M&M'S World, Times Square

M&M's World in Times Square is New York City's largest candy store.  This huge 25,000 square feet store is really one of a kind.  It is a three story store and has many types and colors of actual M&Ms and lots of M&M memorabilia. The  store   has clothes, candy by the pound, NY themed souvenirs, and just about any other M&M related thing you could want. The store is open every day from 9AM till 12AM.
Mars, the company that makes  not only M&M's but  Snickers, and Milky Way chocolate bars traces its   origin to the  beginning of the 20th century. The company is entirely owned by the Mars family. Mars family  was called the richest family in America by Fortune magazine in 1988.

The founder of the company Frank  C.  Mars  started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Newark, New Jersey.   Frank’s   son, Forrest  pushed the company into chocolate bars—the Milky Way debuted in 1924, soon followed by Snickers.

 Since their introduction in 1941, M&M's have become an iconic American candy. M&M's is an abbreviation for the names of their creators, Forrest Mars   and Bruce Murrie.  Forrest was the son of the founder of Mars company and     Bruce   was the son of William Murrie, the president of Hershey’s from 1908 to 1947. The two men called their new company “Mars & Murrie.”  M&M for short.
In March of 1941, Mars was granted a patent for his manufacturing process of  the new product - a candy-coated  chocolates .

After production began in Newark, New Jersey, M&M cut a deal to sell the sweets exclusively to the US Armed Forces so soldiers could have sweets in their rations no matter where they were in the world.   The candy-coated chocolates were resistant to heat - the slogan was  "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand." Originally sold in cardboard tubes, M&M’s were covered with a brown, red, orange, yellow, green or violet coating.

In  1976  the red M&M disappeared.   This decision came as a result of public controversy surrounding a synthetic  red dye called FD&C Red No. 2, also known as amaranth. Amaranth was  the 20th century’s most widely used food coloring; by 1970 it was being used in $10 billion worth of products.

The dye   was linked to cancer in a 1971 Russian study. Mars removed the red candies from production and replaced them with orange M&M's, which were added to the traditional brown, green and yellow lineup of colors. According to M&M’s public relations department, “the red candies were pulled from the color mix...to avoid customer confusion.”

Ten years later,   in 1987, once the panic surrounding anything red had passed Mars reintroduced red M&M's, but kept orange in the bag. Forrest Mars retired in 1973, passing the business on to his children. Rumor has it the Mars heirs are forbidden from ever selling any portion of their ownership in the company. Mars now produces 400 million M&Ms each and every day.

Joseph Pulitzer mansion, 11 East 73

11  East 73
Joseph Pulitzer was   one of the most powerful journalists in the United States. Joseph , the son of a grain dealer,   was born in Makdo, near Budapest, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1847 and emigrated to the United States in 1864 as a recruit for the Union Army in the American Civil War. He started working in the publisher business in Missouri and later shifted to shift his newspaper interests to New York City, where he purchased a morning paper, the World, from the financier Jay Gould.

In an effort to further attract a mass readership, he also introduced such innovations as comics, sports coverage, women’s fashion coverage, and illustrations into his newspapers.  The World later became involved in a   competition with William Randolph Hearst’s New York Morning Journal.
When the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty ran out of funds for the Statue's pedestal in 1884, newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer came to the rescue.  Roughly 125,000 people contributed to the completion of the pedestal thanks to Pulitzer's crusade. In thanks, the World published the names of each person who made a contribution (no matter its size).

The  unconcealed sensationalism used by both publishers   during the  Spanish-American War of 1898 led to the coining of the term “yellow journalism” to describe such practices.

Failing eyesight and worsening nervous disorders forced Pulitzer to abandon the management of his newspapers in 1887. He gave up his editorship of them in 1890, but he continued to exercise a close watch over their editorial policies.

In 1891 Pulitzer bought a house at 10 East 55 street, altered by  Mc Keam, Mead and White.  In January 1900 the fire destroyed the house and killed two servants.  Pulitzer hurriedly purchased a lot at 11 East   73 and again hired the same architect Stamford White. Pulitzer was blind at this time. White made plastic model of the new house and personally presented it to Pulitzer. 
Palazzo Pesaro

Parazzo Rezonnico
The house looked like a palace on Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.   The design was based on the two palaces - the Palazzo Pesaro (1682) and Parazzo Rezonnico (1667).  Mc Keam, Mead and White used the Venettio Palace style again in 1906 when they constructed the new building for Tiffany on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57 street. Pullitzer lived in his house less than 7 years . 
He died  in 1911  aboard his yacht, the Liberty, in Charleston Harbor. 

In 1912, one year after Pulitzer's death aboard his yacht, the Columbia School of Journalism was founded.
In 1917 the Pulitzer Prize, an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States, was established by provisions in the will of   Joseph Pulitzer.  Each winner receives a certificate and a US$15,000 cash award (as of 2017).

The Pulitzer sons held the house vacant  for many years- they were  not able to find a buyer.
At last in 1930 the house was leased to the developer  Henry Mandel,  a leading residential real estate developer who hired James E. Casale to design a conversion of the building into apartments that would retain the façade and many of the lavish interiors.

“New Yorker” in its article, published in September  1934 , said:  “This house, designed by Stanford White for the late Joseph Pulitzer, is being turned into seventeen unites of various sizes with some rather extraordinary features. Owners of the 2nd floor duples will ascend to their nest by a staircase faintly reminiscent of the Paris Opera to a door graced by 20-foot marble pillars. Their living room (half of the former drawing room) will have a 22-foot ceiling. Corinthian columns, & gold cherubs over the 20-foot windows. Their Bedroom, kitchenette, powder-room and bath will occupy what was once an ante-room. Rentals from $1,500 for one room to $3,600 for the maisonette”.

In 1930, his sons leased the house  to some investors who planned to replace it with a new apartment building but the Depression made them abandon those plans and in 1934 the house was leased it for 20 years to Henry Mandel, a leading residential real estate developer who hired James E. Casale to design a conversion of the building into apartments that would retain the façade and many of the lavish interiors.
In the excellent book, "Luxury Apartment Houses of Manhattan" (Dover Publications, Inc., 1992), Andrew Alpern noted: ”Some duplex units were created as was a street-entrance into the garden at the west end of the building that led to Pulitzer’s bedroom and study.” Alpern wrote that the major loss of this plan was the salon, which measured 24 by 48 feet with a 19-foot ceiling, and that the former squash court and basement swimming pool were converted into apartments.
Mandel did not like the plan  and returned the property to Pulitzer’s sons.
Three years later, Alpern continued, "the completed venture was sold to the Astor family estate as an investment property."
There are 16 apartments in the building now.   There is one bedroom apartment available for purchase with price tag more than $1.7 mln.

2017 Halloween parade

'Terrorism doesn't win': New York attack  on 31 of October 2017 failed to stop Halloween parade!

Argosy -New York City's oldest independent bookstore

In Midtown Manhattan, squeezed in between  towering skyscrapers on East 59th Street there is a New York City's oldest independent bookstore.    In the age of digital reading   many bookstores have predictably closed their doors. Fortunately for booklovers Argosy Bookstore  is  open.  Founded in 1925, the Argosy Book Store is still run by the original owner’s family, the third generation.

The  founder  of the store   Louis Cohen grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, reading to his blind father.    He used a $500 loan from his uncle to open a bookstore on Fourth Avenue. In his autobiography, he explains how he chose the name Argosy. First, he wanted a name that started with the letter “A,” “as it might appear foremost on any list of bookstores.” That crass criterion done with, “I ran through some reference books, and selected ‘Argosy’ as my choice, as it had romance attached to it. It symbolized treasure and rarities carried by old Spanish galleons.” (....)

In Greek mythology, the Argo  was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed   to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
 Cohen moved the store to  114 East 59th Street in the 1931.   In 1964 the store was moved    next door to its current address when the previous building was replaced with a skyscraper.

 In 1991   in obituary  New York Times wrote about  Cohen:  "Mr. Cohen's acquaintance with President Roosevelt began in 1935, when Mr. Cohen stumbled across about 30 children's books from the 1880's, signed by Sarah Delano, the President's mother. He sent the books to the President, establishing a correspondence that lasted several years. In the early 1960's, Jacqueline Kennedy asked Mr. Cohen to supply books for the White House Americana Library, and he also established libraries for the University of Texas and the University of Kansas, among others. He donated a marine research library to Israel and several thousand Hebrew books to Bar-Ilan University in Israel".

Louis and his wife, Ruth, who also worked at Argosy, passed on their love of books to their three girls. Judith , Naomi  and Adina   run Argosy since their father died in 1991.
Judith Lowry, the first born, is in charge of first editions. Naomi Hample, the middle sister, runs the autographs department. And Adina Cohen, the youngest, presides over the map and art gallery.
In October 2012 the Argosy suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy, when bricks dislodged from the 32nd story of the adjacent building and crashed through the store’s roof. The resulting flood affected the top two floors and destroyed many historical artifacts, including acts of congress signed by Thomas Jefferson (...)

 Despite being on 59th Street since the 1930s, the bookstore remains a ‘hidden gem’ to many New Yorkers who will regularly walk by and miss its presence amidst the ever-growing retail buildings.  Argosy feels as much like a museum as it does a bookstore. Rare Bibles, manuscripts and first editions of books by Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Emily Dickinson and many others occupy an entire six-story townhouse. Only two floors are available to look through  the books  and prints without appointment. There is  the outdoor book stalls in front of the entrance , which features a wall of $1   bargains and a table of books whose subject matter and prices change frequently  but  you   always can  something interesting, unusual and affordable.
Three years ago New Yorker published an article " The Book Refuge Three sisters keep a family business  about the store going" and a  year ago CBS   did a story  about Argosy Bookstore.

Flag Exchange at Federal Hall

The American  flag is a strong symbol of American identity and national pride, it is  a symbol of the patriotic heart of the country.  The American flag offers a perfect mirror for all of us. For citizens and others alike, it is the shining beacon of hope and resilience of the United States.  On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation".

Historical American Flags (image from Wikipedia)
Between 1777 and 1960 Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state. There are now  13 horizontal stripes on the flag - seven red and  six white, representing thirteen Colonies. 50 stars represent the 50 states of the Union.

 There are 50 distressed American flags, hanging from the domed ceiling of New York’s Federal Hall on Wall Street. Federal Hall was built in 1842, on the site of the U.S's first capitol building under the Constitution, the exact spot where, in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated.

These flags were collected   by the  artist Mel Ziegler, Professor of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University,  Nashville,    from each state between 2011 and 2016.   Ziegler journeyed through all 50 states and replaced distressed American flags flying at civic and private locations — city halls, post offices, hospitals, homes, and schools — with new flags.

 Ziegler came across his first flag near Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives. “It was hanging from a barn and had been there so long that the white stripes had rotted away and only the red ones remained,” he says. “I thought it was amazing, the way it looked, and then I couldn’t help myself. I just started noticing ragged flags everywhere.” (...)