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From the Brooklyn Aerie: January 11, 2012

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

I was surprised to read that the permanent population of Coney Island — not including any of the hundreds of thousands who come there every summer — is 60,000.


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Did you know that in the early 19th century there was a section of Williamsburg called Newton?

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The WPA Guide for New York City described the original St. Ann’s Church on Sands Street — which dates back to 1784 — as being “invested with all the prestige that belonged to a parish of Trinity Church in Manhattan.”

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When Brooklyn was a village, one of its big movers and shakers was John Doughty, for whom a street in DUMBO is named. Among other things, he was a volunteer fireman, town clerk, tax assessor, tax collector, head of the school committee, president of the fire department and commissioner of highways.

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In 1822 there were no less than four distilleries operating in Brooklyn when its total population was little more than 7,500.

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As a player, Burleigh Grimes, who was the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers before Leo Durocher, was the last pitcher in the major leagues allowed legally to throw a spitball.

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One of the notable moments in the history of Farrell’s Bar and Grill in Windsor Terrace occurred in the 1970s when actress Shirley MacLaine demanded to be served even though she had entered without a chaperone. The “old school” bar didn’t like to serve women.

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When Irving T. Bush started construction in 1890 on Bush Terminal — that huge complex of piers, warehouses, railroad sidings and factories on the shore in Sunset Park — he didn’t have to worry about obtaining the rights to the land it was built on. Seems the land was owned by his father.

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Although Brooklyn’s City Hall got demoted to a borough hall when Brooklyn joined the other boroughs in 1898 to form Greater New York, it ended up with one last laugh since its office space is greater than the office space in New York’s City Hall (55,000 square feet compared to 52,000 square feet). And also the office of Brooklyn’s borough president is larger than that of New York City’s mayor (39 x 19 square feet as compared to 27 x 21 square feet).

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There’s another reason why the second-floor windows in the early Dutch farmhouses in Brooklyn were so small, besides the fact such windows offered protection against Native Americans. It’s that glass was taxed heavily in colonial days. « « « Taking into account all of New York, the best view of the World Trade Center Twin Towers before 2001 was from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

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In the late 19th century she was attending the Brooklyn Heights Seminary when she got into a terrible streetcar accident which left her not only bedridden for the rest of her life, but also with “miraculous” powers that brought her fame as one of the nation’s best known psychics. She was able to read letters in sealed envelopes, identify colors in pitch-black rooms, and tell time by the way clocks ticked. Thousands every year came to her home at 160 Gates Ave. to seek advice and counseling. Her name: Molly Fancher.

January 11, 2012 - 2:05pm


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