"I strive to link your ordinary experience of New York – what you can see, hear and feel – with the history and culture of New York."

Peter Laskowich: Historian, Teacher & Guide
Events Calendar

Newyork Dynamic

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 Week of 7/9/2017
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Events between: Sunday, July 9, 2017 and Saturday, July 15, 2017
Events for: Sunday, July 9, 2017
There are no events on this date.
Events for: Monday, July 10, 2017
Jackie Robinson`s Brooklyn - Tour
Date:Monday, July 10, 2017
Time:10:00AM - 2:45PM
It is said that if Jackie Robinson was the ideal man to integrate baseball, then Brooklyn was the ideal place. How was Brooklyn the ideal place? 

No other major league team - no other major league community - in 1947 was willing to sponsor the sight of a black man on the field. Brooklyn welcomed it. The sites of Dodger celebrations, the Rickey-Robinson meeting and Ebbets Field help in understanding the story.

A connection always exists, however, between the character of the land and the culture that arises there. This is emphatically so of Brooklyn. We will see that it is the physical nature of the borough that so predisposed its people to accept and then embrace this man.

As modern baseball's first black player, Jackie Robinson forced the nation to begin addressing racism well beyond sport. Largely traceable to Robinson are the integration of the military, of public schools and of American society generally, and the Civil Rights Act itself. The first obstacle was baseball's hierarchy: in a secret meeting just before Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the spring of 1947, the owners voted 15-1 against.

Brooklyn was alone.

In that first year Robinson is said to have been knocked down in every game. (A newspaper reported that July, "Jackie Robinson can usually count on the first pitch being right under his nostrils.") One spiking nearly ended his career. Several death threats were taken to the police. In the middle of the season a doctor ordered ten days complete bed rest, warning Robinson that he was approaching a nervous breakdown. Robinson refused.

So torrid was the abuse that even his southern teammates rallied around him at last, and the question around the National League went from "Can he take it?" to "For how long?"

The drama unfolded in the little ballpark in the heart of Flatbush.

Fee: $40
For more information be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:

Time:10:00AM - 2:45PM

Events for: Tuesday, July 11, 2017
There are no events on this date.
Events for: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
There are no events on this date.
Events for: Thursday, July 13, 2017
There are no events on this date.
Events for: Friday, July 14, 2017
Gateway: The Immigrants - Tour
Date:Friday, July 14, 2017
Time:9:00AM - 11:00AM
New York is mother of exiles.

Nearly half of all Americans today trace their lineage through Ellis Island. Of the 12 million who came through, one-third remained in New York City. Why did they come? What did they find? How did they make it?

An understanding of Manhattan's growth tells why it was the Lower East Side that grew into the nation's main immigrant district, and how its center came to be occupied by today's Courthouse District (not to mention the Manhattan Detention Complex, aka The Tombs). We see how conditions within the tenements inspired a visiting nurse to lead the way in establishing as common the practice of birth control in the United States. 

Our walk through the district shows that within decades the Irish Five Points became in turn the Jewish quarter, then Little Italy and now Chinatown, and eventually something else again. 

Never before has there existed a city like this, so welcoming of forsaken people regardless of circumstance. And so it falls to the Lower East Side to accept the lonely, the miserable and the lost from around the world and turn them into Americans.

This is New York as engine of history's greatest migration.

Fee: $30/person
For further information be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:

Time:9:00AM - 11:00AM

Grand Central Neighborhood - Tour
Date:Friday, July 14, 2017
Time:12:30PM - 2:15PM
Grand Central Terminal is a masterpiece of engineering and design as well as of architecture. It stands as one of the great buildings of the world.

A walk through Grand Central brings to view the spectacular transformation of its main room via its recent renovation, the discriminating use of color and shade to provoke emotional response, and the cues that encourage patrons to move (e.g. - slow down or speed up, gather here but not there) according to the intentions of the designers a century ago.

Then there is the genius behind the weather functions of the great windows, the Terminal's secondary function as a mall (per square foot, the most profitable in the nation), and the viaduct that speeds midtown traffic while allowing the Terminal to otherwise completely dominate (and block) the avenue.

Grand Central's sister project is Park Ave., which opened as America's attempt to build a European-style boulevard. It is also part of an enormous metal platform clapped over a vast trainyard - essential to the enterprise that made the name "Park Avenue" synonymous with elegance and distinction.

Together, Grand Central and Park Ave. transformed the area from a shabby district far from the city's core to the focus of a massive shift that created midtown Manhattan - the largest and most powerful business district in the world.

Cost: Free of charge, no registration required
Time:   12:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Place:  Inside of 120 Park Ave. - across 42nd Street from Grand Central's main entrance and to the right of the viaduct
Time:12:30PM - 2:15PM

Capital of the World - Tour
Date:Friday, July 14, 2017
Time:4:00PM - 6:00PM

Every city is unique. What distinguishes New York is the profound presence of world trade - like no other place in history, the world trades in New York City. It has led the nation and now the world in the fields of commerce, culture, finance, communications, politics. 

This is owing to natural features so compelling that in the 1790s, when the city's population totaled 25,000, George Washington predicted that New York would one day dominate the hemisphere and become, in his phrase, "the seat of empire." 

Resulting patterns and effects illustrate New York as both shaped by and shaper of national and international affairs. Among them: 
* Wall Street; 
* Federal Hall; 
* Ellis Island; 
* a surpassing array of tall buildings; 
* the attacks of September 11th; 
* this city's (and this nation's) primary ethic and values. 

With a simple walk through downtown we read New York as the center of global activity, as capital of the world.

Fee: $30
For more info be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:

Time:4:00PM - 6:00PM

Events for: Saturday, July 15, 2017
New York During the Revolution - Tour
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time:9:00AM - 11:00AM
The American Revolution is a story of such daring and courage that it is still invoked everywhere. Every day New Yorkers pass by remnants of its desperation and its glory: damage caused by inspired patriots, a final remaining symbol of British authority, traces that led to the hanging of a schoolteacher who regretted that he had but one life to give. 

Charrings from a great fire as the British took over show the direction of the blaze and suggest how St. Paul's Church survived to become home base for the rescue workers of 9/11. It was one of two great fires that left most of the city in ruins. "New York is destroyed," said George Washington at the end of the war, "but its future greatness is certain." 

We'll see the site of his emotional farewell and of his glorious return six years later. 

The great statue in the harbor also has much to say about the conduct of the Revolution, and how the horribly overmatched Americans (see GW letter in black ink, below) eventually won. So do the world's first combat combat submarine and a metal chain protecting the colonies' most vital waterway. The Hudson River played a key role in a victory so stunning that upon surrender the British band played "The World Turned Upside Down."
To the Congress: 
I can now report with some certainty that the eve of battle is near at hand. Toward this end I have ordered the evacuation of Manhattan and directed our defenses to take up stronger positions on the Brooklyn Heights. 

At the present time my forces consist entirely of (Colonel) Haslet's Delaware militia and (General) Smallwood's Marylanders - a total of 5000 troops to stand against 25,000 of the enemy, and I begin to notice that many of us are lads under 15 and old men, none of whom could truly be called soldiers. 

One personal note to Mr. Lewis Morris of New York: I must regretfully report that his estates have been totally destroyed, but that I have taken the liberty of transporting Mrs. Morris and eight of the children to Connecticut in safety. The four older boys are now enlisted in the Continental Army. 

As I write these words the enemy is plainly in sight beyond the river. How it will end only Providence can direct, but dear God what brave men I shall lose before this business ends.
Your obedient, 
G. Washington

Fee: $30 per person
For more information be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:

Time:9:00AM - 11:00AM

Early New York - Tour
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time:12:00PM - 2:00PM
Description:What was New York when the Europeans arrived? Who came? What was here and what did they do with it?

Manhattan became a base of operations because of a combination of features found nowhere else: a vast harbor, an ice-free port, hills and valleys offering both protection from enemies and access to the interior.... In the 1660's a man wrote back to Europe, "It is as though God intends the trade of the world to locate here," and in the 1780's, when New York was home to a mere 25,000, George Washington said it was destined to become the great city of the world.

Remnants of these hills, streams and forests suggest the influence of pristine Manhattan on the city, the nation and the world.

And what of the founders? The Dutch left the area 350 years ago but their imprint remains an active influence, their worldview an indelible part of the city. Dutch use of the resources that made New York's rise a certainty affects and even determines our actions to the present day.

Fee: $30
For more information please call (862) 226-1244. Here's your link to register: local-expeditions.com/expeditions/early-new-York/

Time:12:00PM - 2:00PM

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