47: Halloween Events in NYC and the MAGA Bomber is Captured


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  • Last week I walked you through the history of the Guggenheim Museum to mark its 60th anniversary on October 21, 1959, and this week I wanted to point you to a podcast by 99% Invisible, a design and architecture podcast, which worked with the Guggenheim to produce a special audio walkthrough that talks about the history of the building and some of the art that has been displayed in the museum over the years. For instance, you may not have known that Frank Lloyd Wright initially intended for museum attendees to ride an elevator to the top of the building and experience the museum's exhibitions from top to bottom. Learn more about the Guggenheim at 99pi.org and listen to episode 375 of 99% Invisible while you tour the museum. — The Guggenheim Museum Opens on the Upper East Side

  • A few more details this week on the observation deck at Hudson Yards that we talked about in Episode 13 of the podcast: The deck is the glass triangle jutting off the southeast corner of 30 Hudson Yards that the surrounding neighborhood lovingly referred to as a bird beak! The observation deck is called New York Edge and will be the highest observation deck in the western hemisphere at 1,131 feet above street level, surpassing both the observation deck at 1WTC and the former Sears Tower, but still falling far short of overseas marvels like Shenzhen's Ping An International Finance Centre's observation deck that is 700 feet higher. The most striking aspect is the glass floor section at the center of the triangle, offering a view straight down the side of 30 Hudson Yards. Walking to the tip of the triangle-shaped deck will offer views across the entire city, from the new skyscrapers lining Billionaire's Row, full views of the Empire State Building, and a look down the western side of Manhattan all the way to 1WTC. The deck won't open until March 2020, but tickets are already on sale at an introductory price of $36/person for a specific time or $56/person for a daily pass. If you're a New York resident, you can receive a few more dollars off the list price. Both prices are comparable to what you'll pay to rise above the city at One World Observatory or the Empire State Building's observation decks. — Living with a view like that doesn't come without a hefty price tag, either! In PropertyShark's latest data, Hudson Yards ranked as the most expensive neighborhood, pushed to the top by a slew of expensive new sales in newly-opened buildings. For the third quarter of 2019, Hudson Yards sailed past Tribeca to post a median sale price of $5 million — more than twice Tribeca's $2.4 million median price for the same time period. Since PropertyShark's ranking of expensive neighborhoods is based on real estate transactions that closed during each quarter, neighborhoods can jump up the list quite drastically, as was seen in this report when the Lower East Side made an appearance at #8 on the list, jumping up eight places, after a number of units were sold at 250 South Street, a massive 72 story tower that grew along the waterfront at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Sales during the third quarter in that building alone had a median price of $1.6 million.

  • While you're up on the new observation deck at Hudson Yards, bring a pair of binoculars and see if you can spot some new signage in Dumbo: The former glowing-red Watchtower sign that stood along the Brooklyn waterfront for nearly 50 years will now be replaced with a glowing-red Welcome sign. The architectural renderings show a slightly less ominous font than the Watchtower sign, but the new Welcome sign will still be displayed in bold letters and still feature the LED clock above the sign. The building was sold by the Jehovah's Witnesses for $340 million in 2016 and the new owners are redeveloping the site into a mixed-use complex named the Panorama, which will incorporate shopping and innovative outdoor public spaces. Interestingly, the website for the Panorama still features an earlier rendering of the replacement sign, where the word Panorama would be spelled out in a similar font to the Welcome sign which will now be installed.

  • The Rockefeller Center ice rink recently opened, the Bryant Park rink will open in Winter Village after Halloween, but you may notice a difference at the Central Park rink this winter: After buildings along Riverside Boulevard removed the Trump name from their buildings, two ice-skating rinks in Central Park were some of the last remaining Trump branding in the city, but as skating began this year, the Trump name was covered over or replaced with a small footnote where there had previously been large red letters on the rink's walls. As the Washington Post reports, some of the signs have been amended with a small "Operated by the Trump Organization" note at the bottom, while the skate rental counter simply hung a tarp over the name. According to the Parks Department, the change was unexpected and was the decision of the Trump Organization, which will still run the rinks, but voluntarily decided to downplay their branding for the first time since the 1980s. Although the rinks are still officially named the Wollman and Lasker rinks, the branding is a result of Trump's real estate company aiding the city in completing the construction and renovation project in the 1980s. Skating at Wollman rink is open now at 62nd Street and costs between $12 and $19, and skating at Lasker rink at 110th Street opens on October 27th and costs $9. For a free option, head to Bryant Park or the Conservatory Water pond on the east side at 74th Street, where remote control boats float during the summer, but free ice skating is available once the ice freezes thick enough!

  • If you're not ready to get in the winter mood and go ice skating just yet, keep an eye on our listing of Halloween events in the city! Coming up on Saturday, October 26: The Fort Greene Great PUPkin costume contest for dogs at 11am and the larger Fort Greene Halloween Festival from noon to 3pm. On Sunday, October 27: The Howl-o-Ween dog costume party in Riverside Park at 87th Street at noon. On Wednesday, October 30: The Halloween Pumpkin Floatilla in Central Park's Harlem Meer at 110th Street at 4pm. And on Halloween, the Riverside Park costume parade at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at 89th Street at 3pm and the city's biggest party, the Village Halloween Parade at 7pm along Sixth Avenue in the West Village! Visit agreatbigcity.com/halloween for more info.

  • 16 years ago on October 24, 2003 — The Concorde makes its final commercial flight from JFK Airport to London, ending the era of supersonic travel

  • 1 year ago on October 26, 2018 — A suspect is taken into custody in Florida after mailing bombs to prominent critics of Donald Trump, including two to CNN's Columbus Circle headquarters and one to Robert De Niro in Tribeca

  • 115 years ago on October 27, 1904 — The original 28 subway stations open

  • 56 years ago on October 28, 1963 — Demolition begins on Penn Station, razing all above-ground structures to make way for Madison Square Garden despite outcry from architects and the public

  • 7 years ago on October 29, 2012 — Hurricane Sandy hits New York City, causing a five-day blackout across downtown Manhattan and damage to infrastructure across the city, on Long Island, and in New Jersey

A Great Big City has been running a 24-hour newsfeed since 2010, but the AGBC News podcast is just getting started, and we need your support. A Great Big City is built on a dedication to explaining what is happening and how it fits into the larger history of New York, which means thoroughly researching every topic and avoiding clickbait headlines to provide a straightforward, honest, and factual explanation of the news. Individuals can make a monthly or one-time contribution at agreatbigcity.com/support and local businesses can have a lasting impact by supporting local news while promoting products or services directly to interested customers listening to this podcast. Visit agreatbigcity.com/advertising to learn more.

AGBC is more than just a news website: Our fireworks page monitors the city's announcements of upcoming fireworks, lists them on our site, and automatically sends out a notification just before the fireworks begin, so that you can watch the show or prepare your pet for the upcoming sounds of explosions. Visit agreatbigcity.com/fireworks to see the full calendar and follow @agreatbigcity on social media to receive the alerts.

Park of the day

Parks Events

Concert Calendar

This is the AGBC Concert Calendar for the upcoming week:

Find more fun things to do at agreatbigcity.com/events.

Today's fact about New York

Here's something you may not have known about New York:


The extreme highs and lows for this week in weather history:
Record High: 83°F on October 28, 1919
Record Low: 28°F on October 27, 1936

Weather for the week ahead:
Rain on Sunday through next Thursday, with high temperatures falling to 58°F next Thursday.

Thanks for listening to A Great Big City. Follow along 24 hours a day on social media @agreatbigcity or email contact@agreatbigcity.com with any news, feedback, or topic suggestions. Subscribe to AGBC News wherever you listen to podcasts: iTunes, Google Play, or TuneIn Radio, Player FM, Overcast, or listen to each episode on the podcast pages at agreatbigcity.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, subscribe and leave a review wherever you're listening and visit our podcast site to see show notes and extra links for each episode.

Intro and outro music: 'Start the Day' by Lee Rosevere — Concert Calendar music from Jukedeck.com

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