Whenever I played Monopoly as a kid, I used to love imagining what the game’s city would look like in real life. I remember thinking of Mediterranean and Baltic as being these short, run-down alleys ala West Side Story, while Pennsylvania Ave and the other greens as Fifth Avenue-style apartment buildings.
What I didn’t know back then was that the properties in Monopoly were in fact named after the streets of Atlantic City. Monopoly itself has a long and complicated history, but the addition of Atlantic City-based street names can be traced to one Ruth Hoskins. Hoskins had learned a version of the game in Indianapolis, and upon moving to Atlantic City in 1929, made her own copy from scratch naming properties after streets where her friends lived.
This past weekend, I was driving through south Jersey, and decided to make a quick detour through Atlantic City to see what the Monopoly board looks like in real life. Everyone have their tokens picked out?
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Last week, I took a trip up to 138th Street and Amsterdam to scout a location I’ve been meaning to visit for the longest time: the City College of New York.
City College is one of those great places in the city where you step through the gates…
…and suddenly feel like you’ve been transported far, far from Manhattan.
I was walking around the north quadrangle, which consists of the original four campus buildings built in 1906…
…and as I was heading into Harris Hall, I suddenly got the strangest feeling that I was being watched. I turned to my right…
…and this guy was sticking his tongue out at me!
>>>Continue reading “Hogwarts In Manhattan: The 1,000 Gargoyles & Grotesques of City College”
Way way back, when I first started Scouting NY, I did a post about a great tailor shop window I saw in Chinatown, writing “I love this sign lettering that is most definitely not nostalgic/ironic.”
Of course, I had been completely fooled. Back then, this was actually Milk & Honey, a super hip, semi-secret, invitation-only bar. The phony tailor storefront added a speakeasy-ness to the place.
Milk & Honey has since moved to a bland storefront with no character in the Flatiron, but luckily, New York City still has a few establishments lurking behind fake storefronts and phony building facades. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
8) Lower East Side Toys – 102 Norfolk Street, Manhattan
The establishment at 102 Norfolk Street is one of my favorites because it goes the extra mile by faking the rear entrance instead of the front – in this case, the back of a toy shop called Lower East Side Toy Co.
The door features a “DELIVERIES ONLY” sign…
…and an arrow pointing you to the showroom.
>>>Continue reading “The 8 Best Fake Storefronts & Phony Building Facades In New York City”
OK, I’ll admit it: I was a Times Square Visitor Center snob.
From my earliest days as a tourist in NYC, to my years as a student at Columbia, through my career as a scout, right up until…well, right up until last week, I’ve always considered the Times Square Visitor Center to be the one place I’d never visit. Going through those doors just seemed like such an admission of failure, a way of screaming to the world that I couldn’t figure out the city on my own, that I’d resorted to going to the most touristy of touristed areas of Manhattan for help.
Then, last week, as I happened to pass by while scouting a nearby office, I noticed they had free bathrooms.
>>>Continue reading “Why You Should Visit The Times Square Visitor Center (Even If You Live In New York)”