The Origins Of Scrabble

Back with a story today about the history of Scrabble in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Join me as I lead you through the origins of the board game Scrabble, how it was developed and where it was originally played. We are at the Community United Methodist Church which is where the inventor of the game, Alfred Mosher Butts, first tested out his invention and where through trial and error the game was developed. The church is located in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, New York.

ECW Elks Lodge – The Madhouse of Extreme

The NYC History video today is at the Elks Lodge in Queens where ECW held their wrestling shows at the Madhouse of Extreme. This is more of a personal story rather than an out and out NYC history video, when I used to come to the Elks Lodge in the 1990s to watch ECW Wrestling. There are a couple of other items in the video, the Boca Juniors football themed restaurant and the First Presbyterian Church.

The Goodfellas Diner in Maspeth, Queens

Today we visit the GoodFellas diner film location in Maspeth, Queens for our NYC Stories video

Today we visit the GoodFellas diner film location in Maspeth, Queens for our NYC Stories video. This is where the stars, Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta awaited word of Joe Pesci’s character being named a made man. The diner was originally called the Clinton diner and it is located in Maspeth, Queens.

The Long Island Baseball Grounds

Today I pay a visit to the site of the old Long Island Baseball Grounds in Maspeth, Queens. Back in the 1800s, up until 1893, the baseball grounds here were home for several years to the New York Cuban Giants. Aside from the Giants a whole host of future hall of famers also played at this ballpark.

Old Brooklyn Dodgers Ballparks: https://youtu.be/gojm8ii-pRE

Feldman’s Park: https://youtu.be/Sk0YM6gEFuA

Baseball stopped being played here in 1893, but that doesn’t mean that the area doesn’t have a story to tell, and I am here to tell you that story. The Cuban Giants were the first fully salaried African-American professional baseball club. The team was originally formed in 1885 at the Argyle Hotel, a summer resort in Babylon, New York. Initially an independent barnstorming team, they played games against opponents of all types: major and minor league clubs, semiprofessional teams, even college and amateur squads. They would go on to join various short-lived East Coast leagues, and in 1888 became the “World Colored Champions”. Despite their name, no Cubans played on the team. The “Cubes” remained one of the premier Negro league teams for nearly twenty years, and served as a model that future black teams would emulate.

Brooklyn Dodgers In Ridgewood Queens

The second and third homes of the Brooklyn Dodgers were in Ridgewood in Queens between 1886 to 1889.

The second and third homes of the Brooklyn Dodgers were in Ridgewood in Queens between 1886 to 1889.

The Brooklyn Dodgers were founded in 1883 by Charles Byrne. Known simply as The Brooklyn’s, the team set up its stadium in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and called it Washington Park. It was the local reporters that nicknamed the team The Grays, a nickname that was used through 1887 save for the year of 1884, when they were known as The Atlantics.

During the summer of 1886, in order to avoid the blue laws of the city of Brooklyn on the Sabbath, the Brooklyn Grays played 14 Sunday games at Grauer’s Ridgewood Park along with one exhibition game.

As you can see from this map, Grauer’s Ridgewood Park, which is the top arrow, was located just north of where Wallace’s Ridgewood Park was located. This was the second home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and as I had to pass it in order to get to Wallace’s Ridgewood Park, I also filmed the location of the second home of The Brooklyn Dodgers which was located between Cypress and Seneca Avenues, and George and Weirfield streets.

The cost to play their Sunday games at Grauer’s Ridgewood Park was very high, which cut into any profits that could be made by charging for Sunday admission. The other Ridgewood Park in the area, Wallace’s, had already been playing host to amateur baseball clubs, and had even scheduled a world heavyweight boxing fight featuring John L. Sullivan. While the fight was called off as the pugilists prepared to duke it out, the attendance was still 5,000 men, certainly something to catch the attention of club owners.

Beginning in 1887, The Brooklyn Grays began to play their Sunday games at Wallace’s Ridgewood Park and it would be the site of their third home for the next three seasons. In fact the team was playing there when, in the summer of 1888, six of the Brooklyn players got married. For the remainder of their time at Ridgewood Park they were nicknamed the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, a name that stuck for the next ten years either as the Bridegrooms or simply the Brooklyn Grooms.

In the baseball history books, Wallace’s Ridgewood Park is commonly known as Ridgewood Park 2, with Grauer’s Ridgewood Park being known as Ridgewood Park 1. The area that I am walking in today is now located in Bushwick in Brooklyn, between Wyckoff and Irving Ave’s, and between Halsey and Covert Streets. At the time that the ballpark was located here though, the area was then located in Ridgewood, Queens before the boundaries changed, except for a corner of the stadium right where Halsey and Irving meet, which was located in Brooklyn.

In my John L. Sullivan story, I tell the tale of how the fighters came to box in Queens but were prevented from doing so by the police. A patron then told the fighters that a corner of the stadium was actually located in Brooklyn, and the fighters then agreed to fight in that corner of the stadium. Unfortunately a rat threatened to snitch on them and they were prevented from fighting in Brooklyn as well.

McGurk’s Suicide Hall

New York Stories. In today’s episode I pay a visit to the place where McGurk’s Suicide Hall once stood

Over the past year I have been regularly updating my Youtube channel with New York Stories. In today’s episode I pay a visit to the place where McGurk’s Suicide Hall once stood, as well as visiting the place where the first baseball team in America had their headquarters. The latter location also became the Globe Dime Museum which was where Harry Houdini first performed as well as Weber and Fields. While he didn’t debut there, W.C. Fields also worked the Globe Dime Museum when he first came to New York.

Maspeth Walkaround

We take a Walking in New York City trip today around my neighborhood of Maspeth in Queens. I show you some of the old signs in the area, local stores and we finish with a great conversation with two auto repair shop owners/workers. The business has been around since the 1950’s and the guys were really gracious in talking to me about their cars.

Walking In New York City – Brooklyn Graffiti

Our walking trip today in New York City is to East Williamsburg in Brooklyn to look at some unique graffiti. I timed this for the sunset setting over the NYC skyline as I crossed the Grand Ave bridge

Our walking trip today in New York City is to East Williamsburg in Brooklyn to look at some unique graffiti. I timed this for the sunset setting over the NYC skyline as I crossed the Grand Ave bridge.

Underneath the video below are a host of photos, and the graffiti portion of the video starts at 8:30.

Find A Grave NYC – St John Cemetery

From time to time I like to volunteer for Find A Grave and locate long lost family members for people who are not able to visit NYC. The video makes for a great white noise ASMR video

From time to time I like to volunteer for Find A Grave and locate long lost family members for people who are not able to visit NYC. The video makes for a great white noise ASMR video to help you sleep. Just the sounds of someone walking and the animals in the cemetery. On this visit to plot 27 I was able to take photos for about 8 people looking for a family memento.

Walking In New York City – 42nd St – Broadway To Grand Central

A 14 minute walk along 42nd St in New York City from Times Square to Grand Central Terminal. A nice sunny day in NYC, perfect for walking and people watching. In this video

A 14 minute walk along 42nd St in New York City from Times Square to Grand Central Terminal. A nice sunny day in NYC, perfect for walking and people watching. In this video you will find New Yorkers and tourists alike perusing Midtown Manhattan. Click the play button in the video below or check out my Youtube channel by clicking the link to the right.