Mike Wallace is coauthor of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, author of A New Deal for New York, Distinguished Professor at John Jay College (CUNY), and Director of the Gotham Center for New York City History. He is working on Gotham II. (February 2005)

That Hamilton Man

When I first heard that the New-York Historical Society was promoting its Alexander Hamilton exhibition by blanketing its block-long façade with a banner imprinted with an immense ten-dollar bill, it sounded like a wonderfully whimsical marketing device, a Barnumesque bit of barkerism on behalf of a Founder who eminently deserved …

Babylon on the Subway

In the 1890s, the bright lights of Broadway ribboned their way north through Union, Madison, and Herald Squares, illuminating ambling throngs of theater- and restaurant-goers, until reaching 42nd Street where, all at once, the Gay White Way winked out. Ahead in the gloom lay Longacre Square, lair of footpads by …