Archive for April, 2015

Staten Island once was home to more than a dozen golf courses. The first was Harbor Hill, which opened in 1878 and was bounded by Brighton, Lafayette, and Prospect Avenue in New Brighton. Another popular course was the semi-private Fox Hills Golf Course in Clifton, which opened in 1900 and was Staten Island’s first 18-hole […]

According to legend, this story all began when a customer brought three pet turtles into the Toddy Inn on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge in 1933. Soon after the customer placed all three on the bar to show off their “racing skills,” one of the turtles made his escape. Either he was a very fast […]

Whence came the elephant? Who knows The world is dark, “Dropped from the moon,” some folks suppose You laugh, but there’s a spark Of evidence that partly shows He came not from the Ark; For, on his flank – the mystery grows— Is branded “Luna Park.” — J.A. Tralee, Ireland (published in the Brooklyn Daily […]

“We had tried policemen on bicycles, motorcycles and even automobiles to run down plunderers, but had poor results until we got the dogs.”—Long Island Rail Road Police Superintendent Robert E. Kirkham America’s Safe-Blowing Belt In the 1800s and early 1900s, the wide open territory along the tracks of the Long Island Railroad was like something […]

The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves voluntarily running in front of a small group of cattle that has been let loose on a fenced-off part of the town’s streets. The most famous running of the bulls takes place during the eight-day festival of Sanfermines in Pamplona, Spain. Every year, about 250 […]

In Scene VII of The Garden of Paradise by Edward Sheldon, the Queen of the South asks her page to fetch her kitten, Pandora, from the garden. In this cameo role, the kitten is carried on stage, placed on a thrown, and almost stepped on as the Queen tries to escape from a planned marriage […]

In July 1896, Victor D. Levitt, the manager of the Bostock-Ferrari Midway Carnival Company, received an alligator that hailed from the St. Sebastian River in Florida. Victor considered the gift to be a bad luck sign, as the large alligator had been bruised in a train wreck on its way to New York. Victor decided […]