New York City

Brandy released from hospital after medical emergency

Brandy Norwood
Brandy Norwood

(CNN)Brandy Norwood has returned home after the singer was rushed to the hospital on Friday from a Delta plane in Los Angeles bound for New York City.

Norwood’s team tweeted a message to her fans several hours later that she had been released from the hospital and was resting at home. They claimed that her busy schedule had lead to exhaustion but did not provide further information as to why she was hospitalized.

“Brandy has been released from the hospital and is now at home resting,” the…

Man Places Bouquets of Flowers in Trash Cans for Stressed New Yorkers

One man’s trash can is another man’s vase.

That’s especially true for Lewis Miller – a floral designer based out of New York City.

Miller and his staff have taken to arranging and creating beautiful blossoming bouquets of flowers inside of neighborhood trash cans.

The floral team is constantly scouting the streets of the Big Apple, looking for ideal trash cans to host their flower bunches.

WATCH: Pup Give Hugs to Stressed Out New Yorkers on the Street

All…

Melissa McCarthy Just Rolled Down an N.Y.C. Street on Sean Spicer’s Lectern

Melissa McCarthy has already proved she knows her way around Sean Spicer‘s podium, but this time, she took her act to the streets.

On Friday, the actress was spotted in full “Spicey” costume, rolling down N.Y.C.’s 58th street on a podium on wheels.

Losing her patience at one point, McCarthy-as-Spicer waves someone out of her path as she yells, “Come on. Come on!”

The sight brought joy to many passersby, some of whom took to Twitter to share clips and jokes.

Someone Is Turning NYC Trash Cans Into Giant Vases Filled With Flowers

New York City-based floral designer Lewis Miller is on a mission to create an emotional response in a gloomy metropolis, and he uses flowers to achieve it.

Mysterious flower arrangements have been appearing all over Manhattan during the last couple of months. Sidewalks, trash cans, statues and public plazas are the main targets of this guerrilla campaign. “Gifting flowers to New Yorkers is a simple idea that I have been thinking about for years,” Lewis writes on his website. “[I] hoped for smiles, the ones that happen when you witness a random act of kindness. That was my goal, my vision. Create an emotional…

The Surprisingly Interesting Reason Chicago is Called the “Windy City”

Cloud Gate Chicago

On a particularly blustery February South Side day, it is easy to understand why the city of Chicago has the nickname of the “Windy City.” After all, it has one of the roughest winters of all major American cities and it does get pretty regular gusts. But, in truth, it actually isn’t all that windy, relatively speaking; in terms of average annual wind speeds, Chicago ranks as the 73rd windiest city out of 275 cities where data is collected from – behind other major cities like Cleveland, San Francisco, Boston and New York City. (This is not dissimilar to the fact that Seattle doesn’t actually get that much rain, ranking 44th among major cities in the United States on that front, with less rain than such cities as New York, Houston, and Boston.) So, why does Chicago have the reputation of being so windy and where did it get the nickname?

While the word “Chicago” has Native American origins, the origin of the “windy city” moniker seems to have more to do with infamous Chicago politics than weather patterns.

For most of the 19th century, Chicago went by other nicknames, including “Garden City” in reference to the city’s immense collection of beautiful gardens, parks and Victorian-era rural cemeteries. There was also “City by the Lake” and “Heart of America,” which are fairly self-explanatory. Beyond these, the city was sometimes called the “Second City,” which the famed Chicago comedy troupe still goes by. The origins of this stem from civic pride, with Chicago literally rising from the ashes of the catastrophic 1871 fire and becoming the second most populated city in the country only two decades after the fire, partially due to extensive rebuilding efforts, see: Was the Great Chicago Fire Really Started by a Cow? (However, only a few years after that, Los Angeles would knock Chicago to third. Today, Chicago is still third in population though Dallas and Houston are gaining fast.)

As for “windy city,” according to esteemed etymologist Barry Popik, who’s also the word-nerd who managed to definitively track down Why New York City is called The Big Apple, the first known usage of the term “windy city” in reference to Chicago can be found in an April 1858 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, where it notes: “An hundred militia officers, from corporal to commander, condemned to air their vanity and feathers only for the delectation of the boys and servant girls in this windy city.”

This is followed up by a July 4, 1860 edition of the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel that notes, “We are proud of Milwaukee because she is not overrun with a lazy police force as is Chicago — because her morals are better, he [sic] criminals fewer, her credit better; and her taxes lighter in proportion to her valuation than Chicago, the windy city of the West.”

This Photographer Brilliantly Documented Crime on the Mean Streets of New York City

Back in 2001, I stumbled upon a photography show at the Getty Center in Los Angeles that I still think is one of my favorite museum exhibits I’ve ever seen. It showcased the work of a photographer who went by the name of Weegee.

Weegee captured street scenes in New York City like no other photographer during the 1930s and 1940s. While he sometimes focused his lens on regular folks going about their daily business, it was his stark black and white photos of crime scenes that made Weegee a legend and exposed people to the dark side of American society.

Weegee was born Usher Fellig in 1899 in what is now part of Ukraine. When he was 10-years-old, his family emigrated to New York. Weegee started taking photographs at a young age, working his way up through several companies before striking out of his own as a freelancer in 1935.

Weegee installed a police scanner in his car so he could be the first photographer on the scene to document New York City’s murders, accidents,…

Hamilton Star Jordan Fisher Gives a Tour of Alexander Hamilton’s NYC Home

Growing up, Jordan Fisher was not a history buff. “I was a science guy in school, numbers and science and formula, what made things work and how to bring them forward—not what happened,” he told mental_floss. He’d memorize facts about historical figures simply to pass his tests; he didn’t care about them. But being cast in the Broadway musical Hamilton—where he played both John Laurens and Philip Hamilton from November 2016 to March 2017—changed all that.

“All it took was humanization. It took putting humanity in these people who had been mythologized, and seeing the relationships and the West Coast/East Coast rivalry in this musical about the construct of our country,” he said, adding that he’s a “brand new lover of American history—very passionate.” Now, Fisher has joined up with the National Parks Service and the National Park Foundation to help launch Parks 101—a series that will explore the lesser known histories and stories of America’s parks—to give a tour of Alexander Hamilton’s New York City home, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Mental_floss tagged along as Fisher and Park Ranger Vladimir Merzlyakov gave a tour.

The Grange is located all the way uptown, at 141st Street—which would, in Hamilton’s time, have been the country. Hamilton’s “sweet project,” as he called it, was completed in 1802, just two years before his death, and was moved twice during the next 200 years before ending…

A Big Stretch of Manhattan Is Going Car-Free for Earth Day

On Saturday, April 22, New Yorkers will be forced out of their cars. While the city is already one of America’s most pedestrian-friendly metropolises, Manhattan is giving more urban space over to people to walk and cycle in honor of Earth Day, as Gothamist reports.

A full 30 blocks of Broadway, one of the city’s major thoroughfares, will be closed to cars, trucks, and buses that Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That’s a major upgrade from last year’s Earth Day celebration when only four blocks of the street went car-free. The city’s other boroughs will also close some roads to cars for the day, though none of the other areas affected are as large as the Manhattan closure.

It’s a move in line with New York City’s plans to improve traffic safety and make the city more…

Compare New York City’s Past and Present in a New App

America’s Gilded Age, defined as roughly the 1870s to 1900, represented a period of vast wealth and vast corruption, a time when the economy of the United States was rapidly expanding, immigrants were streaming into the country, labor rights activists were organizing, and farmers were revolting. In New York City, the Gilded Age was a time when the fabulous wealth of newly minted industrial titans like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie was on full display.

In 2013, the Museum of the City of New York debuted Gilded New York, an ongoing exhibition exploring this period in the city’s history. And now it’s an app.

The museum’s first app is a virtual walking tour of New York City through time. You can compare present-day New York City landmarks to what they looked like…