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The U.E.S. Journal

Category Archives: History

For Jeremy’s Place Kids

Jeremy Sage in an old Calvin Klein commercial with Brooke Shields.
Thank you Davie Kaufmann for showing me this a few years ago.

For those of you not familiar with Jeremy’s Place, it was the premiere children’s birthday party venue on the Upper East Side when I was little. Jeremy’s Place was run and hosted by Jeremy Sage who played Jesus in Godspell in 1977, and Thomas Garbutt who, during the party, acted as Jeremy’s sidekick, Chief.  Located in a brownstone on East 81st Street (which is now a consignment store) you entered through a gift shop where the birthday kid’s parents picked out the contents of the party favor bags.  My favorite was the glow-in-the-dark spiderweb with suction cups.

JEREMYSPLACE_me
Me on stage with Jeremy.

Upon entering the main room, the first thing you saw was a large vitrine holding a complex train set which was running and making noises.  From my childhood memory- Read more →

Pen Pall: Alienated by a famous pen company’s anti-Semitic namesake

Visiting Barcelona, I walk into Vinçon, a cutting edge design shop. I peruse glass cases of gadgets, gifts and housewares. “Well, this is awkward,” I think to myself as I come upon a display of art supplies featuring a box of Caran D’Ache color pencils. “Here I am, a Jewish customer, and they want to sell me a product whose brand is named in honor of- whose logo is, in fact, an adaptation of the actual signature of one of the most vilely anti-Semitic illustrators in recent history.

It’s a lot of drama for a nice set of pencils and no one else in the store seems aware.

I first learned that the name Caran D’Ache was related to something other than art supplies in 2006 when I visited the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris. They were showing “Alfred Dreyfus: The Fight for Justice,” an exhibition telling the story of the “The Dreyfus Affair,” 19th Century France’s biggest scandal, through artifacts, correspondence and the press. Read more →

The Franklin


I recently stayed a few nights at The Franklin Hotel on 87th Street between Lexington Ave and Third Ave.  Been walking by it for years, used to see the bellhop in a top hat.  Haven’t seen that in a long time there was no top hatted bellhop during my stay.  I have a feeling The Franklin has a gritty, story-filled New York City history.  The building was constructed around 1929 and the neon sign looks old and classic.  When I told people I would be staying there, most asked in a disgusted tone, why would I want to stay there?  I guess it doesn’t appear from the outside to be a really “nice” hotel but I was looking for something with a certain old New York vibe.  I almost didn’t stay there because when I sought out more information The Franklin Hotel website painted a picture of a chic contemporary boutique hotel, no mention of any past.  There were mixed reviews on Yelp and I think anyone looking for a contemporary boutique hotel could be disappointed.  The hallways and parts of rooms like the nook for the sink in my bathroom were datedly small.  But for anyone looking for that old New York feeling like myself, The Franklin was everything I wanted it to be.  Perhaps the coolest part is the elevator with an art deco motif in the cab.  The doorsknobs to the elevator on each floor have inlaid mother-of-pearl or abalone bits.  Mosaic room numbers.  I wish the Franklin would market its historical aspects more.  I want to know who stayed there, who died there, and if I knew its stories I swear I would stay there more often.  Anyone know any Franklin stories?  Please add in the comments.  Here are some photos.



The elevation plan is on display in the entrance.

A blurry photo I took several years ago of the bellhop.

107th Infantry Memorial on Fifth Avenue


This summer, I was walking up Fifth Avenue past 66th Street and happened to gaze up at one of those bronze memorial statues scattered throughout the city.  It was mostly backlit and hard to see and so at first my eye only caught a glimpse of one area which stopped me- the anguished facial expression of a charging soldier- the third soldier from the right.  I looked longer at all the characters and the movement and realized that this statue is quite horrifying- in a way that makes me want to research it further so I can better appreciate what it is represents.  So…

This bronze statue, The 107th Infrantry Memorial, memorializes foot soldiers from the 107th Infrantry, a New York National Guard Regiment of volunteers which, during World War 1 suffered 1,918 casualties including 580 killed.  The statue’s designer, Karl Illava, (1896-1954) served in the 107th, himself, as a sergeant.

The 107th Infantry Regiment has an interesting New York history.  The 107th was actually known as the 7th Infantry Regiment until World War 1 when it was strengthened by transfers from other New York regiments.  Since the Civil War the 7th Infantry Regiment had sometimes been referred to as the Silk Stocking Regiment because a large proportion of its members were young men from elite Manhattan society including members of the Vanderbilt and Roosevelt families. Read more →

American Hero’s Last Words and Execution on The U.E.S.

Rebecca Schiffman with Nathan Hale plaque

I’ve been watching the John Adams HBO series starring Paul Giamatti and feeling a little patriotic so today my friend Mike and I walked around looking for a plaque commemorating the execution site of an American Revolutionary War Hero, Nathan Hale, and eventually we found it on the side of a Banana Republic.

Nathan Hale Plaque with pants sign

According to a NY Historical Society plaque on the West side of Third Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets, Nathan Hale, the American Revolutionary war hero, was hanged by the British, “probably within a hundred yards of here.”

The hanging site of Nathan Hale is significant because it is where he uttered his famous last words (there are many conflicting accounts of these words, but all accounts give the same general sentiment which boil down to what follows),

“I only regret that I have but one life to give my country.” Read more →

The Colony Club as seen on Gossip Girl


Larry Fink, Russian Ball, Colony Club, New York City, 1977, via MoMA

Blair’s maid, Darota via WoodyCakes

On tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl, Blair throws a little party for members of the exclusive women’s social group, The Colony Club, in an attempt to gain entrance.  Her guests turn out to be a bunch of stodgy, petty, argyle-clad bitches who insist that Serena’s family and Chuck Bass are not to be associated with because of tabloid mentions, skimpy outfits, and nouveau-richeness.  In a display of strong character, Blair eventually totally disses them by ending the party and proclaiming the greatness of Serena and her mother, and her close association with Chuck Bass.

Which reminds me that I once picked up a copy of “The History of the Colony Club” at the Strand- I knew it would come in handy at some point- Read more →

What subway tunnels under U.E.S. looked like in 1914…

The U.E.S. Journal has acquired two original engineers’ photographs of subway construction under The Upper East Side in 1914.  Visit the “old photos” section of P.U.E.S. to see more…

Under 60th and Lex, 1914.

Update on The Truth about the Chevy Chase Myth


Photo via Listphile

If you don’t like reading too much, here’s the short version: I met Chevy Chase last night and he said the cow incident happened at Haverford College

To make a short story long, last night I went to the after-party for the premier of the new Robert De Niro/Al Pacino movie, “A Righteous Kill” at Terminal 5. (I hear I was lucky to have missed the actual premier.) My friend Aaron somehow got into the VIP section so I texted “Are De Niro and Pacino up there?” He wrote back “belzer, chevy chase…”

What?? Better than the Godfathers! Read more →

The Truth About the Chevy Chase Myth

NOTE: This story has been updated – see here.

As a Dalton highschooler I heard the Chevy Chase story numerous times- from my older brother and other upperclassmen and alumni. It seems to be one of the favored Dalton factoids in party conversation along with the school’s reference in the Woody Allen film “Manhattan.
Dairy Cow

The story: Chevy Chase was kicked out of Dalton because he brought a cow up to the top floor of the school, at that time the top floor only being accessible by stairs. Apparently it was a widely known fact that cows cannot walk downstairs so naturally this created great problems and Chevy Chase was subsequently expelled. In the first version I heard (from my brother) the cow had to be slaughtered while versions I heard later left out the fate of the cow.

But I recently ran into a Riverdale Country Day School alum who insisted that the incident took place at his alma mater and was the reason for Chevy Chase’s expulsion from there. This was outragious to me- although Read more →

New Section in P.U.E.S.

I have added my small collection of vintage postcards of The Upper East Side to the “Pictures of the Upper East Side” section. Click on the “Postcards” link in the sidebar to see the fronts and backs of more postcards.

Carlysle Front

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