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50 Years Ago: The Summer of Love Brings Pot, Protests and Psychedelic Rock to the East Village

Tompkins Square Park
(Photo: James Jowers)

“As the hour grew late and working people around Tompkins Square Park began turning out the lights on Memorial Day 1967, police asked several hundred music lovers to turn down the volume of a guitar-and-bongo concert in the park,” reported the New York Daily News. “The crowd’s reply … was a barrage of bottles, bricks and fists that left seven officers injured.

“And thus began the Summer of Love.”

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A Look at Political Bling Before the ‘Make America Great’ Days

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

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(Photos: )

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

Buttons23

Buttons23

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

Political hype started long before those red MAGA hats. “Modern political buttons really started with the McKinley-Bryan election of 1896 and some of the early ones were amazingly colorful and detailed,” said Marty Kane, a collector, as he told us about the political memorabilia show that took place Sunday on the Lower East Side.

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An Insider’s Guide to the ‘Martin Scorsese’ Exhibit

Boxing gloves worn by Robert De Niro in

Boxing gloves worn by Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull"; recreation of boxing trunks for "Raging Bull." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Prop television set, 1999. Scorsese was deeply influenced by Italian postwar cinema, which he watched on television as a child. He recreated his childhood television as a prop for his documentary

Prop television set, 1999. Scorsese was deeply influenced by Italian postwar cinema, which he watched on television as a child. He recreated his childhood television as a prop for his documentary "Il Mio Viaggio in Italia." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Prop flowers from

Prop flowers from "Vertigo" (1958); Dried flowers, cotton ribbon, satin and plastic. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Fireman's helmet,

Fireman's helmet, "Gangs of New York." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Box of 45 rpm records with inventory, 1955-1958. Scorsese collected these 45 rpm records when he was a young teenager living on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy. He used several of these songs in his films. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Box of 45 rpm records with inventory, 1955-1958. Scorsese collected these 45 rpm records when he was a young teenager living on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy. He used several of these songs in his films. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Robert De Niro's taxi driver's license c. 1975. To prepare for his role as Travis Bickle in

Robert De Niro's taxi driver's license c. 1975. To prepare for his role as Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," De Niro became a licensed taxi driver in New York City. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Scorsese family dining room table and chairs. This dining room table is a setting between Scorsese and his parents in the documentary

Scorsese family dining room table and chairs. This dining room table is a setting between Scorsese and his parents in the documentary "Italianamerican." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Costume worn by Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in

Costume worn by Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Costume worn by Leonardo DiCaprio as Amsterdam in

Costume worn by Leonardo DiCaprio as Amsterdam in "Gangs of New York." (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Storyboards for

Storyboards for "Raging Bull" drawn by Scorsese.

Martin Scorsese with his parents, Catherine and Charles Scorsese, in Corona, Queens, c.1948 Martin Scorsese Collection, New York. Courtesy of Sikelia Productions / Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin).

Martin Scorsese with his parents, Catherine and Charles Scorsese, in Corona, Queens, c.1948 Martin Scorsese Collection, New York. Courtesy of Sikelia Productions / Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin).

Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver. Credit: Sikelia Productions.

Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver. Credit: Sikelia Productions.

Storyboard for “The Eternal City,” an imagined epic film about Ancient Rome, drawn by an eleven-year-old Martin Scorsese. Pencil and crayon on paper. Martin Scorsese Collection, New York. Photo: Marian Stefanowski, courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin).

Storyboard for “The Eternal City,” an imagined epic film about Ancient Rome, drawn by an eleven-year-old Martin Scorsese. Pencil and crayon on paper. Martin Scorsese Collection, New York. Photo: Marian Stefanowski, courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin).

Scorsese's copy of the book

Scorsese's copy of the book "Silence" and the camera slate for the film. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Props from

Props from "Silence." Fathers Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver) secretly bring these religious objects with them into Japan to minister to the Japanese Christians in "Silence." Rodrigues uses the notebook and pens to chronicle his experiences. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

"Martin Scorsese," Museum of the Moving Image December 11, 2016–April 23, 2017. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

On the eve of the release of Martin Scorsese’s latest film Silence, a new exhibition traces the director’s career from its birth in Little Italy. Although Scorsese moved from his parents’ apartment on Elizabeth Street decades ago he has said, “A lot of what I learned about life came from there.” The exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria tells the director’s story through approximately 600 artifacts, most drawn from Scorsese’s personal collection.

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‘Ramones Way’ Is Now a Street Outside the Band’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

L to R: Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

L to R: Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Joey Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. (Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

For Ramones fans, Forest Hills High School in Queens is as seminal a site as performance venues CBGB and Max’s Kansas City. The school is where the Ramones – Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy – first met. On Sunday, the intersection in front of the school at 67th Avenue and 110th Street was renamed The Ramones Way to honor the late pioneers of punk rock.

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For the Record, J&R Music World Is Not Actually Back in the Needles Business

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

Last week was Record Store Day. This week is record store back in the day. This ghost sign was recently revealed during the demolition of the J&R Music World strip of stores on Park Row. The pitch for “tapes” probably dates the sign to the mid-sixties but vinyl was still king as “needles” takes the top rung. The word “stereo” is obscured above the cool music notes.

Click here for more ghost sings around town.

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David Bowie’s Studio of Choice, The Magic Shop, Closes Today After 28 Years

Reid Jenkins (violin) on left, Sam Owens (guitar) on right in Control Room. (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

Reid Jenkins (violin) on left, Sam Owens (guitar) on right in Control Room. (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)

There is nothing on the front of 49 Crosby Street save for a tiny label under a bell that would indicate that inside is one of the most enduring recording studios in New York. The Magic Shop opened in 1988 well before Bloomingdale’s, MoMA and a luxury hotel became its neighbors. The increase in the area’s rental value spelled the end of the studio. Despite the offer of financial help from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, owner Steve Rosenthal was unable to buy the space from his landlord. While Rosenthal will continue his business of mixing and restoring classic recordings, the Magic Shop will close today.

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How Sweet It Is! Jackie Gleason’s Early Life in Brooklyn

Honeymooners2

On October 1, 1955, The Honeymooners premiered on CBS. The classic 39 episodes of that first and only season would achieve cult status and be rerun for decades. The legendary sitcom starred Bushwick’s favorite son, Jackie Gleason, as bus driver Ralph Kramden. But before he became “The Great One,” Gleason honed his craft in Bushwick’s lodge halls and vaudeville houses.

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Gangster Haunts of the East Village and LES: What Are They Now?

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Photos by Frank Mastropolo

Don’t let the shi shi galleries, bone broth bistros and man-cessory shops fool you. The country’s most violent criminals have lived and plied their trade in the East Village and Lower East Side for more than two centuries.

Of course, a man needs a place to relax after all that mayhem. Here is a current look at some of the most notorious gangsters haunts in the neighborhood, listed chronologically.

Click through the slideshow to see what our favorites look like today, then leave your own in the comments.

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More Great Ghost Signs of the East Village and LES

All photos: Frank Mastropolo.

With the rapid pace of development in the Lower East Side and East Village, it’s remarkable that so many ghost signs – ads that have long outlived their businesses – have survived. As you’ll see, sometimes progress can also reveal long-hidden signs. In January we brought you our Top 10 favorite ghost signs but there are too many good ones left to stop now. Click through the slideshow that follows to see our picks, then leave your own in the comments.

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