Category Archives: New York

Independence Day

And so to the 3rd in my series of “On this day in History”.

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence on July 4 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. 

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and political speeches and ceremonies.  In addition there are usually various other public and private events celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States. 

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later confirmed that they had signed it on that day.  Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.  Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day.  Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.

Poor Barack Obama – he was born on 4th August 1961 – exactly a month too late !!!

Betty Swollocks!

The first in a new series of This Day in History!

On 30th May 1999 in New Jersey, Lenny Kravitz walked off stage after 40 minutes and collapsed from heat exhaustion. He had been performing in a fur coat.

Now I’ve checked the average temperatures for May/June in New Jersey to find they are pretty similar to what we’d expect here, with highs of low 20’s.  So while it isn’t exactly the tropics, perhaps an energetic stage performance should have been attempted in more suitable attire? #justsaying and #callthefashionpolice!

You won’t have seen this on Gumtree!

‘Where there’s muck there’s brass’ is a 20th century expression which originated in Yorkshire, England where brass is still used as a slang term for money.  By ‘muck’ any form of dirt or manure may be implied, depending on context.

Never was this saying more true than in the case of Russian fertiliser magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev – said to be the world’s 93rd richest man – who spent $88m (£56m) buying a Central Park West pad, a lavish New York penthouse with panoramic views of Central Park which has become the most expensive apartment ever sold in the city.

It also brings new meaning to the words “student flat” as it is thought he has purchased this property for his 22 year old daughter Ekaterina!!!

The penthouse stands at the top of 15 Central Park West, a landmark building designed by architect Robert Stern and boasts a custom-made oval bedroom, a library, gallery, chef’s kitchen and a 2,100 sq ft (195 sq m) terrace running along three sides of the building.

Apartment floor plan

Sold by high-end New York real estate agents Brown Harris Stevens, the apartment is expected to net the broker a commission of $3.5m, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, the apartment is not even thought to be the most expensive US property in Mr Rybolovlev’s portfolio.  He is said to have paid closer to $100m for an investment property in Palm Beach, Florida in 2011.

The type of fertiliser that Mr Rybolovlev works with has not been reported but it’s probably safe to say he has most certainly come up smelling of roses!!!

A sad day for me

Had things turned out differently, today would have been the day that I flew off to New York for the trip of a lifetime. This afternoon I would have been in Times Square soaking up the atmosphere and checking out where the best places were to eat and shop.

Instead, I am here in Glasgow, the weather miserable which pretty much matches my mood. Oh well … onwards and upwards … maybe next year?

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