Join us on a virtual exploration of the Bowne House (ca. 1661), the oldest building in Queens and second-oldest in New York State. Built by John Bowne, a Quaker who emigrated from England and eventually settled in Flushing, his fight for religious freedom was an important moment in American history that laid down principles later codified in the Bill of Rights. Now a museum, we will explore the house with a docent and its live-in caretaker, who will share stories of the house and its occupants from 1661 to 1945, when ownership of the private home transitioned from John Bowne’s descendants to the Bowne House Historical Society.>> Continue reading
Prospect Park is not just 585 acres for people, but animals, too. We’ll share stories of the furry, feathery, scaly, and slimy inhabitants of the park throughout history, including the livestock that used to work in the park, the inhabitants of the various zoos over time, the dogs that roam the meadows during off-leash hours, and the many wild fauna that thrive in the park today.
Join our conversation with artist and author John Tebeau, who’s book “Bars, Taverns, and Dives New Yorkers Love” features beautiful portraits and loving tributes to some of the best gathering places in neighborhoods across this great city. John will share his artwork and his favorite neighborhood spots that bring people together, and we will invite everyone to share their favorite place that they’re missing during this time of pandemic.
Explore one of the most beautiful and historic churches in Brooklyn, Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary. Established in 1843 as the first German Catholic parish on Long Island, the stunning cathedral-like structure was completed in 1885 and was a key location in Betty Smith’s 1943 classic “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Cindy and Andrew were married in this church (and April 26 is their wedding anniversary!), and they will be joined by their friend and priest Father Timothy Dore, who will share the rich history of the parish he served for many years.
Celebrate Earth Day by virtually exploring Brooklyn’s largest forest with us and Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein. We will learn about some of the park’s 30,000 trees, ongoing forest maintenance and restoration projects, and how the the Alliance is adapting to challenges like climate change, invasive species, pests, and extreme weather events.
- Trees of Prospect Park
- Prospect Park tree survey
- Treekeeper Database of Prospect Park Trees
- Become a Prospect Park Alliance Member
Explore the history of Graham Avenue, Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and take an in-depth look at the businesses and people of this community, including the historic Moore Street Market, and the department stores, butcher shops, and pushcarts of the past and present. Turnstile Tours has worked in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, and this program is based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners and on original archival research that we will share during this session.
St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA, just outside Pittsburgh, is home to one of the most remarkable works of church art in America, a series of 25 murals painted by celebrated Croatian painter Maxo Vanka. Painted in 1937 and 1941, the murals depict stories of immigration, war, labor, and injustice in vivid, expressive scenes unlike any others in a church. We will be joined by Anna Doering, managing director of the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, a non-profit which works to conserve, protect, and interpret these incredible artworks and offers guided tours and educational programs.
Sitting at the mouth of the Hudson estuary with vast shorelines and moderate tides, New York Harbor is one of the greatest natural ports on earth, yet moving goods around the region on land has always been a challenge. This talk hosted by maritime expert Stefan Dreisbach-Williams will look at the forces that transformed New York into a dominant global port, from the mid-19th to the present, despite the fact that its geography poses huge obstacles for land-based transport by train and truck. We will look at the infrastructure and economic forces behind this paradox, and take note of places where the old technologies are still visible, and how new ones continue to develop.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrust manufacturing into the national spotlight, as the city, state, and nation struggle to procure necessary medical equipment, and companies big and small pivot to produce these critical supplies. How did we get here? What do we still make in NYC? How will manufacturing businesses survive this crisis? We will tackle these and other questions with Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. Adam is a renowned expert on urban manufacturing, a board member of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and the founder of Made in NYC, a support network for local manufacturers created in the wake of another crisis facing New York City, the September 11 attacks.
Join Sarah Litvin, former Turnstile guide and current director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History in Kingston, New York, to learn how immigration, community, work, and bread shaped this Hudson Valley city in the mid-twentieth century. We’ll virtually visit the historic Reher’s Bakery, an immigrant family-run business that served the diverse working-class Rondout neighborhood for nearly a century. Sarah will share of preview of the Reher Center’s upcoming exhibition, “Sewing in Kingston,” highlighting the city’s vibrant garment workers past and present.