Preserving the Fleet of the South Street Seaport Museum | Episode 117

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Since its founding over 52 years ago, South Street Seaport Museum has faced the daunting job of preserving its historic fleet. Join us for a photographic voyage with Director of Historic Ships Jesse Lebovics to see the challenges and remarkable efforts made for the long term preservation of 1885 ship Wavertree, 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker, 1885 schooner Pioneer, and the planned upcoming work on 1907 lightship Ambrose.

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History in a Cup: 200 Years of Coffee in Brooklyn | Episode 116

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Coffee has long been the lifeblood of the Brooklyn economy, once as a leading commodity coming into the port, and today supporting hundreds of small coffee shops and roasters. This virtual program will look at how one Brooklyn company came to dominate the importing and roasting of coffee in the 19th century, share stories of the small roasters that have survived in Brooklyn for generations, and look at the city’s every-changing coffee landscape.

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Guastavino Tiles of Prospect Park | Episode 115

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In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and city is home to more than 250 of them, but no place has a denser concentration than Prospect Park. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, including in Grand Army Plaza, the Tennis House, and the Prospect Park Zoo, as we discuss this engineering marvel.

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A Brief History of NYC Street Vending | Virtual Fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project

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Street vending has been a part of New York City's public life for hundreds of years, often taken up by newcomers to the country and New Yorkers excluded from the formal economy, as a means of starting a small business. For this special virtual program, Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson will explore street vending history from the 19th century to today and examine how the city's physical, culinary, artistic, and legal landscape has been shaped by vendors. We'll also be joined for a special visit from street vendor MD Alam, calling in from his food cart Royal Grill Halal Food to share with us how his business has survived during COVID-19.

This program is fundraiser for the non-profit Street Vendor Project, a project of the Urban Justice Center, and is not part of our ongoing Virtual Program series or included in our Membership program

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The Marx Brothers in NYC with Noah Diamond | Episode 114

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Noah Diamond is a man of many hats, including a Groucho Marx painted mustache and cigar. In addition to being a New York City tour guide, writer, performer, and designer, he is also an expert on all things Marx Brothers. On this special program, he’ll walk us through the many connections Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo have had with New York City. He’ll also chat with us about his work on reviving their very first (and somewhat forgotten) Broadway musical, “Marxfest” and other performances and events he has produced, and the campaign to landmark the boys’ childhood home.

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Shipbuilding in the US Navy Today | Episode 113

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One of the most frequent questions from visitors on our Brooklyn Navy Yard Tours is, where are the ships of the US Navy built today? At its height in 1966, the US Navy operated 12 shipyards that built and repaired a huge proportion of the fleet; today, it operates only four, and all ship construction is done at private yards. This virtual program with Andrew Gustafson will discuss the decline of the government shipbuilding, the major private shipyards working today, and the current and future challenges to the naval shipbuilding program.

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Progressivism and Purified Air: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Living Machines | Episode 112

Join our conversation with Sara Carr, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape at Northeastern University, who will discuss Frederick Law Olmsted’s origins in public health, and how his background in the US Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and his journalistic advocacy inspired his designs of Central Park and Prospect Park. Olmsted’s prolific writings give us an insight into how he thought about the intersection of human, ecological, and societal health, which resonate strongly in our pandemic era. But as his living legacies face unprecedented urban challenges, we must also think about how they can sustain and at times even transform for a just and sustainable future. This program is presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

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From Fufu to Cheb: Enjoying West African Cuisines in NYC with Dave Cook | Episode 111

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We are pleased to welcome back food photographer and writer Dave Cook of Eating In Translation to discuss a family of fascinating cuisines. Many of us might not have had the opportunity to enjoy the food of Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, or Ghana; these and many more can be found throughout New York City. Dave will share his mouthwatering photos, walk us through different dishes, and let us know where we can try them in all five boroughs.

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Bowne & Co.: Letterpress Printing in 19th-Century New York | Episode 110

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Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co., continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with Art Director Rob Wilson – co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens – investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co., uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2,400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today.

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Three Generations of Conservation: The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park | Episode 109

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Vermont is known for its natural beauty, but the National Park Service has only one property in the state, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. Established in 1992, the park tells the story of three men who occupied the same piece of land over time in the small town of Woodstock, and each had a unique impact on preserving the restoring the natural landscape: diplomat and writer George Perkins Marsh, railroad tycoon Frederick Billings, and scion Laurance Rockefeller. This virtual program will look at the history of conservation as told through this site, and explore some of the features of the park in and around Woodstock.

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