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For years the New-York Historical Society has collected the questions put to them by curious New Yorkers and visitors. Who was the first woman to run for Mayor of New York? Why are beavers featured on the city's official seal? Is it true that a nineteenth-century New Yorker built a house out of spite? Questions involve people, places, buildings, monuments, rumors, and urban myths. They concern sports, food, transportation, the arts, Central Park, politics, nature, and tourism, among many other subjects, attesting to the infinite varieties of story hidden within the most intriguing metropolis in the world.

With this book, the history of New York takes on a whole new, fascinating dimension. Choosing 102 of their most popular and compelling queries, the staff at the New-York Historical Library has assembled an endlessly entertaining collection of hard-to-find answers and unforgettable profiles, preserving a snapshot of New York's secret history for future generations to enjoy. Making use of their library's extensive collections, these librarians provide answers to the questions already listed above as well as many other inquiries. When was the first book printed in New York? Is it true that residents of ghetto housing once presented rats to government housing officials? Were premature babies displayed in Coney Island? Who were the Collyer brothers, and why were they famous? For readers who love trivia, urban history, strange tales, and, of course, New York, this book will delight with its rich, informative, and surprising stories.

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