    Last Orders

    I'll begin with the novels of one of the genre’s most prolific writers, Harry Turtledove.  Well known for his “Southern Victory” (as dubbed by fans), The War that Came Early, and The Hot War series, Turtledove has been credited with bringing the alternate history genre mainstream.  In the eleven book  “Southern Victory” series (actually a combination of three series and a stand-alone novel), the South wins the American Civil War after the United Kingdom and France recognize the legitimacy of the Confederate States of America.  Starting with How Few Remain and ending with In at the Death, Turtledove weaves an intricate tale in which the United States and the Confederate States battle each other in alternate versions of WWI and WWII. 

     The Hot War

    In The War that Came Early series, World War II starts in 1938 over the annexation of Czechoslovakia rather than in 1939 over Poland.  Entries in the six-novel series include Two Fronts and Last Orders.  More recently, Turtledove's has begun The Hot Warseries, which diverges from our timeline when President Truman follows General MacArthur's advice and attacks China with nuclear weapons during the Korean War, setting off a chain of events that eventually lead to the outbreak of World War III.  The first two entries in this new series are Bombs Away: The Hot War and the soon-be-released Fallout (2016).


    Man in the High CastleI would be remiss if I did not mention a novel by the legendary science fiction writer, Phillip K. Dick.  In Man in the High Castle, Dick takes us to 1962 America, a world in which the Allies lost World War II.  The United States has been partitioned by the victorious Nazis and Japanese while its citizens live in fear.  What makes this novel so intriguing is the fact that Dick relates the emotions of his various characters to the reader so well, essentially personalizing what is an explosive idea: Axis control of the United States.  In addition to this, it may very well be the only alternate history novel in which there is a character that has actually written an alternate history novel (If you know of another, let me know in the comments, I’d love to read it).  There is a lot going on in this novel but it's definitely a worthy read for fans of the “what if” or those who are hooked on Amazon’s new streaming series based on the book.  Also available as an e-book.

    The Mechanical

    If you're looking for something a little more out of the ordinary, Ian Tregillis'sThe Mechanical: The Alchemy Wars, Book 1 may be of interest.  The novel is set in a world where a Dutch clock maker has invented a mechanical man called a   "Clakker", in the 17th century.  The Dutch then proceed to build an army of Clakkers, leading to their rise as the dominate global power. The book is set three centuries later as a Clakker by the name of Jax questions his existence, in turn changing the course of history.  Book two in the series,The Rising, is set to be released December of 2015. Also available as an e-book.


    The Plot Against America

    Noted author Philip Roth deserves a place on our list with his alternate history novelThe Plot Against America.  The point of divergence in Roth's novel is 1940, when Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Presidential election.  Lindbergh acquiesces to Hitler's anti-Semitic policies in Germany and accepts his conquest of Europe.  Suffice it to say American history is significantly different.



    Steampunk TrilogyIf Steampunk is more your thing, give Paul Di Filippo's Steampunk Trilogy a try, available from NYPL as an e-book.  This book is a compilation of short stories that range from the occult to the hilarious.  Fans of Steampunk should enjoy these short novellas set in Victorian-era England.




     a Novel

    Fatherland: a Novel, by Robert Harris is another alternate history entry into the “what if the Nazi’s won World War II" category (There are a lot of these).  Set in Berlin in 1964, the book is essentially a crime drama with a unique setting, though it still comes in as one of the better alternate history novels to date.  The novel was made into an HBO movie in 1994.




    Roma Eterna

    In a departure from the more prevalent alternate history themes, such as victorious Confederates or Nazis, Robert Silverberg’sRoma Eterna imagines a world in which the Roman Empire never fell. Set in the present day, the novel explores Roman expansion into the New World and Hebrew efforts to escape their Roman oppressors by fleeing into space.  Available as an e-book.




    The Suicide Exhibition

    In The Suicide Exhibition, author Justin Richards takes the alternate history Nazi narrative and flips it on its head.  How exactly does he do that, you ask… by introducing aliens into the mix.  Yes, that's right, I said aliens.  Hitler's penchant for the occult leads to the discovery of an ancient alien power which the Nazis attempt to harness.  It's up to an intrepid trio of allies based in England to stop the Nazis and their new alien friends.  This is book one of what we can assume will be a series of novels.  Also available as an e-book.



    The Yiddish Policemen's Union

    In The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Israel collapses in 1948, leading to the formation of a safe-haven for Jews called the Federal District of Sitka.  In the sixty years since its founding, the Federal District of Sitka has flourished on the Alaskan panhandle. But now that is all set to end as Sitka will be returned to Alaskan control.  If that isn't enough, there's been a murder and homicide detective Meyer Landsman has to get to the bottom of it, even if that means going all the way to the top.  This is a good one. Available as an e-book.





    Falling into the category of mockumentary, C.S.A.: the Confederate States of America, is a satirical look at a world in which the South wins the American Civil War.  Set in the present day, the film is portrayed as a British documentary about how and why the Confederacy exists.  An interesting, yet chilling look at how things might have been.



     Imagine the World Without Her

    The political documentary, America: Imagine the World Without Her is an interesting take on the contemporary political landscape.  Producer Dinesh D'Souza does this by imagining a world in which the United States was never formed.  The film includes interviews as well as dramatized scenes.  Fans of documentaries with political commentary should give this one a try. Based on the book by the same title.



    Iron Sky

    For those seeking a comical take on Nazi-themed alternate history, look no further than Iron Sky.  In this partially crowd-sourced comic-action film, a group of Nazis flee to the moon after their defeat in World War II, vowing to return.  In 2018, they do.  If you’re looking for a serious action/thriller movie, look somewhere else.

    There are also a number of "Hollywood-produced" movies that certainly fall into the category of alternate history (and quite a few that don’t, but people think they do—see Back to the Future or anything else with a time machine).  Luckily NYPL has you covered with a great selection of films that will satisfy any alternate history fan.  Take a look at the list below and pick out a few of your favorites.

    I know I know, there many more books and movies that fit into the genre but I just can't fit them all onto this list.  Of course, I'm sure I've missed a few good ones as well.  If you know of one that I may have missed or want to debate what alternate history actually means (NO time machines), feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below.

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    I caught up with a few of the Harlem Globetrotters while they were on a shoot at the William F. Passannante Ballfield in the West Village. A nearby elementary school uses the park as a playground during school hours, and the Globetrotters mingled with the kids, juggling balls and answering questions between takes. The shoot itself was a choreographed routine of impressive ball skills, not only by the Globetrotters themselves, but a group of about a dozen cast members from STOMP who created a percussive rhythm with some fancy dribbling.


    From left to right: Globetrotters "Bull" Bullard, "Cheese" Chisholm and "Firefly" Fisher.

    Basketball isn’t the only thing on the Globetrotter’s minds though. Here’s what they read when they aren’t on the court:


    My name is "Bull" Bullard and I’m currently reading Sports Illustrated because right now college football is my thing. It’s always Sports Illustrated or something sports related because I try to keep up with the college football, the NBA and college basketball. That’s mostly what I read in my personal time, but I do read other books: spiritual books—of course The Bible—and I read a lot of other books. I have a daughter so I read all the children’s books right now. My daughter’s favorite book, I think, is the Caterpillar.  She’s starting to realize her colors (she’s 1½, almost 2 now) and she loves to point them out.”

    The Alchemist

    “My name is "Firefly" Fisher, I’m with the World Famous Monster who Ate my Peas
    Harlem Globetrotters and I LOVE to read! I’m reading a book right now called The Alchemist and somebody actually told me to read it because they said it inspired them. I love to read books that I feel will inspire me, something that will help me out on the road—we’re on the road for about 8 or 9 months a year. I love Dr. Seuss, and I love to read a book called The Monster who Ate my Peas to kids.  They love that because it’s a rhyming book. I love to read to kids as well: I’ve got a Nook so I make sure I read as much as I can because it’s very important, especially for kids when they’re really young so they can learn that reading is very fun and is something that you’re going to need to do for your future in order to be successful.”

    “My name is Handles Franklin, I’m a member of the world Famous Harlem Globetrotters and right now I’m reading a book called The Audacity of Hope, written by President Barack Obama.” 

    The Audacity of Hope

    “My name is Brawley "Cheese" Chisholm and I love to read Harry Potter books!”     

    Harry Potter Books

    Bull wasn’t kidding when he said college football was his thing: earlier between takes a neighborhood child handed him a football. He told them to go long and then kept waving them farther back. When he finally threw the ball it came seriously close to floating over the fence and out of the park entirely. A later Google search of him revealed another major feat: completing a run on American Ninja!  Putting some of those skills to use after the shoot wrapped, Bull climbed up on one of the hoops for a photo opp, and then made this impressive shot:

    Want to do a bit of globe-trotting yourself? Check out the Ticketless Traveler blog channel for tips on traveling the world without leaving your chair!

    The Harlem Globetrotters and Stomp hanging out after the shoot.

    The Harlem Globetrotters and cast of STOMP  after the shoot.

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  • 11/05/15--13:12: Three from Semiotext(e)
  • In this blog series "Three (or More)," I intend to write longer reviews of three (or more) books based on same publisher, theme, or book structures. In this first post I am starting with the historically leftist and avant-garde Semiotext(e), who have published many political, artistic, and fictional critiques of the modern nightmares and struggles of capitalism and all that comes of a repressed world. Started as an introduction to French theory in the English language, Semiotext(e) has grown into a major publisher that produces beautifully bound and printed books, including writing by Chris Kraus, Franco Berardi, Paolo Virno, Jean Baudrillard and many other critics and theorists. What separates Semiotext(e) from other publishers remains in its affordability, while holding onto quality, whether in translation, in binding or in bringing forth an unheard voice.

    On to the reviews!

    Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires by Julio Cortázar


    A pocket-sized, fast read that can be taken in as the sums of two different events, styles, ideas, all converging to make a singular point, which is no secret to the reader: the world has a tremendous amount of abuses happening, with the United States as a common player, and multinational corporations, abuses, dictatorships, and warfare all playing supporting roles. Though this book exists at a specific time, 1973 during the Russell Tribunal, and recalls authors who are not forgotten from the public imagination, Sontag, Moravia, and more, the writing itself is an exciting twist on contemporary fiction guidelines and maintains a short, but captivating story.

    Julio Cortázar uses his experience and ideas to drive Fantomas; trying to make his ideals in regards to human rights and the problems of authoritarian power known to the public. Being Cortázar though, this book is far from a singular, straightforward narrative. Through the use of the Russell Tribunal, of which Cortázar was a member of, and a Fantomas comic, which is an actual comic from Mexico, Cortázar weaves a story of a "superhero" and of horrific government actions with a trail of authors and critics presented to us along the way. The end of the book contains the details of the Russell Tribunal findings on Latin America, which are both horrifying and seemingly forgotten, or locked in history books, fostering inaction. Though horrifying, we recognize history repeats itself and the same struggles that have brought us all of the Russell Tribunals (1966, 1973, 1974-75-76, 2001, 2004, 2009-10-11-12, 2014) continue to exist to this very day. Unfortunately, and this is made evident throughout the book by Cortázar himself, the whole Tribunal was a symbolic gesture, which never was able to capitalize on most of these conclusions.

    This book signifies the way in which a writer creates an artifact that plays a role in protest. As the character "Susan Sontag" says in the book, "We get more upset about the loss of a single book than about hunger in Ethiopia-it's logical and understandable and monstrous at the same time." Cortázar is trying to not fall into this trap of caring more about the words than about people. This book may not change the world, but is a reminder to us all of the roles that we need to play in order to make a change and to constantly remain aware of what is happening outside of our spheres.

    An important reminder of the role of the artist in trying to bridge gaps and create awareness, and an interesting pick in Cortazar's oeuvre, Semiotext(e) has done a remarkable job in the printing and formatting of this and in making sure this book stays in print. With it now in print, the questioning and documentation of the past can continue to build a case for the present, and the book can remain an interesting mixed media and story telling power from an important writer.

    To Our Friends

    To Our Friends

    Coming six years after The Coming Insurrection and in the same series as Governing Debtby Maurizio Lazzarato, as well as many other must read books, The Invisible Committee is returning to try to inspire, provide a slight bit of hope and refuse to capitulate to the capitalistic vultures that generate our cities and lives. A whole six years, in which a lot has changed and found many governments running on austerity measures, running on the idea of perpetual crises, running the classes into deep divisions and the sense of standing up for "rights" currently gets lost in the manifest of keeping up with the world while having no money. Yet, bankers, investors, politicians and those who work with and/or for them continually have increased revenue, funding, and so forth.

    The Invisible Committee disseminates current world events and uses these examples to formulate their critical analysis and theories. The overview is kept brief, though worthwhile, but does add a level of trust that one has to put forth in them or to take on the role of research and delve further into what they say. This is not the Committee's fault, in no way would the book be able to remain as brief as it could be if they had to go into such detail. As the series this book is a part of suggests, this is an "Intervention," an almost two-hundred-some-odd page manifesto; or a really long letter written from the Invisible Committee to their friends. The Invisible Committee looks towards the world, with a scrutiny that is focused on the European and North American powers that be. This book is brief in terms of what it covers, how far in depth it goes into the topics discussed, and as said, one is supposed to come with a previous knowledge or willingness to research in order to understand situations a bit more thoroughly and therefore why they are referenced.

    Politics notwithstanding, this book is a fascinating and well-written explication as to why those who are dedicated towards a life without government are interested in that life. Scattered with references to major events in the past six years, this book is also a reference of events, political or not in nature, that has changed the shift of politics, whether in action or in speech, only to end up still maintaining a world in which those above still hold the most power.

    Spoiler Alert: One can easily trace the overall narrative within the chapters being built; to break down or revolt against, and then, to move on from. The Invisible Committee invigorates us to start our "insurrections" at a more basic level, "from scratch," as forming communes or independent committees that help to re-purpose and re-situate our own lives towards working with one another and destroying what is lost when hyper-filtering ourselves through screen upon screen.

    We are left with only a "personalized" message from the Invisible Committee, one that reads as a reminder that there are people behind this book, not just a name. We are invited to join in a future of changes, and hopefully are reminded by the excitement that comes with a future of changes, and if one agrees and sides with the Invisible Committee, this will hopefully help to hold you over until their next dispatch, or maybe you will have written one before then.

    Through the poetic gestures of language, and the ability to enliven and analyze the situations that happen in the world, the Invisible Committee succeed in putting forth their own effort towards making change with To Our Friends, and towards remaining present among a growing populace that is befallen by amnesia every time there is a new virtual trend. This book is not supposed to be for one person, but for the many, for inspiring discussion and a sense of shared values. Will this book automatically make you put down what you are doing to join the nearest commune? Probably not, but it remains a book that will help keep those who care, to continue on in what they do, and hopefully re-situate themselves in the purpose of recognizing there are others out there who care as well, it is about finding them and struggling with them.

    The Missing Pieces

    The Missing Pieces by Henri Lefebvre

    Henri Lefebvre, the poet not the theorist, though, I suppose those can be one and the same, has created a work of meditation on what no longer remains, or what has never been a thing, ideas we can only dream of, and yet in a small way, move on from, use, let into our lives. One's lost idea can transcend into the thoughts of another, creating a story for each sparse narrative. Some of his verse reads as minor transgressions, while others will reach out with a gesture welcoming a continued thought. The beauty is that each line will represent itself with its own varied significance in a way towards someone else.

    Certain meditations tell us why we now only have ruins and others let the story remain to be discovered, such as "The Tenth Symphony of Gustav Mahler is incomplete," yet others contain the reason: "In 1909, William Carlos Williams publishes Poems, his first collection; four copies are sold, the others disappear in a fire." Some such as "The unfinished works of Fernando Pessoa" unleash potential, and our minds can be carried onto many different thoughts of what exists and what does not, though maybe do not read with as much power as "Spinoza's Treatise on the Rainbow (Thrown into a fire)."

    The Missing Pieces comes to us as a poem, a group of tangentially related verse, a literary and artistic onslaught of what we may have missed. How does one read this poem though, is each unit a contained poem, or are they verses in a larger poem? Can we read the bullet points as connective tissue in which we have to find the flow and justify the sense of placement, or merely be content with a random choice by Lefebvre, could it be mixed. With no guidance, we can decide to start on our own, or continuously read and pick up where we left off.

    This book not only unlocks the mystery of potentials, but also discoveries that exist. The book itself is a register of artists, people to know, people with a work that have brought them to the discovery of someone else, why not us? There will ultimately be names of artists and pieces we do not know, ones in which we need to take action to discover if we choose to do so. This, even more than the emotional output Lefebvre conjures, turns the poem into a participatory piece.

    Though it might be by Lefebvre sans philosophy degree, it is still by an ascetic theorist and meditative analyst. Seeking to define and write out what is not, he is therefore placing these pulses back into public consciousness, and at least until no more copies of this book remains, out of the obscurity of thought and thrust into our readership. It might not be the original piece(s) of art or artist that remain, but we are still able to look forward and only create newer versions of what was missing from the past.

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    Walter L. Grahams of Gettysburg, Pa., Civilian Conservation Corps typing a document. Image ID: 1260438

    Week one of National Novel Writing Month is officially underway! We're just getting into the swing of things. Our writers, still (for the most part) bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, have been diligently working on their books. One of the challenges often cited during the first week (besides finding the time to write, of course) is silencing your inner editor, and focusing instead on just getting your novel—imperfections and all—into writing. Read below to see how our writers have fared during their first official week of noveling without editing!

    Novelist: Alexis C.

    Working Book Title:Woman In White

    What’s your novel about? A vengeful spirit is spotted wandering Brooklyn causing mysterious disturbances. She is hunting down the boyfriend that drove her to suicide.

    Current word count: 6719

    How did week one go? Amazingly well so far. I surpassed my goal word count almost every day so far. Attending the write-in on Monday was very helpful.

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? I was surprised at how much I could write and how quickly when I just focus on getting the words out. I've managed to almost completely quiet my inner editor. I just keep going even if it doesn’t make sense.


    Novelist:  Carol Z.

    Working Book Title: Investigations

    What’s your novel about? After college graduation, an almost-broke Jane Pardy take off west, across Canada, on a train with a female friend.  From the start, they are mistakenly assumed to be lesbians. They’re invited to crash, for free, with Women’s Lib organizations almost all the way across the continent—only to find themselves at a cult house on the west coast. It explores the value of undercover observations and why people give up their free will.

    Current word count:5622

    How did week one go?  Week one is still underway, but as of Wednesday morning, so far so... okay! It takes me longer than two hours to generate the minimum daily output—not sure that’s going to be sustainable on busy days.  It’s hard to resist editing!  No way is my work going to be publishable without a major massage, but at least I’m getting it down!

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing?  My work has a first person narrator, which feels very “right,” but it’s been tricky introducing other fully-developed characters.


    Novelist: Genee  B.

    Working Book Title:The Amethyst

    What’s your novel about? A sci-fi fantasy story about a distant planet that is ruled by a tyrannical king. He has cemented his rule by eliminating the entirety of the royal bloodline… but there have long been whispers of a prophecy about an off-worlder who can end the mad king's rule.

    Current word count: 547

    How did week one go?  Honestly, not that good. I'm disappointed with my word count so far.

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? I just don't know what should happen to get this story started, but I don't want to give up either, so I may have to rethink the direction of my novel.


    Novelist: Rhonda E.

    Working Book Title: Untitled

    What’s your novel about? My novel is historical fiction, a bildungsroman set during World War I.

    Current word count: 1670

    How did week one go? Week one is going well. I am not able to write every day during the week, but I am going to make up for lost time during the weekend.

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? It was a nice change to write in a group setting instead of writing in a solitary atmosphere. Working around other busy writers can be very motivating.


    Novelist:Alma C.

    Working Book Title:Untitled Memoir

    What’s your novel about? My piece chronicles events that I feel have shaped me into the person that I am. I want to highlight that even though I am only 23 years old, the people and experiences that I have had throughout the years make a profound collection.

    Current Word Count: 12500

    How did week one go? Week one went well. I typed without stopping for an at least 45 minutes straight every day. It was cathartic and I loved it.

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? I was surprised at my ability to be able to remember certain nuances that happened over several years ago.


    Novelist: Alethea B.

    Working Book Title: Dreaming Havana

    What’s your novel about? A woman's life as a child in Cuba of the early '50s to her journey to becoming a singer in USA.

    Current word count:2006

    How did week one go? It’s going very well. I have actually woke up with the work in my thoughts, so I'm actually "dreaming Havana."

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? I wanted to start my novel with the character at age five. It is loosely based on a Cuban American Jazz performer who is 80. So for my novel I had to imagine an affluent and vibrant Cuba before Castro. I had to then gather images of the country in the 1930-50s; before the ravishes of civil war, before the poverty that came with economic and political sanctions and embargoes. In particular, I've learned a lot about sugar and the role it played.


    Novelist:Nancy A.

    Working Book Title: Blue Magic

    What’s your novel about? A cursed island in the South Pacific. It’s a murder mystery unfixed in time that touches on everything from ancient stories of ritual human sacrifice handed down in oral tradition to career suicide in the time of gossip via email and social media.

    Current word count:11208

    How did week one go? I spent the better part of the week piecing together what I had planned coming into the month. It’s really rewarding seeing everything compiled in one place.

    Were there any unexpected surprises in your writing process as you began writing? I am actually a much faster writer that I thought I was! That, and as I write, new possibilities for my characters are opening up left and right.

    Interested in joining us for a write-in session? We meet at the following dates in the PC lab on the 4th floor:

    Space at these write-ins is sure to fill up fast, so make sure you reserve your seat by registering for each session by clicking the links above.

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    SAGEWorks Boot Camp - Enrollment Now open for November 30th.  SAGEWorks  assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge job search skills in a LGBT-  friendly environment. This 2 week training takes place from Monday - Friday, 11/30 - 12/11 - 9:30 am - to 2:00 pm at the SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001.

    New Partners, Inc, will present a recruitment on Tuesday, November 10,  2015, 10 am - 1:30 pm, for Home Health Aide (5 F/T & P/T openings) at Flushing Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay  Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    PNP Staffing Group will present a recruitment on Wednesday, November 11 and  Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10 am - 3:30 pm for Administrative Coordinator (5 Temp openings), Grants Manager (5P/T Temp openings), Development Assistant (5 Temp openings), Donor Database Manager (5 openings), Donor Database Administrator (5 Temp openings), Executive Assistant (5 openings), Bookkeeper (5 P/T Temp openings).  The recruitment event will be held at PNP Staffing Group, 515 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10022.

    SAGEWorks Workshop - Changing Careers: Moving from Profit to Non-Profit , on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 11 am - 12 pm at the SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10001.   SAGEWorks assists people 40 years and older in learning relevant, cutting-edge  job search skills in a LGBTfriendly environment.

    CYRACOM International, Inc. will present a recruitment on Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10 am - 1 pm for Bilingual Interpreters (250 F/T & P/T openings) fluent in the following languages:  Burmese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Farsi, Hindi, Karen, Korean, Nepali, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Swahili, Vietnamese, Eastern Armenian, and Russian (not currently hiring for Bilingual Spanish candidates.  The recruitment event will be held at Flushing Workforce1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services will present an informational session on  civil service exam  process on Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10 am - 1 pm.  Participating businesses include NYC Department of Education, NYPD, FDNY, NYC Department of Sanitation, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, NYC Building. The recruitment event will be held at the NYS  Department of Labor Brooklyn Workforce 1 Career Center, 9 Bond Street,  4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    United Cerebral Palsy of New York City will present a recruitment on Thursday, November 12, 2015, 10 am - 1 pm, for Residence Program Specialist (10 openings) at the Bronx Workforce 1 Career Center, 400 E. Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458.

    SAGEWorks Workshop - Tips on How to Make Employers Forget Older Worker Myths, on Thursday, November 12, 2015, 11 am - 12:15 pm at the SAGE Center, 305 7th Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

    Spanish Speaking Resume Writing workshop on Thursday, November 12, 2015, 12:30 - 2:30 pm for all interested jobseekers  and dislocated workers to organize, revise and update their resumes at Flushing Workforce 1 CareerCenter, 138 60 Barclay Ave. 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355.

    New York Life Insurance Company will present a recruitment on Friday, November 13, 2015, 10 am - 2 pm, for Financial Services Professionals (5 openings) at Flushing  Workforce 1 Career Center, 138-60 Barclay Avenue, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355. 

    SolarCity Career Opportunities.  The NYS Department of  La bor is prescreening for the following three positions in Buffalo, NY:  Module Technician IIProcess Technician I, Process Technician III.

    If you would like to receive information for a future event showcasing employment opportunities at the Hotel Syracuse, please send an email to with 'Hotel Syracuse" in the subject line. 

    affich le pour

    Job Postings at New York City Workforce 1.  

    Apprenticeship Opportunities in New York City.

    The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCE&TC) is an association of 200 community-based organizations, educational institutions, and labor unions that annually provide job training and employment services to over 750,000 New Yorkers, including welfare recipients, unemployed workers, low-wage workers, at-risk youth, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants and the mentally and physically disabled. View NYCE&TC Job Listings.

    Digital NYC is the official online hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, bringing together every company, startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workplace, accelerator, incubator, resource, and organization in the five boroughs. Search jobs by category on this site.

    St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development provides Free Job Training and Educational Programs in Environmental Response and Remediation Tec (ERRT). Commercial Driver's License, Pest Control Technician Training (PCT), Employment Search and Prep Training and Job Placement, Earn Benefits and Career Path Center. For information and assistance, please visit St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development or call 718-302-2057 ext. 202.

    Brooklyn Workforce Innovations helps jobless and working poor New Yorkers establish careers in sectors that offer good wages and opportunities for advancement. Currently, BWI offers free job training programs in four industries: commercial driving, telecommunications cable installation, TV and film production, and skilled woodworking.

    CMP (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project) in lower Manhattan is now recruiting for a free training in Quickbooks, Basic Accounting, and Excel. This training is open to anyone who is receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Class runs for eight weeks, followed by one-on-one meetings with a job developer. CMP also provides Free Home Health Aide Training for bilingual English/Cantonese speakers who are receiving food stamps but no cash assistance. Training runs Mondays through Fridays for six weeks and includes test prep and taking the HHA certification exam. Students learn about direct care techniques such as taking vital signs and assisting with personal hygiene and nutrition. For more information for the above two training programs, email:, call 212-571-1690, or visit. CMP also provides tuition-based healthcare and business trainings free to students who are entitled to ACCESS funding.

    Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) trains women and places them in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades. It helps women achieve economic independence and a secure future. For information call 212-627-6252 or register online.

    Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different backgrounds. For information call 212-832-7605.

    Please note this page will be revised when more recruitment events for the week of November 8  become available.

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    International Games Day is an annual event now in its 9th year, which celebrates play and games at libraries all over the world. This year, it will take place on Saturday, November 21.

    We will be celebrating IGD 2015 with games and coding for all ages,  following the schedule listed below. All activities take place at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (located on 5th Avenue at 42nd Street) in the Celeste Auditorium, formerly known as the South Court Auditorium.

    The festivities run all day, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is FREE and open to the public.


    10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    Proteus Ed Key
    & David Kanaga
    2013 Children
    Educators (Pre K-12)
    Game Enthusiasts
    1:00-3:00 p.m. Gone Home The Fullbright Company 2013 Teens
    Educators (Grades 6-12)
    Game Enthusiasts
    3:30-5:30 p.m. Dear Esther The Chinese Room
    & Robert Briscoe
    2012 Adults
    Educators (Grades 9-12)
    Game Enthusiasts
    All day Make Your First
    Game with Twine
    YOU! NOW! All ages

    Please feel free to contact Thomas Knowlton at if you any questions. You can also follow us on Twitter (@nyplarcade) or sign up for our mailing list to hear about upcoming NYPLarcade events.

    NYPLarcade is an opportunity to play, watch, and discuss independent, experimental, and thought-provoking games in a library setting. Think of it as a book club, but for video games.

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    Princeton University Press, 1946
    The Little Magazine in Contemporary America
    University of Chicago Press, 2015

    The publication of a wonderful new bookThe Little Magazine in Contemporary America (University of Chicago Press, 2015),  is a  unique opportunity to celebrate and share the story of another book and the Librarian who co-edited it.   The book is The Little Magazine: A History and Bibliography (Princeton University Press, 1946)  and the librarian Carolyn Ulrich, who was Head of the Periodicals Division for some 20 years (mid 1920s-1940s). 

    The Little Magazine,  considered a classic in the field, served as inspiration for the 2015 work and Ms. Ulrich herself an inspiration to the many Librarians that have followed in her footsteps over the years in the Periodicals Room—including me. 

    Both books are collections of original essays and interviews by literary magazine editors and bring to life the literary, cultural and political landscapes intrinsic to these publications and deepen our understanding their immense significance.  These magazines are often the place where unknown writers are first published,  editors are willing to take risks and not necessarily interested in turning a profit.  Think T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land's early appearance in a 1922 issue of The Dial

    Portrait of Carolyn Ulrich
    Carolyn Ulrich

    Today Ms. Ulrich’s significant contribution is reflected in the Library’s rich collection of little magazines and avant-garde and small press publications—one of the most comprehensive in the country.

    On display in the Dewitt Wallace Periodical Room, through January 1, 2016, are first issues from the Library's collection of many of the magazines included in the new anthology, as well as three classic little magazine anthologies of the 20th century. 

    Display in the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room
    Display in the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room

    Read more at Carolyn Ulrich, Library Luminary.

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    Every month, library staff members are bringing you 100 books we love—culled from the millions upon millions out in the world—via our interactive Staff Picks browse tool.

    This month, we're going with a fantastical novel: A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn.


    A fascinating novel with alternating storylines about a historic genizah (a storage area in a synagogue for discarded religious documents) and a modern software program called "Genizah" that uses technology to record and catalog every moment of our lives. Josie Ashkenazi, the brilliant software developer of Genizah, is invited to consult at the modern Library of Alexandria in Egypt, where she’s abducted and held captive. Josie’s sister Judith heads to Egypt in search of her sister, despite their contentious relationship, and her attempted rescue has a far-reaching impact. It's an exploration of forgiveness and memory that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page. —Melissa DeWild, BookOps

    Find a book you love too by sorting for age, characters, themes, and more on our Staff Picks page, and find more of our recommendations on the Bibliofile blog or on Twitter @NYPLRecommends.

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    125th Street Library
    125th Street, Harlem Branch of the N.Y, Free Circulating Library, 218 E, 125th St., which became 125th St. Branch of N.Y.P.L.

    With sky high windows and large, endless space, 125th Street Library oozes a certain kind of gothic cathedral feel, inviting that kind of hushed mentality as though you’ve entered into a sacred space.  A few streets away from the 125th St. stop on a busy Lexington Avenue, this library is looking toward the future.

    While the first and second floors accomodate story time, play time, and everything in between, it's the third floor that lies promise. Off limits to the public, tucked behind a barricade, another set of stairs, and a few doors, this floor was formerly used as apartments for library custodians and their families. Having been left untouched for the last forty years, the giant rooms look desolate, almost haunted. But there’s so much beautiful, untapped space and resources here. Library Manager Velma Morton told me her hopes of efficiently utilizing all of this area: "I'd love to turn it into a teen center, a place for after school programs like BridgeUp, and maybe even adult classes. The teens need their own space, too." 

    Fortunately, due to the City's investment in capital funding,  her dream can now become a tangible reality. Part of this funding goes toward five major projects that will happen over the next decade: full renovations to five Carnegie branches in high needs areas. These branches are MelroseHunts Point, Fort Washington, 125th Street, and Port Richmond. The renovations will cost about $20 million per branch. Much like Hunts Point, which suffers from an escalating infrastructure crisis and also only uses two of its three floors, 125th Street holds hope for new renovations.

    125th Street Library is all about serving the needs of its ever-evolving community, even if that means going rogue from the NYPL curriculum. Because neighboring organizations offer courses on Word, Excel, and other similar programs, Velma and her team decided to take matters into their own hands and offer what other places do not. After receiving feedback from their patrons, they began to offer social media classes, diving into everything from how to use Instagram to navigating Facebook. And they've seen great success: these classes have begun to attract every age group, from teens looking for the latest apps to parents hoping to interact more with their kids.

    The Library also connect with Home Base, an organization for formerly incarcerated women and their children. The library offers story times for all ages but also strongly cater to toddlers. In their Tales for Tots program, children ages 18 months to three years enjoy stories, songs, sing-alongs, and easy crafts that tie into a picture book or theme for the program. 

    As 125th Street Library looks toward the new year, Velma envisions new classes, programs, and hours for its patrons. Whether its helping the semi-tech crowd coming with questions and new devices or children returning for their daily play time, staff are eager and prepared to give the community an escape, a necessity, and a dream.

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    NYPL is proud to announce a new partnership with Bookshare, making 370,000 accessible e-books free to patrons with print disabilities.

    Back of the head of a woman who is wearing headphones and holding a tablet with large words on it, some are highlighted. She sits outside on a terrace and there are trees and buildings in the background.

    Every New Yorker with an eligible print disability will now have access to Bookshare’s 370,000 accessible e-books— bestsellers, literature, non-fiction, educational texts, career guides, and more—for free with their New York Public Library card or Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library membership.

    Bookshare's e-books can be magnified and read aloud by a computer or mobile device. Members can choose from different voices, adjust the speed, choose what color the text and background are and whether you want it to highlight the words as it  reads.  Bookshare titles are always instantly available to members. Additionally, members can  request any title be made accessible or join the volunteer program to help make it happen, and Bookshare will create accessible versions on demand for titles students are assigned in class. This new partnership serves eligible patrons of all ages, whether or not they are a student.  If you have trouble reading text or holding a book, you may be eligible.  

    Better Serving You

    Hands are poised on a refreshable braille display blanaced on a black-clad lap, on one finger is a black pearl ring. On the bench next to the woman is an iphone displaying large text, one word of which is highlighted in yellow.

    NYPL serves people with print disabilities throughout New York City and Long Island in two ways: through the services of the Andrew Heiskell Library (part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) including free audiobooks, audio magazines, and audiobook players by mail, download website, or mobile app, as well as assistive technology coaching,  and now with Bookshare. For more information on all these services and how you can sign-up, see

    Print disabilities include visual impairment or legal blindness, physical disabilities affecting the ability to hold books or turn pages (such as Parkinson’s, severe arthritis, cerebral palsy, or paralysis, among others), or a reading disability (such as dyslexia)  that is physically based.

    This partnership is the first of its kind between Bookshare and a large U.S. public library. (A program providing a one-year-only membership to Bookshare through Overdrive's LEAP program had been in place previously, but was discontinued. Eligible students also can receive free memberships through the U.S. Department of Education.) Learn more about how print disabilities can affect students here

    Video tutorials are available online, and in-person workshops on signing up for and using bookshare will be offered at the Andrew Heiskell Library on 40 West 20th Street in Manhattan,  which offers many free workshops and assistive technology coaching on a wide variety of related subjects year round. 

    For more information, see



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