The rubber balloon was invented by Michael Faraday in 1824; it was inflated with hydrogen and used in his experiments. Rubber balloons were soon after sold for a penny a piece in parks and circuses. The more familiar latex balloons of today were first manufactured in London, 1847, by J.G. Ingram, but mass production did not occur until the 1930s.
The Hookah was invented in India in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542 – 1605 AD). Following the European introduction of tobacco to India, Hakim Abul Fateh Gilani, who was a physician in the court of Mughal, raised concerns after smoking tobacco became popular among Indian noblemen, and subsequently envisaged a system which allowed smoke to be passed through water in order to be ‘purified’. Gilani introduced the hookah, and this new device for smoking soon became a status symbol for the Indian aristocracy and gentry.
In 2004, New York magazine called the Meatpacking District “New York’s most fashionable neighborhood”.
Sponges used for kitchen cleanup and dishwashing readily become hosts to bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. To prevent this, artificial sponges can be soaked in water and sterilized in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.
National Doughnut Day is on the first Friday of June each year and started in 1938 as a fund raiser for the Chicago Salvation Army. Their goal was to help the needy during the Great Depression, and to honor the Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.
Bakkwa is a salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky, made in the form of flat thin sheets normally made from pork. Bakkwa is believed to have originated from a meat preservation and preparation technique used in ancient China.
“A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air” – Henry Ward Beecher
“In 1946, Frederick came to Hollywood. Or shall we say, a man named Frederick Mellinger founded Frederick’s of Hollywood and a legend was born. Mellinger believed that incredible lingerie could make a woman feel beautiful—from the inside out.” – from the Frederick’s of Hollywood website
The necktie traces back to the time of Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) when Croatian mercenaries from the Military Frontier in French service, wearing their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, aroused the interest of the Parisians. Due to the slight difference between the Croatian word for Croats, Hrvati, and the French word, Croates, the garment gained the name “Cravat”. The new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe where both men and women wore pieces of fabric around their necks.
Pelham Bay was established from land that was purchased by Thomas Pell in 1654, part of an original grant to the Dutch West India Company.
Nathan’s Famous began as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916 and bears the name of its founder Nathan Handwerker. Handwerker, an employee of Feltman’s hot dog stand, was encouraged by celebrity clients Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer (Charles Feltman invented the hot dog in 1874). Handwerker undercut Feltman’s by charging five cents for a hot dog when Feltman’s was charging ten. At a time when food regulation was in its infancy, and the pedigree of the hot dog particularly suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon’s smocks were seen eating at his stand to reassure potential customers. A sign above the establishment proclaimed, “If doctors eat our hot dogs, you know they’re good!”
Online reviews for the Neptune Diner:
“I live a few blocks away and frequently ate at the Neptune diner. I overlooked the rude owner /staff and average diner food due to the convenient location. well no more. he treats the patrons (even regulars) like you are bothering him. he does not deserve the business. i would rather walk or drive for decent service.”
“Over the years that I lived in Astoria and been to the neptune I have never been disappointed, the food is always good the service is almost always excellent and its the perfect place to go late at night, I would definitely recommend it.”
“Lock your door and keep your neighbor honest” – Chinese Proverb
Police detectives in Radnor, Pennsylvania, were having trouble convincing a suspect to confess. They improvised a lie detector machine. Hooking two wires to a metal kitchen colander and a fax machine, they then placed the colander on the suspect’s head. Each time he answered a question incorrectly, a detective hit the button on the fax machine which spit out a paper saying “He’s Lying.” The suspect confessed.
Guss’ Pickles was founded by a Polish immigrant, Isidor Guss. Guss arrived in New York in 1910, and like hundreds of thousands of other Jewish immigrants, settled in the Lower East Side. Clustered in the “pickle district” of Essex and Ludlow streets, early 20th century pickle vendors gave birth to what would be known as “New York style” pickles.
In 1917, jeweler Pierre Cartier purchased the Fifth Avenue mansion that is now the New York Cartier store for $100 cash and a double strand of matched natural pearls valued at the time at $1 million.
In 1792, the King of Sweden, Gustav III, was killed, the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ball and died 13 days later from his wounds. It is on this episode that Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera is loosely based.
Ancient painted walls at Denerdera, Egypt, which were exposed for many ages to the open air, still possess a perfect brilliancy of color, as vivid as when they were painted about 2,000 years ago. The Egyptians used minium for red.
Béla Bartók lived at 3242 Cambridge Avenue.
Mark Twain lived at Wave Hill from 1901 to 1903.
John F. Kennedy lived at 5040 Independence Avenue, across the street from Wave Hill.
Lou Gehrig lived at 5204 Delafield Avenue.
The rarest and costliest caviar is from the beluga sturgeon that swim in the Caspian Sea, bordered by Russia and Iran. Beluga caviar is prized for its soft, extremely large eggs. It can range in color from pale silver-gray to black. It is followed by the small golden sterlet caviar which is rare and was once reserved for Russian czars, Iranian shahs and Austrian emperors.
Although Sussman Volk is generally credited with producing the first pastrami sandwich, in New York in 1887, that claim could be disputed by the founders of Katz’s Deli, which also was founded in 1887. Volk, a kosher butcher, claimed that he got the recipe from a Romanian friend in exchange for storing the friend’s luggage while the friend returned to Romania. Volk prepared pastrami according to the recipe and served it on sandwiches out of his butcher shop. The sandwich was so popular, Volk converted the butcher shop into a restaurant to sell pastrami sandwiches.
Maha Shivratri is a festival celebrated every year on the 13th night or the 14th day of the new moon in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha . This festival is of utmost importance to the devotees of Lord Shiva, for it marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’ and was married to Parvati. On this day the devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and Bael leaves to Shiva.
Tattooing in the Western world today has its origins in Polynesia, and in the discovery of tatau by eighteenth century explorers. The Polynesian practice became popular among European sailors, before spreading to Western societies generally.
The first practical pneumatic tire was made by John Boyd Dunlop, a Scot, in 1887 for his son’s bicycle, in an effort to prevent the headaches his son had while riding on rough roads.
During the American Revolutionary War on August 27, 1776, the Park Slope area served as the backdrop for the beginning of the Battle of Long Island, the first pitched battle between the British and the Continental Army under the command of George Washington. In this battle, over 10,000 British Redcoats and Hessians routed outnumbered American forces at Battle Pass. The historic site of Battle Pass is now preserved in Prospect Park, and on Fifth Avenue there is a reconstruction of the stone farmhouse where a countercharge covered the American retreat.
For many years Maspeth was a familiar name due to the Elmhurst Gas Tanks, a pair of large natural gas storage structures. Because the Long Island Expressway (LIE) frequently became congested in that area, “backup at the Elmhurst Tanks” became a familiar phrase heard in radio traffic reports. The gas tanks were removed in 2001.
Craftsman hand tools have an unlimited lifetime warranty. This lifetime warranty program was instituted by Sears when they began selling the Craftsman line in 1927. This warranty program requires no receipt or dated proof of purchase. If the owner takes the item into a local retail store, it may be replaced or repaired free of charge.