HAPPY “SURGE PRICING” NEW YEAR! (1867)

A blinding snowstorm welcomed in the New Year in the City of Brooklyn in 1867. From “daylight and until early noon” the snow was “falling, falling fast,” as “thousands of juveniles commenced the year industriously, by earning their New Year’s gifts, in sweeping and shoveling the snow off the sidewalks. ” In spite of the snowfall, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that “there never were so many open houses and never so many callers.” SURGE PRICING IN 1867 “Callers, as a general thing, didn’t mind the snow much, while to the keepers of livery stables, the appearance of the morning air, filled with its myriad snow flakes, became a vision, exceeding in its richness the fabled mines of Golconda. “They knew that the light wagons for which they had been paid in advance, would not be taken out, and for sleighs they could charge such prices as they chose. “Only think of it, fifty dollars for two or three hours use of a vehicle of that description…they might as well have charged a hundred…and been sorry that they hadn’t charge two hundred, from the readiness with which the money would have been paid.” Alas, Uber “surge pricing” is no new thing. No new thing at all… Happy Brooklyn New Year! Follow @BrownstoneDetec ———————————————————————————————————————– The Brownstone Detectives The story you have just read was composed from extensive historical research conducted by The Brownstone Detectives. We perform in-depth investigations on the historic homes of our clients, and produce for them their very […]

SNOW DAY ON BERGEN & FLATBUSH (1888)

Although today was merely a dusting in comparison to the Blizzard of 1888, it gives us an opportunity to look back on what the aftermath of a real snowstorm looked like. In the inset black & white photograph, we see men clearing snow outside of a coal & wood store after the blizzard at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Bergen Street. We’ve included a Google Maps view of what that corner looks like today. The Coal & Wood shop is now a Gino’s Pizza at 218 Flatbush Avenue. Follow @BrownstoneDetec ———————————————————————————————————————– The Brownstone Detectives The story you have just read was composed from extensive historical research conducted by The Brownstone Detectives. We perform in-depth investigations on the historic homes of our clients, and produce for them their very own House History Books. Our hardbound books contain an illustrated and colorful narrative timeline that will bring the history of any house to life. Contact us today to begin discovering the history of your home.

BLOOD ON THE SNOWBALL: THE RAZOR (1888)

As the snow piled up during the Blizzard of 1888, Brooklynites began to experience countless fights. Snowball fights, that is. Most were lighthearted and fun, romps in the snow bringing joy and relief from the endless shoveling and the stress of everyday life with the white stuff. But sometimes these snowball fights turned ugly, exposing the more unsavory side of Brooklynites. They showed how quickly a snowball fight could evolve from a joyful game into mayhem-filled terror. Two cases, in particular, made the pages of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle during the week of the historic blizzard. One involved a razor. The second involved a gun. THE RAZOR The day after the “Great White Hurricane” struck Brooklyn, Vincent Ciemon was a very tired man. He had reason to be after a long day of shoveling snow following the first full day of the Blizzard of 1888. He had just been employed by the Long Island Railroad Company as that organization needed day laborers to help dig out their engines in the city and beyond. On his way home around 5 p.m., to the apartment where he lived with his family on East New York Avenue in Brownsville, Ciemon had just reached Rockaway Avenue “when a snowball struck him in the back.” Ciemon, identified by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in the story as “The Italian,” had only a hundred or so feet before he arrived home and so, tired as he was, he did not even turn around to challenge his tormentors. […]

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