A Weekly Column of Trivia and Observations By David Ansel Weiss
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
On the morning of the evening when the Great Blizzard of 1888 started, the official weather forecast for New York City by the U. S. Weather Service was “Cloudy, followed by light rain, and clearing.”
According to the history of Junior’s Restaurant published several years ago, cheesecake was served to the athletes who participated in the first Olympics in 776 B.C.
Did you know it was a bar on Sands Street in what is now DUMBO that inspired Carson McCullers to write her famous novella “Ballad of the Sad Café”?
Promotion in the U.S. Army came very slowly in the years before the Civil War. In the 1840s when Robert E. Lee was put in charge of improving the fortifications at Fort Hamilton and the other U.S. forts in the Narrows, his rank was only that of a captain.
Dominie Henricus Selyns, Brooklyn’s first man of the cloth, didn’t think too much of Brooklyn. He described it as “an ugly little village.”
Not long after he said he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, Steve Brodie was arrested for “suicidal behavior.”
Yes, it’s true. Boerum Hill was named for a farmer, Samuel Boerum, who owned most of what is now the Boerum Hill neighborhood.
An early edition of the AIA Guide to New York City singled out the houses at 2 and 3 Pierrepont Place in Brooklyn Heights as the “most elegant brownstones in New York City.”
Although the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Eastern Parkway opened its doors in 1941, it took another decade before the interior construction was completed.
Henry Ward Beecher’s mother died when he was only 3 years old, and for days after, he was seen digging in his backyard saying he “wanted to be where she was.”
Are the hundred-some members of the Knickerbocker Field Club in Flatbush aware their club is the oldest tennis club in Brooklyn and that the five courts they play on are the same courts that were first played on in 1892?
Strangely, although Robert Moses swept through neighborhoods destroying streets, houses and landmarks in his obsession to create expressways and roadways, practically everything he laid his hands on was in the boroughs and not in Manhattan where he worked and lived.