Author Archive

The USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsidesâeuro;”the Eagle of the Sea

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The senior ship on the Navy list and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world last visited New York in August 1931. Her arrival was reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire: the square-rigged wooden man-of-war being nudged along by the minesweeper USS Grebe. Freshly restored after three years in dry dock, the ship [&hellip
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Inspector Thomas F. Byrnes, Inventor of the Third Degree

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

New York’s first great police detective was Thomas F. Byrnes. A largely self-educated Irish immigrant, Byrnes joined the force in 1863. He rose to sergeant by 1869 and captain by 1870. In 1878, the Manhattan Savings Bank, which was in his precinct, was robbed. Byrnes took the robbery as a personal affront and tracked down [&hellip
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Part Two of “The True Phoenix,” Mozart Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The smash hit of November 1786, Martin y Soler’s Una cosa rara (also featuring a Da Ponte libretto), crowded Figaro off the Viennese stage. However, Figaro had opened in Prague to universal acclaim and wild applause. Mozart went to the Bohemian capital in January 1787. He performed in concert on Jan. 19 and conducted Figaro [&hellip
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The True Phoenix: Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte Inspired Mozart to New Heights

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

In 1839, Daniel E. Sickles, a young man of good bearing and low tastes, pressured by his father to aspire beyond drink and fornication, engaged a tutor to prepare him for college. Prof. Lorenzo L. Da Ponte, who taught belles-lettres at New York University, even invited Sickles to stay in the ramshackle house on Spring [&hellip
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Bohemia: Like Greenwich Village, Montmartre Is Both Place and State of Mind

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Most of us have noticed the advertising with the image of a strikingly beautiful woman in scarlet, embracing her lover. Behind them looms the illuminated windmill of the Moulin Rouge, a nightclub in the Montmartre section of Paris, beyond which is an evening panorama of the city. The Moulin Rouge was a glorified center of [&hellip
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Pennies

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

=”LEFT”>Pennies The North American British colonies used English money: pounds, shillings and pence, yet they lacked small change. Some places used wampum: Native American money made from beads. Connecticut made corn legal tender at two shillings a bushel and New York at five shillings a bushel. Congress made nails legal tender by size, which is [&hellip
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Sadakichi Hartmann: Critic, Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Dancer, Actor and Swaggering Egotist

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

IIn his eight decades, Sadakichi Hartmann fried eggs with Walt Whitman, discussed verse with Stephane Mallarme and drank with John Barrymore, who once described him as "a living freak presumably sired by Mephistopheles out of Madame Butterfly." Critic, poet, novelist, playwright, dancer, actor and swaggering egotist, Hartmann might lift your watch (he was a superb [&hellip
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