Category Archives: New York city

Y is for York

New York State was once the territory of the Iroquois nation. It was later settled by the Dutch.

In 1663 the Duke of York purchased the grant of Long Island and other islands on the New England coast made in 1635 to the Earl of Stirling. The following year, the Duke equipped an armed expedition, which took possession of New Amsterdam, which was thenceforth called Province of New York, after him.[1][2] This conquest was confirmed by the treaty of Breda, in July 1667. In July 1673, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and held it until it was restored to the English by the treaty of Westminster in February, 1674.

But which Duke of York are we talking about? From this chronology, it appears to be James Stuart, who later became James II of England (and James VII of Scotland). While Duke of York, he was also Duke of Albany in Scotland.

The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew, the second son of the British monarch, Elizabeth II. Since he has no sons (horrors!), the most likely candidate for the position will be Prince Harry, assuming Charles ascends the throne someday.

As for York, England itself, it is located northeast of Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool:

The Shambles is oldest street in York, it mentioned “in the Doomsday Book under its Latin name – In Macello. The word Shambles derives from the Medieval word Shamel (various spellings), meaning bench or booth. Also referred to as Flesshammel, which means to do with flesh – it was the street of the butchers. In 1872 the number of butchers was recorded as 26. This figure dwindled over the years until the last butcher standing was Dewhurst at number 27 the Shambles.”

York Minster Gothic Cathedral in York

“Situated in the heart of the city, York Minster is the largest Gothic Cathedral in northern Europe. As is the way with many christian buildings, it was built in the shape of a cross, and faces East, towards Jerusalem. The name “Minster” is derived from the Latin Monastarium, which means ‘Place of Learning’.”

Here are some places in the United States named York; not a complete list:

York County, PA.

York County, SC.

York (city), PA.

East York, PA CDP. A CDP is a Census Designated Place, a location that is unincorporated but well-defined.

York County, ME.

York County, PA.

York County, VA.

West New York, NJ.

Which brings us to my home state of New York:

New York (State). There are 62 counties in New York State.

New York (City). Five of those counties comprise New York City. In NYC, there are also something called boroughs; these are coterminous with the county boundaries.

New York County, NY is a/k/a the borough of Manhattan. Kings County is the borough of Brooklyn, Richmond County is the borough Staten Island. Bronx and Queens each have the same name as a county as it does as a borough.

ABC Wednesday


TV REVIEW: The Bronx Is Burning

Because I’d finally caught up with almost everything else, over a two and a half week stretch recently, I managed to watch all eight segments of the ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, ostensibly about the New York Yankees’ 1977 World Series win, their first since 1962, despite the tension among Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, manager Billy Martin and outfielder Reggie Jackson. It was also about the .44-caliber killer known as Son of Sam, and the general decay of New York City.

I had a personal interest in this story, for I was living in Jamaica, Queens from May to September. I was hanging out partying late at night and was just a tad paranoid about Son of Sam, and I remember the screaming red-letter headlines on the New York Post when David Berkowitz was caught in August of 1977.

The production featured the actors in scenes, interspersed with footage of the era, both in the baseball scenes, and in the atmospheric segments about the blackout, the mayoral race between Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo (I voted for Cuomo, BTW).

The good things about this production: John Turturro as the Billy Martin, and I say that not because Turturro graduated from my alma mater of New Paltz, but because he seemed to embody, rather than imitate, the fiery manager. Erik Jensen as Yankee captain and catcher Thurman Munson. Kevin Conway, who plays Yankees Prez and GM, Gabe Paul; he doesn’t really look like Paul, but his caught-in-the-middle performance rang true. The great background pieces at the end of each episode featuring Jackson, Steinbrenner, Yankees Chris Chambliss and Fran Healey, Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, and Billy Martin’s son, Bill Jr. (Martin was killed in a one-car crash in Binghamton, NY – my hometown – on December 25, 1989.)

The so-so parts: Oliver Platt as Steinbrenner; he looked like Oliver Platt playing Steinbrenner. Joe Grifasi as Yogi Berra, who didn’t seem all that bright and was there to share Italian-American insults with Martin. Leonard Armond Robinson as Mickey Rivers, and whoever played Fran Healey were OK. The guys playing the cops in the Son of Sam investigation, featuring Dan Lauria (Wonder Years). The use of the real video, although seeing the cheesy ABC Sports logo was a hoot.

The not so hot parts: Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson; it wasn’t just the look, it was the feel of the character. Most of the other supporting players, especially the women, were ciphers. The guy playing Lou Pinella looks nothing like him, while a press guy reminded me of Yankee pitcher Catfish Hunter. And most of all, the Son of Sam killings, which almost all involved a couple of Noo Yawkers babbling something to each other before they were shot by Berkowitz; they all felt the same.

So, it wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful. I’m glad I saw it because it was a good reminder of the era. If you rent the DVD, which will be out later this month, I have the sense that the extras will be more enjoyable than the core item.
Here’s a weird TV thing: I was watching a rerun of Scrubs recently. The original episode aired on May 10, and was 40 minutes (more like 38). But when it was rerun in the last week or two, it was in the 30 minute slot. How did this work? Cuts. J.D. and Turk’s voice-over dialogue as they were driving away. Kelso’s dis of a woman his age or younger at a convention as too old. But mostly, the whole scene with J.D. and Turk at a lecture conducted by J.D.’s pregnant ex-girlfriend was broken in half in the original, with a “Busta move” piece of verbiage, but continuous in the repeat, sans “Busta move”. I wonder if both versions will show up on the DVD?


Seven or eight things about me

I believe it was Gordon who noted seven things about him that you may not have known. Then Scott tagged me, with these instructions:
“Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them that they have been tagged.”

1. When I first picked up the album Magical Mystery Tour in the store back in 1967 or early 1968, I simply could not read the words “Beatles” in the yellow stars. I knew it WAS a Beatles album from the song list, but it was a full five minutes before I sussed out the group name. (Confidential to Fred Hembeck: November 27, 1967.)

2. My favorite mixed drink is 45% orange juice, 45% cranberry juice, 10% ginger ale. The cranberry cuts the OJ’s acidity, the OJ cuts the cranberry’s tartness, and the ginger ale is just to give it that faux alcohol sensation. I’ve ordered the mixed juices sans ginger ale in restaurants, and while some places seem to take it in stride, others act as though I want them to cross a desert barefoot to get liquids from a cactus or something.

3. My favorite cereal combination is spoon-size shredded wheat and Cheerios. But I won’t buy either of them unless they’re on sale. So when they ARE on sale, I might buy four or six boxes. I might even use coupons, which I seldom use otherwise.

4. In the spring or summer of 1976, I was in a production of Godspell in my college town of New Paltz. My solo was, initially, “We Beseech Thee”, a song I could sing and I liked, but got changed to “All Good Gifts”, which I was never fond of.

5. When I lived in New York City in the summer of 1977, I lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, but I worked in Manhattan. I took the #7 train, then the E or the F train. I was a telephone solicitor five nights a week from 6 pm until midnight. Who was I calling at 11:30 at night? People on the West Coast, of course. The folks I called were people who had once expressed interest in the product – people with lapsed subscription to TV Guide, people who owned the Encyclopedia Americana who might want the Annual. As a result, I’m very polite to phone solicitors; I say “no, thank you,” right before I hang up on them.

6. During that summer of 1977 (which, not so incidentally was the Summer of Sam), I met this young woman from the Unification church (yes, that’s the Moonies) and would have dinner with her group once a week for a couple months at their place in the Bronx. I was invited to go to their complex upstate; I always declined.

7. Once that summer, for no particular reason, I walked from the Bronx to the New York Public Library, some 160 blocks. Another time, I walked from the library to Wall Street; don’t know how many blocks that is.

8. I once successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on a 70-plus-year-old woman in May 1995. This was at my church of the time. I had been in a pretty sour mood, actually, because of resolving some old affairs of the heart stuff. This woman, who I did not know, was off to the side, looking as though she was turning blue. Then someone opined that perhaps she might have eaten something. I recalled my training from high school, never utilized. Some piece of meat flew at least 15 feet. The pastor, always one to come up with a smart-aleck remark, said to me, “If you see ME choking, just let me die.” (Confidential to MRR – yes, he’s the one.)

I’ve always been loath to tag – though I don’t mind being tagged – so, only if you want to:
The Scribe at Peace X Peace
Uthaclena at the Hydrogen Jukebox
and the Weird Monday person, Kelly Brown.
Oh, here’s another thing about me: I recorded two programs last night – and neither was the last episode of the sopranos. One was The Tonys on CBS, which we like to watch because we’re generally unfamiliar with the productions, ironically, the reason nobody ELSE watches them. The other is Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions band live in Dublin on PBS. We’ve actually watched neither, but hope to before the fall.