By Land or By Sea: The Port of New York Paradox | Episode 25

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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.

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The History of NYC Public Markets, Part 2 | Episode 22

The first and second floors of the Essex Market with a historic neon sign from the Orchard Essex Meat Market

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Take a deep dive into the history of New York City’s public markets, which have their origins in a vast food distribution system set up by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930’s. Once encompassing 10 retail markets and nearly as many wholesale facilities, today many of the historic buildings of this era remain, and these markets continue to offer affordable space for food entrepreneurs and fresh, high-quality food for shoppers throughout New York City.

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Manufacturing in Crisis: The State of NYC Manufacturing with Adam Friedman | Episode 18

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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.

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Exploring the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History | Episode 17

Sarah standing in front of a yellow store front

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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.

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Two Scenes of Brooklyn: 19th Century Life on the Waterfront | Episode 16

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Inside the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO exhibition space are two iconic images of the borough: Francis Guy’s 1820 painting of the small hamlet, and Currier & Ives’ 1879 lithograph of the City of Brooklyn. Led by two of our expert guides, Andrew Gustafson and Stefan Dreisbach-Williams, they will unpack the history of the people and places in these dense images and what they tell us about Brooklyn’s waterfront communities in the nineteenth century.

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Census Day: Telling Brooklyn’s Story Through the US Census | Episode 15

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April 1 is Census Day, so we’re discussing the importance of the 2020 Census, and delving into the history, from the first federal census of 1790 to the present day. First, we will speak with Kathleen Daniel, NYC Census Field Director about this year’s census and what is at stake for delivering vital services and funding to our communities. Then, we will be joined by Nalleli Guillen, historian and project manager of Brooklyn Historical Society’s Revealing Long Island History project, who will discuss how historians, genealogists, researchers, artists, and tour guides utilize this rich well of information. This session is being presented in partnership with NYC Census 2020, and with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Prospect Park Alliance, organizations which have been partners in raising awareness about the census in Brooklyn.

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NYC Street Vendors: How Can We Help Them? | Episode 13

Street vendors rally on the steps of city hall with signs that read I love immigrant NY and Support NYC smallest businesses and Help us to serve you

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There are as many as 20,000 street vendors in New York City, most of whom are immigrants. This program will focus on the impact of the current public health crisis on the lives and livelihoods of New York City’s street vendors, including an interview with Mohamed Attia, Executive Director of the Street Vendor Project, a membership-driven project that is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers.

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The History of NYC Public Markets, Part 1 | Episode 7

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Take a deep dive into the history of New York City’s public markets, which have their origins in a vast food distribution system set up by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930’s. Once encompassing 10 retail markets and nearly as many wholesale facilities, today many of the historic buildings of this era remain, and these markets continue to offer affordable space for food entrepreneurs and fresh, high-quality food for shoppers throughout New York City.

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Hidden Treasures of Prospect Park | Virtual Program

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See and learn about Prospect Park’s little-known corners and hidden treasures, including the Rose Garden, Lookout Hill, and the park’s historic archways. Led by two engaging guides, this virtual experience will use photos of the park today and from the archives of the Prospect Park Alliance to illuminate the layers of history still visible in the landscape.

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How It Works: The Brooklyn Army Terminal Atrium | Episode 3

View of the metal frames that span the two sides of Building B, a massive concrete industrial building with an atrium at the center that opens to the sky.

Saturday, March 21, 11am

One of the most iconic spaces in New York City, the atrium of the Brooklyn Army Terminal was once a hive of activity for moving military supplies from World War I to the Cold War. This engineering marvel is a mystery to most visitors, and this presentation by our resident expert will explain how the space was designed, built, and operated, and how technologies like the forklift and shipping container impacted operations over time.

Virtual Programs

icon-calendar  Every Day at 11am + weekends at 4pm
icon-clock-o  30-45 mins
icon-map-marker  Virtual sessions via Zoom webinar