The old newspaper biz

I was watching the news and a lady was on from the Detroit Free Press and it made me think of all those great old newspapers. Not to say the Detroit Free Press is an old newspaper, but it actually is, founded in 1831. They are sometimes known as Freep – which is their website name: freep.com.

It makes me sometimes wish I was around when newspapers were important, but then I would be old now, so maybe not.

When my parents were kids, NYC had 14 daily newspapers! Remember there was no tv then, there was radio, but the news came from the newspapers, which were published all day, every day.


NY had the Mirror, and The Daily News and the Journal American, The Sun, the Herald-Tribune, The Times, the Post and so many. Millions of papers were sold daily – literally millions. The Daily news sold 2 million alone daily and 4 million on Sunday!

There is something about the deadlines, and the roll of the presses and then getting them out on the streets. Every single day.

Such great old names, too – The Brooklyn Eagle, The Miami News, The Tampa Tribune, The Boca Raton News, The Hollywood Sun-Tattler, Los Angeles Examiner, Oakland Tribune, Philadelphia Bulletin, Chicago Evening Post, New Orleans States-Item, Boston Phoenix and so on. There is a long list here.

I visit some of the old sites when I am in certain areas, like NY, you know, visiting the original Daily News building or the location of the New York Herald, the New York Sun and of course Park Row and all the history there.

One fifth of daily newspapers in the U.S. closed in the past 15 years.

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Pretty in Pink

I watched Pretty In Pink yesterday. Yup – Andie and Duckie. 1986. How I wish I could go back to that era – my favorite time. I was flipping through channels and there it was in all it’s 1980s glory.

Watching it was like a time capsule – the sayings, the places, the fashions. I don’t think I saw the movie since the ’80s, so it was nice to see.

All of those John Hughes movies ARE the 1980s. I think the Simple Minds song, “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club, is one of the THE ’80s songs. It always brings me back there when I hear it. Always.

The Brat Pack, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Culture Club, George Michael, Prince, Guns ‘n Roses, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, The Police, Def Leppard, Metallica, Talking Heads, REM, etc. So great.

Cheers, Alf, The Golden Girls, Night Court, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Remington Steel, thirtysomething, Dynasty, Unsolved Mysteries, Dallas, etc. Such great tv, too. And movies – Ferris Bueller, The Outsiders, Moonstruck, Field of Dreams, Heathers, Top Gun, Weekend at Bernie’s, St. Elmo’s Fire, and of course all the John Hughes movies.

I sometimes think that when we die, we can then travel through time. Like if we want to visit a time and place, we can go there. I would visit the 1980s, I would start on January 1, 1980 and live it through to December 31, 1989 and do it all over again.



Visiting the past

I was talking about visiting places back in time in a previous post. It reminds me of a couple of NY stories. This image of Union Square fascinates me since I am always in that location. There are literally hundreds of pictures in that area from the past century and beyond.

Back when I read The Alienist for the first time, I started noticing something – the places written about in the book were written in such vivid detail, even directions on how to get to and from places. So I started writing them down. This was probably 1994, when the book was first published.

It takes place in 1881-82 NYC. There are tv shows now based on The Alienist, but I highly recommend the book.

The next time I was in NYC I started a little tour of all those locations and lo and behold – they were all still standing! Author Caleb Carr used current locations that were there in the 1800s. I remember 19 Washington Square South, where the grandmother lived – still there – part of those high end row houses across from the park. And Wanamaker’s store and Grace Church and all those wonderful places!

Anyway, just recently I saved an old photo of Union Square on my phone, from the late 1800s. I took the photo to Union Square and I held it up to the buildings, trying to match the image exactly. The funny part is that I had the phone basically up to guy’s face as I was searching.

He looked at me, wondering, why are you taking my picture? I showed him the image on the phone and told him what I was doing and we both got a good laugh.

I have seen so many photos of Union Square and so many of those buildings are still there and so are the statues. I also like to visit the two Andy Warhol Factory locations that are still standing at different areas of Union Square – just wondering what life was like back then.

Women voters

There were two beautiful stories on women voters on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. Here they are . . .

The first is on Susan B. Anthony and how women pay tribute to her every voting day, by visiting her grave and leaving “I voted” stickers.

And this one is called “104-year-old Ruth Rosner on casting her vote.” It follows Ms. Rosner as she votes for president for the 22nd time in her life! She’s so great, so there!



A trip through time

I always want to live in the past. Why? I don’t know, you’ll have to ask a psychiatrist. But I don’t only mean 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, I also mean last week or last month or last year. For some reason, I never want time to pass. Strange, huh?

I follow a lot of sites on Facebook that show vintage photos, some go way back to the 1840s – yes, actual photos. I can stare at them forever and look at the people and wonder what they were thinking in that moment in time. Here are a few I saw recently, but over the years I have seen such great ones – action shots from the 1840s and 1850s and 1900s. Places I would like to possibly visit, if not live.

It would be interesting to visit these places even for a day, or maybe just an hour. I sometimes think that after we die, that we can visit or live at various places and times. Could we possibly choose an era and live it or watch it?

1840 NYC
1840s NYC. Would be nice to visit, not sure to live.
This is 1867 on Greenwich Street in NYC. This new fangled elevated railway is on a test run. Now imagine being there, how exciting, this new invention taking shape!
1892 Union Square – a place I visit often.
Chicago 1893 – how the kids lived back then. Hanging out near a dead horse, just another day. No, I don’t think I’d like to visit this location. Probably doesn’t smell that great.
Bathers at the beach, 1897. Yes, I would like to be there for the day.
circa 1900 Madison Square – future home of the Flatiron Building. Yup, right where that Heinz sign is. That building across the way with the cupola on the roof is still standing today,  the Sohmer Building, called that because it originally housed the showroom and offices of Sohmer & Co., inventors of the modern baby grand piano, built in 1897-98, a few years before the Flatiron Building was completed in 1902.
1949 NYC. I would love to have experienced that era.
1950s. South Beach. This interest me because before South Beach was South Beach and was plain old Miami Beach, I hung out on these streets with friends – in the 1980s. We had the run of the place. The streets in the 1980s looked exactly the same, and to be honest, most of these streets appear the same today. A trip back in time.
New Orleans 1957. Also a place that looks the same today. One thing I love about NOLA is the history and the way they preserve it.

Emojis are my spell checker

Ever use emojis as spell checkers? What I mean is that a lot of the time if I’m not sure of the spelling of a word while texting, I spell it until the emoji pops up, then I know that is the correct spelling.

Recently I did it with avocado, not sure if it spelled “avocado” or “avacado.”

When the emoji popped up, I knew the correct spelling, which of course, I could have used the emoji instead of the word.

I have a neighbor who has avocado groves. Every time he texts, he puts three avocado emojis at the end of the text. I guess he feels it is subliminal advertising.

Emojis are the hieroglyphs of today. Will we end up using them as our language one day? I know so many teens do. What’s old ancient is new again. They don’t even teach cursive writing in schools anymore!

European Woman Examines Egyptian Hieroglyphics – Sean Sexton, 1900

A life in comics

This is a little snippet about the Hy Eisman “A Life in Comics” documentary. There is a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the completion of the film. I donated the other day.

Cartoonist Hy Eisman, is a cartoonist of over 70 years. You’ve seen his work. He produced The Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye, doing both Sunday strips at the same time – the writing and drawing. And each had their own feel.

Mr. Eisman continues to cartoon today.

The NY Daily News is homeless

kamelotThe New York Daily News is homeless. They no longer have physical offices!

This seems to be the case in NYC with many businesses. Since the pandemic struck and people have been working remotely, offices have been empty and in many places, they may never return. In the tech world, Twitter, Google and so many other companies have allowed workers to work from home indefinitely.

By the way, this is today’s front page. Is this a new hashtag – #kamelot? Love it!

The NY Daily News has its original building on 42nd and 3rd. I visited it recently. Only they are no longer in their flagship building (the one used as The Daily Planet in Superman), they moved downtown – way downtown to 4 New York Plaza, which is right next to the Staten Island Ferry building. That’s where I met with editors to talk about my comics. And they didn’t own the whole building, they just rented space on one or two floors. How the mighty have fallen.

I guess in reality, the reporters are out and about all day and probably filing their stories electronically, but to think there is no physical place is sad. Even in old westerns you see the old newspaper office, where you can walk right up to the place and walk in.

The new normal. A sign of the times. And when I think of all those old wonderful New York newspaper buildings – The World, The Sun, The Herald. A thing of the past.

the-herald

The New York Herald

newspapers9

Park Row from left: The World, The Sun (the small building), the Tribune and The Times

The World

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I came across these pictures on social media. You know how I love old newspapers and newspaper buildings and these are the best. Above is Park Row and you can see the New York World/Pulitzer Building at right. I’ve never seen it so close up before.

newspaper2

And here, from atop the old post office building you can see some of the newspapers to the right – The World, The Sun (that tiny building next to the World with the billboards on top), the Tribune and the NY Times. Only the Times building remains today.

Such a great period in time.

When did culture start?

Culture sign isolated on whiteEvery day it seems that another event is canceled – art shows, parades, Broadway and recently I read that Art Basel may be canceled. I’m still waiting to find out the fate of New York Comic Con, which is in early October.

The good news great news is that NYC has no new covid cases since March. None. I’m so proud of New York. Here in Florida, we are the opposite. If there is a Comic Con, how will they let people in? New York is safe now, do they want us grubby infected jerks in their state or city now?

But right now, things are boring. There is nothing to go to, nothing to attend anymore. It got me thinking, when did things start? When did culture start? I mean I’m sure the world was boring many years ago. There is the Coliseum in Rome, so we know that in 80 AD there were events going on. And I guess in ancient times before that there were things happening like chariot races, but when did opera start or plays on stage? When did someone say, “Let’s put up a stage here and perform?” When did someone say, “Let’s put up some clothes lines and hang art?”

When did art move from cave walls to something more portable? When did someone set up the first museum or have the first concert?

It’s something to think about. Before then there were dark ages, and I don’t mean the time before the Renaissance, I mean like caveman times.