Category Archives: History

Summer Tourism: 150 Years Of Coney Island, New York

Amusement park rides and sideshows, hot dogs, and mermaid parades: Coney Island, a tiny stretch of beachfront in Brooklyn, has left an indelible mark on the world’s popular imagination for nearly 150 years. Correspondent David Pogue rides a rollercoaster of history in exploring the allure of the New York seaside resort.

Coney Island is a residential Brooklyn neighborhood that morphs into a relaxation and entertainment destination each summer. Locals and tourists crowd its beach, the Wonder Wheel and Luna Park, an amusement park featuring the famed Cyclone roller coaster. Street performers, the Circus Sideshow and the Mermaid Parade in June lend an eccentric vibe. Nathan’s Famous is known for its July 4th hot-dog eating contest.

English County Estates: Trafalgar Park, Salisbury

Writing in Country Life in 1997, the magazine’s then-Architectural Editor the late Giles Worsley referred to stately Grade I-listed Trafalgar Park, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, as ‘the Flying Dutchman of the property world, endlessly seeking an owner and being sold on while the fabric slowly decayed’.

Penny Churchill, July 22, 2021

The fine country house built by John James of Greenwich in 1733 for City grandee Sir Peter Vandeput was nevertheless described as ‘an estate agent’s dream, a house that always seemed to come back on the market’.

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Tours: Bradford-On-Avon, Wiltshire, England (4K)

Bradford-on-Avon is a town and civil parish in west Wiltshire, England, near the border with Somerset, with a population of 9,402 at the 2011 census. The town’s canal, historic buildings, shops, pubs and restaurants make it popular with tourists. The history of the town can be traced back to Roman origins.

1950’s: A ‘Moral Panic’ That Targeted Comic Books

Comic books have been a staple of American pop culture for the better part of 90 years. The origin story of comics as we know them, however, is much more complicated. In the 1950s, a moral panic swept across the country — one in which parents and children burned comic books by the bushel in public gatherings — and led to the near destruction of the comic book industry. Comics were big business even by the 1940s. They reached millions of readers each week. And the superheroes created then have now become billion-dollar franchises, showcased in blockbuster films and massive conventions such as Comic-Con. Events in 1954, however, almost changed that. Laws were passed. Careers were ruined. And comics fell under a strict censorship regime that lasted for decades to come.

Art History: Whistler’s ‘Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac’

In the final episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon bids audiences farewell with a discussion of “Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac” by James McNeill Whistler, the best-represented artist at the Frick with twenty works in the collection. Whistler met the eccentric poet and aristocrat depicted in the painting in 1885, and they soon became fast friends, with Montesquiou sitting for the portrait in 1891–92, making it the most modern work on display at Frick Madison. This week’s complementary cocktail is the Black Manhattan, a spin-off of the cocktail from the very first episode of “Cocktails with a Curator.” Xavier, Aimee, and Giulio extend their thanks to all those who made this program possible and, of course, to you, the viewers—cheers! To view this painting (or object) in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/whistlerblackgold

Swiss Tours: Medieval Town Of Gruyères (4K)

Gruyères is a medieval town in the Fribourg canton of Switzerland. It’s known for production of the cheese of the same name. The 13th-century Château de Gruyères is a hilltop fortress with a multimedia history show and ornate rooms. Inside the small St. Germain Castle, the H.R. Giger Museum shows artwork relating to the film “Alien.” The Tibet Museum displays Buddhist sculptures and ritual objects of the Himalayas. 

Books: ‘Revolutionary World – Global Upheaval In The Modern Age’ (LSE)

The Cotswolds: A History Of Eastleach Turville & Eastleach Martin (Video)

Eastleach is a civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire, England. It was created in 1935 when the separate parishes of Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin were combined as the civil parish of Eastleach. The two villages of the parish—Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin—are separated only by the narrow River Leach, which is spanned by the stone road bridge and a stone slab clapper footbridge. Together the villages of Eastleach have over 60 listed houses and farm structures.