MY MAJOR TOPICS
CLASSES, LECTURES, TOURS
Capital of the World
New York Before the Europeans
Dutch New York
New York During the Revolution
The Great Seaport
Gateway: The Immigrants
The High Line
Upper Fifth Avenue
A Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Features of Grand Central
History Through Grand Central
History Through Midtown
History Through Street Names
The Emerging (Late 1800s) City
Baseball Creation and Evolution
Brooklyn and Jackie Robinson
Brooklyn and the Dodgers
The New York Giants and Their Polo Grounds Neighborhood
The Baseball Dynasties (New York Giants, New York Yankees)
QUOTES ABOUT NEW YORK
When it is good, New York is very, very good. Which is why New Yorkers put up with so much that is bad. When it is good, this is a city of fantastic strength, sophistication and beauty. It is like no other city in time or place. – Ada Louise Huxtable
To tell the story of New York is to write a social history of the world. – H.G. Wells
Very little happens anywhere unless someone in New York presses a button. – Duke Ellington
The story of New York: a bunch of people no one wanted created the coolest city in the world. – Joshua Rothman (essayist)
New York is where the future comes to rehearse. – Ed Koch
Manhattan: Rosetta Stone to the modern age. – Rem Koolhaas
NOTE: COVID HAS FORCED THE TEMPORARY (yes, I know it’s three years now) CANCELLATION OF THE FREE FRIDAY TOUR NOTED BELOW. I WILL POST HERE WHEN THE TOUR RESUMES. WILL IT EVER? I HOPE SO!
FREE TOUR EVERY FRIDAY YEAR-ROUND – Grand Central Neighborhood
It’s free and it’s fun: every Friday throughout the year I give a free tour of the Grand Central neighborhood. It runs from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. and begins inside of 120 Park Ave., which from Grand Central’s main doors is across 42nd Street and just to the right of the overhead viaduct. No reservations are necessary – just show up. It’s free, it’s fun and it is cool.
This video may help. It’s just a minute long:
VIDEOS AND PHOTOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
I’ve created 140 brief videos and posted them on Youtube and Facebook, along with a few hundred photos with blurbs on Instagram. People are always asking essentially these same questions: “What is this place? What goes on here, and why? What am I looking at and how does it matter?” Go to those sites and type in Peter Laskowich (on Youtube), NYDynamic (on Facebook) or new.york.dynamic (on Instagram) – these videos and pics will get you started.
OFFERING TOURS ANYWHERE IS A PLEASURE. IN THIS GREAT CITY IT IS AN HONOR.
The joy of any class, lecture or tour is in the discovery, in the why and the how. Why, for example, is wealth concentrated along Fifth Avenue while tenements and gas stations stand close to the water? How does Central Park make economic sense on an island whose real estate is the world’s most valuable? And why does the world trade in Manhattan more than anywhere else?
My purpose is not to fill the bucket but to light the fire, not to load you with information but to get a few inches of air between your feet and the ground. Maybe that happens now and then.