10 Little Known Big Apple Seeds About NYC

I’m thrilled to welcome author Missye K. Clarke to the Power of 10 series. Today, Missye shares interesting (and little known) facts about New York City and her novel, Jersey Dog.

Here’s Missye!

As my McGuinness/Pedregon Casebooks are set in New York City and bits of New Jersey—NYC’s also known by The City That Never Sleeps, The Big Apple, Metropolis, or Gotham to those of you in Rio Linda :)—I thought I’d share these Ten Little Known Big Apple Seeds About NYC with you. And as I’ve lived in this town two-thirds of my life, there’s even a few fun facts I didn’t know. Buckle up for some neat fun, mystery fans and lovers everywhere!

10. Up until 1957, the postal system in NYC used a pneumatic network to deliver mail around the five boroughs–more or less rendering the deliveries not seeing the light of day until they reached address destination–or lots of dead letter mail in the Address Unknown bins, I’m sure.

9. Though I don’t know this from personal experience, I’ve always wanted to try this. But I lived this through Casper and Logan in Jersey Dogs when they did it. If you entered the NYC subway system and never left, it’s so vast you can travel it for three days to a week straight without breaking a connection.

8. New York City has more people than 39 of the 50 U.S. states do.

7. The city’s tap water has tiny shrimp called copepods in it. Explains why I always thought that water was disgusting! >.<

6. Remember the PONY sneakers? I do–but I always thought it was just a word, like Pepsi or Nike or Xerox. If you don't remember them, it's probably because it's a regional/Northeast/NYC thing. Turns out, PONY's an acronym for Product Of New York. Now we know! (courtesy: http://www.pony-us.com)

5. The Flatiron Building—the odd one on 23rd Street and shaped like a triangle—isn't solely admired for its architecture. It has a wind tunnel causeway near it that a constant breeze comes through–and which lifts women’s skirts. Back in the day when it was risqué for any part of a lady's legs be shown, men gathered there to get free peeks of something they shouldn't. To this day, men still gather outside to watch the fun, weather permitting. (Don’t blame them for gawking—if anything, blame Mother Nature for taking advantage of city layout! 😀 )

4. Ah, NYC brownstones. Aren’t they gorgeous? Before you get all nostalgic for one, not all are what they seem. The ones with blackout windows and no address numbers on the doors are fake fronts. Instead, they’re there to hide the city’s subways maintenance and ventilation shafts.

3. Only one homicide happened on 9/11. To date, it remains unsolved.

2. Madison Square, Union Square, Washington Square, and Bryant Parks, all located in Manhattan, were once cemeteries. (Considering my Casebooks narrator’s name's “Casper”? 🙂 ) . . . Boo! Spooky!

1. Never mind spooky, let’s talk creepy: NYC buries its unclaimed bodies on a spit of land off the Bronx coast called Hart Island. Almost 1 million bodies have been buried there since 1869—and this island is not open or accessible to the public.

Bonus: Adjusted for inflation, a NYC hotdog vendor must pluck up almost $325,000 grand yearly for a permit if they wish to do business near The Pond of the Central Park Zoo. This zone is one of 20 of the most expensive places to run and operate a hotdog cart. Now you know what your $25 bucks shelled out for a loaded dog, a hot soft pretzel, and cold Coke is really going for!

I hope you enjoyed these fun NYC facts. Everyone should see Gotham once in their lives—and for those of you living there, play tourist for a day or a weekend. Either way, you’ll have a wonderful, helluva time!

Some facts courtesy of Buzzfeed and Museum of the City of New York (MCNY.org).


Two adopted cousins. Two mysterious prostitutes. And a biologic father wants both sons dead.

Casper’s and Logan McGuinness’s junior year opens with a bloodstained, unexpected contact and an eerie text coming to pass. While Enzo and Angela de Francisci’s stubbornly refuse to explain the boys’ biologic parents’ backstories, the cousins dig into their pasts in stealth, only to unravel a sordid history meant to stay unknown and bigger than they realized. The first of several attempts on the boys’ lives reveals a desk clerk’s true identity, and conversations with a former john, lands Casper and Logan on the streets of New York and respite from a former madam. Through an intricate tale of loyalty, humor, first love, and discovering trust and sacrifice, Jersey Dogs Casper and Logan venture into the personal and collective unknown to stop a brutal killer and a network of thugs from fulfilling a murderous to-do list—and learning to trust one another so they’ll stay two steps ahead of alive.


Bio and Links

Missye K. Clarke is a lifelong Big Apple fan, even though she and her family reside in central Pennsylvania (cost of living and lack of forestry drove them out for greener pastures).

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