Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Former Home Of Thomas Jefferson

Iwalked New York City’s Former Home Of Thomas Jefferson - Thomas Jefferson only called New York City his home for a rather short period lasting six months in total (March-September 1790). During this time he served as the Secretary of State under newly appointed President George Washington.

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
His first residence during this period was a small space rented for one hundred pounds a year from two grocers by the names of Robert and Peter Bruce at 3 Front Street. He voiced his displeasure at the availability of space during this time in a letter to his daughter Martha in which he was quoted as, “I find it difficult to procure a tolerable house here.” He remained here a very short period of time as he later moved to a locale on Broadway before “settling” for a small home at 57 Maiden Lane in June.

It was here that perhaps one of the most significant negotiations in the history of our young nation occurred. Intent on moving our Nation’s capitol Jefferson organized a dinner with his friend James Madison to convince the one man who held sufficient sway within Congress to potentially block such a proposal—Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson’s opposition to New York was not only based upon its cramped quarters but also largely due to his distaste for its largest proponent, Mr. Hamilton.

On June 20, 1790 Jefferson and Madison concocted a careful negotiation to ensure both parties achieved their ultimate objective. Jefferson and Madison wanted to move the nations Capitol south and Hamilton, at the time, was actively promoting the creation of a national bank. With both parties holding such significant power to block either initiative the two sides agreed to at least not impede the vote on the other. This dinner agreement was later known to history as the derivation of the Compromise of 1790. Hamilton ultimately achieved his National Bank via a charter approved on February 25, 1791. And Jefferson received his wish to move the nation’s headquarters to a space along the Potomac after a temporary 10 year residency in Philadelphia.

In reference to Mr. Jefferson’s New York residency, upon his successful negotiations in June, he planned his return home to Virginia. By September he had moved out of 57 Maiden Lane.

  • Website:

  • Address: 57 Maiden Lane, New York City, NY

  • Cost: Free

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Iwalked New York City Former Twin Towers

Iwalked New York City's Former Twin Towers - Some four hundred fifty companies were previously headquartered within the seven building complex of the original World Trade Center (WTC). The two most noted buildings were, of course, 1 WTC and 2 WTC or also referred to as Towers 1 and 2, or the Twin Towers. Upon completion of the one hundred ten storied twin towers in 1970-1971 they stood as the tallest buildings in the world before being surpassed by Chicago’s Sears Tower in 1973.
Twin Towers
Twin Towers
At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001 the north tower was hit by a hijacked airliner, American Airlines Flight 11, originally having departed from Boston. The airplane impacted at the 93rd floor. Shortly thereafter at 9:05 a.m. a second plane, United Flight 175, also from Boston, struck the south tower between the 77th and 85th floors. 7 WTC collapsed later in the day at 5:20 p.m. While the remaining buildings in complex remained standing they would be required to be demolished due to the substantial amount of damage undertaken.

The official death toll was recently restated as 2,751 in 2009 after a long missing doctor was added to toll following a study which concluded no other explanation for his disappearance. Of those who perished three hundred forty-three were NYC Fire Department firefights and twenty-three were NYC police department officers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall

Iwalked New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall - Avery Fisher Hall opened as Philharmonic Hall on September 23, 1962. It was designed by the firm of Harrsion & Abramovitz with the consulting of audio specialists Bolt, Beranek and Newman. Per the advice of Bolt, Beranek and Newman the original designs consisted of a narrow rectangular design similar to Boston’s Symphony Hall with a maximum capacity of 2,400 seats. Caving to pressures to expand this capacity to just over 2,700, these designs were altered which ended up materially altering the acoustics. Critics immediately panned the new hall and musicians meanwhile complained that they couldn’t hear themselves play. Alterations began almost immediately to attempt to tweak the existing structure. After multiple failures, a complete overhaul was finally conceded. Through a $10.5 million donation via Avery Fisher, the hall reopened in October 1976.

Avery Fisher Hall
Avery Fisher Hall

Avery Robert Fisher is described as an audio specialist. He is perhaps best known for his stereo designs which led to significant improvements in existing AM-FM tuners.
Despite the significant alterations in 1976, critics still did not embrace the new Avery Fisher Hall. Finally in 1992 and then again in 2005, further renovations were undertaken. Alas a formula seems to have finally been found as Fisher Hall is now recognized for having excellent acoustics once more.

The primary beneficiary of the enhanced acoustics is the hall’s primary tenant—America’s oldest orchestra by nearly forty years, the New York Philharmonic. The Philharmonic traces its earliest roots back to 1842 when it provided its first concert on Broadway to an audience of 600 individuals. The first work performed that evening? Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Since that initial performance the Philharmonic has gone on to perform over 15,000 concerts as of May 2010. They currently perform about 180 concerts per year.

Similar to the Met’s PBS specials and in trying to keep with the times, the Philharmonic began releasing a subscription-based download series via iTunes in 2009. From this subscription, listeners were able for the first time to get numerous works previously unavailable. Overall, the Philharmonic has recorded over 2,000 works since their first recording in 1917. Of these recordings, approximately one-fourth of them are commercially available.
If you’re interested in attending a performance and cost is a concern, you may attend rehearsals here every Thursday morning on the evenings of performance at 9:45a.m. Rehearsals cost about $18 to attend versus the evening performance which currently goes for about double that at $40. Rehearsal tickets may be purchased online at or at the door.

The New York Philharmonic is not the only body however which utilizes this facility. A number of local high school and colleges host their graduation ceremonies here. And on January 22, 1967, Avery Fisher Hall was where Simon & Garfunkel recorded Live From New York City, 1967