Little Details

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Entries by tag: usa: new york: new york city

The 1940s & Lesbians
So my story is set in 1940s New York and I'm trying to find out some things about what being a gay girl was like at that time period. A lot of resources focus on mainly gay men and dont give way to information about the lives of gay women. I've checked articles like the Gay Metropolis but I still have some questions:

1. What were the primarily gay sections of the city and were there any where gay women were prominent?
2. At this point, was is acceptable for women to wear pants or was it still odd? (my character is sort of a tom-boy)
3. Any slang words for a lesbian/bisexual other than queer or dike?


[ANON POST] Medical Examiner's Working Conditions, 1940s NYC
Setting: New York (Manhattan), 1947

Searched: "Medical examiner" combined variously with "office," "floor plan"/"floorplan," "room," "building," "interior," "working conditions." Tried image search on these, too, and mostly got a lot of pictures of autopsy tables. Also glanced into a few of my local library's books about medical examiners, but (as well as having a more recent focus that might not be appropriate to the period) these were focused on stories of individual dead people, without a lot of mundane side-detail.

When my character who is a medical examiner is not actually performing autopsies, what kind of space is he working in?

My co-writer and I have, provisionally, imagined a small office space. It
1) opens into both a morgue/autopsy room and a hallway,
2) contains three desks, filing cabinets, a telephone, and a coffee pot, and
3) is used by two male medical examiners and a secretary (or similar female assistant).
Is this roughly plausible as described, or do the placement or furniture of the room, or the number of people using it, need to be altered?

Also, I need the ME character to enter the morgue and/or autopsy room completely unaccompanied. Is this something that might occur during the course of an ordinary day, or would it be unusual enough that the narrative would need to explain it somehow? If the latter, what might be a plausible explanation? (He himself isn't up to anything shady.)

Wealthy Family household staff 1920s
The story I am writing for this year's nanowrimo takes place inn the mid 1920's. The MC's family is wealthy and comes from "old money." What kind of household staff would they have? They live in a townouse if that helps. I have tried searching for Domestic employees in 1920s NYC, Household servants 1920s.
Thanks in advance!

Time between arrest and eventual sentencing *without* a trial in New York state
TV - Lost
Hello all! I'm writing a piece set in modern-day NYC involving a character who is arrested and eventually sent to a maximum-security mental hospital for a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and the murder of a police detective. (He's not actually guilty or insane -- it's a whole possession situation -- but of course no one believes that.) Everything I'm finding on Google is about criminal trials, but in this case there isn't one because he's declared not competent, etc. So my question is: approximately how long would it take from the arrest to his arriving at the hospital, accounting for a few weeks spent in a regular hospital because of injuries sustained during the interrogation (read: exorcism) and before? I'm assuming it would be somewhat speedy because of the high-profile nature of the case and because of the overwhelming evidence, but maybe I'm just judging by the always-accurate Law & Order. Just looking for a general-ish time frame. Thanks in advance!

[ANON POST] Glass-blowing in Modern-day NYC
I have a character who is a glass artist in New York City. I'm trying to figure out where the character would live, what neighborhood and what kind of interior/exterior space she would need.

I've read through a ton of wikipedia articles about various NYC neighborhoods, focusing on Manhattan and Brooklyn, plus a bunch of articles/videos about glass blowing in general, but I can't seem to figure out what parts of NYC would be zoned for that sort of activity. Tried searching all sorts of combinations of glass blowing + new york and glass blowing + residential and live/work space + new york and artist loft + new york.

Ideally, it would be a live/work space, something big and industrial feeling. I don't want it to have a shop space -- she shows her work in galleries/lists it online, but she doesn't have a physical storefront to sell out of and does all her glass blowing in private. (She's a dragon, you see! Can't have anyone stumbling onto her secret!) Money is no object, but I'd prefer the neighborhood feel a bit. . . rougher? I'm okay with some gentrification, but it shouldn't be particularly trendy or upscale. Ideally I'd also like it to be racially/ethnically diverse; I haven't decided on her race yet but I'm pretty sure she won't be white and I want a neighborhood where she won't stand out that much. (Exactly what race/ethnicity she is can be dependent on the neighborhood suggested.)

History of Truth or Dare
Movie Avengers Bucky Star
Where: New York
When: 1930s/40s

I'm trying to find out how far back the game 'truth or dare' goes.

Googling 'history of truth or dare game' has told me that there's no record of it being played before the 1950s, but I just wanted to check whether anyone here knows for sure if that's accurate? Specifically, I need to know whether boys growing up in New York in the 1930s and early 1940s would have played it.


What it's like to study music at NYU
ladybug quiet
setting: New York University
time: real-world, present day (or near future, say 1-2 years from now)
search terms used: "what is it like to study music at NYU" "NYU music student experience" and variations thereof; scoured NYU's website as well as a couple of tumblrs of NYU students that give information about student life, etc (not music students, unfortunately)

I'm writing a story in which one of the characters is studying jazz (piano) at NYU at the undergraduate level. I'm a musician who has attended a couple of different schools for music, so I don't need info about what the core curriculum would be like (basically the same everywhere you go, at least the first couple of years). I've also found a couple of tumblrs of students who attend NYU that have advice for new students navigating the campus/finding things/getting around/what the dorms are like, which is very helpful, but they aren't music students so I didn't get any music info there.

What I'm looking for is:

* what do students call certain music related places? For example, at one of my schools, the building the music classes are held in is called the "School of Music" but no one actually calls it that in conversation, it's usually "the music building". Where are most music classes actually held and what do students call that place(s) in conversation? (The "facilities" page of NYU's music website talks about performance spaces but not classroom/rehearsal spaces.)

* Where do most people practice? From the NYU website it looks like there are practice rooms in different buildings. This character lives in Third North for part of the story (as a freshman) and I understand there are practice rooms there but she won't be there forever (I'm also getting conflicting information about the practice rooms in Third North, whether it's A room or multiple rooms).

* How much interaction is there between jazz students and other music students? At both schools I've been to, everyone is sort of lumped together for the first couple of years while taking core classes (music history, theory, aural skills, class piano/keyboard skills, etc) and then everyone kind of goes their separate ways and the jazz people sort of separate themselves from the rest of the music students. I'm wondering if that happens at NYU as well.

* In most music programs a student will have private lessons on their instrument/voice with a professor and then once a week everyone who studies with that professor has a class together where you perform for each other, get critique, etc. I'm assuming this happens at NYU as well--what is it called? (At various schools I've been to it's been called studio, rep class, masterclass...)

* are there ensembles that are seen as most/least desirable? (thinking specifically of jazz)

* Where do music students tend to hang out during the day when they are not in class? I'm thinking in particular of students who are new to NYC and haven't quite learned to navigate the city yet.

* are jazz majors required to have any classical proficency? Where I am right now, jazz majors have to have at least 200-level proficency in classical studies on their instrument (so, sophomore level), but I couldn't find if that was true for NYU as well.

Legal Question: Establishing Paternity After Long Period
Happiness Is
Story Setting: Modern Day New York City
Details: Child conceived in Ohio in drunken night involving mistaken identity on part of Mother by Father (he mistook her for his girlfriend) and a bad attempt at proving she's not gay. After finding out she was pregnant, Mother ran away from home to New York. When the child was born, Mother refused to give Father's name to avoid making him obligated to Child. Due to refusing to acknowledge Father, Mother is denied access to social services, relying instead on working as much as she is capable and charitable groups like churches for support. Fast forward ten to twelve years and Mother is now with a same-sex partner in a committed, caring, and financially stable relationship involving co-parenting of Child who is happy and healthy. Somehow Father and his wife - who do not live in New York - find out about Child and start to try and gain custody.
Additional Details: Mother has never attempted to collect child support or contacted Father. Lack of contact is not due to maliciousness but an attempt to protect Father who she regards as a friend. All parties know each other from interactions as teenagers (excepting Child of course) in hometown which has lead to some bad blood between Wife and Mother and Partner. Wife is spearheading attempt to take Child, not Father. Father only wishes to get to know Child - something which Mother and Partner can support.
What I'm Looking For:

  1. Do Father and Wife have a leg to stand on legally to try and take the child after up to twelve years from birth?

  2. Is there a statue of limitations to be able to petition to force a paternity test on a child that a man believes might be his?

  3. Would Mother and Partner have trouble with a second-parent adoption of Child? Father's name not on birth certificate.

  4. As Child has never known Father, would the courts possibly force the relationship to occur?

  5. If Father and Wife find out after the second-parent adoption takes place, can they attempt to overturn it?

Searched: "proving paternity to ten year old new york" "paternity laws new york" "second parent adoption new york" "custody law for unwed fathers in new york" "new york custody law" "new york birth laws"

History cirriculum in 1930's Brooklyn public school?
Gentle Rose
Setting: 1930's Brooklyn
Searched: history of education, Brooklyn public schools 1930s, education during great depression, teaching the trail of tears

In my story, I have Captain America a WWII soldier from Brooklyn ending up in the 21st century. He is getting tutored in the several decades of history he missed, but in the process, Darcy his history tutor mentions the Trail of Tears, and he has no idea what it is. [Said tutor starts to go over more history with him...]

Said tutor starts to go over more history with him, and much of the story is Steve, the soldier, realizing how much he doesn't known about the country he is supposed to represent. Much of the story surrounds him trying to make-up the difference, so to speak.

He went to public school in Brooklyn, and is of Irish working class descent. While he was always very poor, he had some money left over from his dead parents, and with the help of Bucky a friend who was able to help support him, he managed to finish high school and even get in a bit of art school before having to drop out to work.

Is this gap in his education feasible? I know that there are schools today that gloss over American genocides and human rights tragedies, or skip them all together - my mother, just a few years ago, was barred from teaching a class about the Trail of Tears. But is that a recent thing or is it feasible that Steve did not learn this, as well as a lot of other stuff that puts America/the West in a bad light, in the history cirriculum he would have received in public school during the Great Depression?

And going on that, how familiar would someone with that educational background be with world history in general? A different section of the story has him learning more about non-European-centric world history, but this idea was another reflection of modern education (namely my own frustrations with how similar World History and European History were in high school, when the latter was supposed to be only a portion of the former instead of the majority of it). Would a Euro-centric view on world history have been standard during that era and in that area? If not, what would World History have taught? Or would someone like Steve have learned World History at all, or is the idea of World History another modern educational standard?</lj-spoilers>

Seat Belts on Shuttle Buses in New York?
marcus 2013
For story purposes various characters are aboard a shuttle bus transporting passengers from Newark Airport to Grand Central Station in New York. It needs to be a regular service, not a chartered bus. Two of the passengers intend to kidnap a third - my tentative plan is to crash the bus and have the kidnapping take place in the confusion that follows. The thing that tips off the hero, if possible, will be that the kidnappers fasten their seatbelts at a certain point, always assuming that these buses have seatbelts. Searches I've tried to check the laws on this keep coming up with information on school buses, which really doesn't help much, and the most suitable bus company I've found, NYC Airporter, doesn't say or show pictures that might answer the question; the other companies I checked have buses that are smaller than suits my plot.

The facilities listed for these buses are WiFi, climate controlled, leather reclining seats, overhead storage, reading lights, ADA accessible, power outlets, video monitors. But seat belts aren't mentioned.

So does anyone have any experience with buses like this, and any idea if they have seat belts?

later - apparently not, or at least it is VERY uncommon. Since I don't want to have to explain why the bus has seat belts etc. I'll rethink this part of the plot.

Prosecutor/Detective relationship, Current Day New York
Setting: Modern day | New York City, NY

Story Background: This is probably the product of watching one too many Law and Order episodes. (But it's not L&O fanfiction in the sense that none of the characters make an appearance.) I want to write about a NYPD homocide detective and an Assistant District Attorney getting hooked up (for lack of a better term) and eventually getting married. However my friend cautioned me that in some countries' legal systems two people in their positions would not be able to publicly acknowledge their relationship without getting reassigned or even fired due to conflict of interest. I am not sure how this works in New York.

Terms researched: "can a prosecutor have a relationship with a detective", "prosecutor code of conduct". Variations of such. This matter was not mentioned in American Bar Association's model rules. I WAS able to find a piece of news about a Prosecutor-Detective husband-and-wife team but it was twenty years ago in Texas.

My questions:

1. In current day New York City, can a prosecutor (namely an Assistant District Attorney) and a NYPD detective publicly have a relationship?

2. If yes, are there any caveats? (For example, will they still be able to work on the same cases?)

3. If no, is there anything they can do to circumvent this problem (as they both love their job and wouldn't want to quit)?

And if anybody have any information about to what extent do prosecutors and detectives work together on a case, I would love to hear it too.

Thank you very much!

Notable streets and crimes in New York, 1930s - 1940s
Holmes: Discombobulate
Been doing a bit of Googling on this myself, but as a Brit, this is a little foreign to me. Every city has its notable, unique streets - I'm wondering about ones in New York. Are there any particular spots that are good for certain shops, or where important events happened? (If anyone can help me with this, I'd also like to know about some streets that were the sites of fairly important/notorious crimes in the 1930s to the late 40s.)

The Late 80's Drug Scene of NYC & Treatment for PTSD
Do you google?
Searches:  1) "drug culture of the 80's", "drugs in the 1980's", "popular drugs of the 80s", "Late 80's drug use", "MDMA in the 80's",
                    "speed in the 80s", "club drugs"
                     2) "Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress", "PTSD medication", "treating ptsd in the 80's", "history of ptsd treatment" and variants
Sites Used: Google, Wikipedia, Erowid, and this archive
Setting: New York City, 1986

This a two part question since I've gotten a little stuck. I've gotten to a point where my character, a young man who'd been crippled in a near fatal assault, has gone to see a dealer to make a trade. As of this point, I've got him trading Xanax for speed (Dexedrine) and ends up getting some MDMA pills from the dealer as a "sorry for trying to kill you due to a bout of psychosis" bonus.  But this leads to the first problem: just what kind of drugs were available (legally and otherwise) and in demand at this point. My research keeps bring up the staples of cocaine and crack, but I like the effects MDMA since it fits what I'm going for with this character as having mounting problems with amphetamine/stimulant abuse.

The second question is just how was posttraumtic stress disorder treated during the 80's? What I've been able to find deals mainly with either focuses on the military or are current practices. I wish to hint that my character is undergoing treatment for PTSD but I don't want to outright state that fact. Hence the choice of Xanax (alprazolam) being prescribed to him, along with his self-medicating.

I would greatly appreciate any input on either of these topics and thank you all in advance.

Transgender terminology and availability of medical treatment in the 1930s-40s
Hello! I have some questions relating to being FTM transgender in New York City in the 1930s-40s, in a world where I have some wiggle room with science/technology of the time, but should remain pretty close to the real world if possible. I'm trans myself and drawing on a lot of personal experiences for the character's mental health, dysphoria, and so on, but I know very little about what resources would have been available. I have been reading the Transgender portal on Wikipedia (particularly the Transgender American History article, which talked mostly about instances of it and specific people, but not so much about medical attitudes) and I have checked the ~transgender tag here and Googled various combinations of transgender, transsexuality, 1930s, 1940s, transgender history. This led me to some reading about Dr. Alan Hart and a handful more, but little that addresses my specific questions. Assume for the purpose of the following questions that the character has been able to locate physicians/etc with progressive enough attitudes that he hasn't had to undergo a lot of nastiness with regard to treatment specifically.

First set of questions: in the stated time frame, would a physician know of the effects of testosterone injections, and would this be something a doctor might suggest? Would the hormone even be available? What other treatments might be used to try and shape the body, the voice, et cetera? Would surgery be plausible (specifically top/mastectomy--it seems that a hysterectomy would be possible, but that's not what I'm looking for here), and would there be a lot of scarring, would the resulting chest structure look pretty natural? How costly might any of these treatments be?

Regarding medical attitudes/research, I did find this article, which was useful for when and how studies and procedures were taking place, but pertains mostly to Europe. It also doesn't cite sources, so I'm not sure how to verify its accuracy.

Second set of questions: what vocabulary was used for a transgendered person, or for being transgendered? What might medical professionals use to refer to someone who is FTM? How might he refer to himself? Were there any specific slurs for, for example, FTM crossdressers?

Finally, how would someone who identified as FTM go about finding other like-minded people, physicians who were safe to see, et cetera? Was there a trans*-friendly space in the existing gay culture?

Thank you very, very much in advance. I know this is a ton of questions, and I really appreciate any information or any new directions you can point me towards.

Subway Operator
mgs hello scientist
Hi everyone, first time poster here! I'm writing a story in which the main character works in the subway. i haven't fully decided yet if he's going to actually drive or have some other job (possibly maintenance related?) but my basic problem is that the only thing I know about the subway is how to ride it. So I was hoping someone could come to my aid and tell me: 

A) What the job of a subway driver actually entails 
B) What are some other regular jobs in the subway, and what they entail

Thank you all so much, and sorry if my question is poorly worded! 

ETA: This is specifically about the New York subway, sorry guys! 

[ANON POST] Tracking of a car GPS
music, serious face
My fic is set at the present time, in New York city to be exact.

So I thought the police could really track you through the GPS on your car, but looking around I found this page ( saying it can't be done. Since this was the only page I could find that actually talked about this, (most of the articles or news reports I found talked about the police installing a tracking device in your car and whether it could be done freely (without a warrant or court order)) I'm not sure if what it says on this page is true or not. I would appreciate if someone could clarify this for me.

And If it can be done, my original question is if a detective can track a car GPS and access to information of the last places the person has visited without a warrant or court order, knowing only the car's plate number. And if all of this is possible, if he can do it with a car out of the state, Baltimore in this case.

My search terms were: can the police track you GPS?, police GPS tracking, tracking a car GPS, and the like, but as I said before, most talked about the police installing a tracking device in your car, not what i was really looking for.

Thanks in advance!

custody of orphaned child blood relative vs nominated guardian
TIMELINE: New York City, 1992-1994

SITUATION: A five year old girl is orphaned in an apartment building fire. Her only known blood relative, a great-uncle, shows up at the hospital where she's being treated for smoke inhalation to claim her (he has papers to prove the relationship) and takes her home with him.
However, the girl's parents have filed wills which nominate the girl's godparents as her guardian in case of their deaths. Once they hear about the fire (maybe two days later?) they contact the parents' attorney about her location.
All these characters live in NYC, if that helps. The great uncle in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the girl in a different section of Brooklyn, and the godparents in Queens.

1) the great uncle is in his fifties, and the girl or her parents have only met him face to face once or twice before this (he's kept in touch with christmas cards and such). He's very good at projecting a harmless appearance, and can 'boost' his powers of persuasion to make people do what he wants (like, say, persuade a tired and harrassed social worker that he's a fit guardian for the next two months or so).

2) the godparents are only in their early to mid twenties - both are employed, but at fairly low-paid jobs. They're not married, but they've been a couple for several years (they actually met at the girl's christening). However, they've been in constant contact with the girl growing up, and love her dearly. They are also happy to adopt her formally, and willing to move to her old neighbourhood in Brooklyn if it will help her adjust. They are not only the legal nominees, they truly believe the little girl would be better off with them.

3) the girl and her parents aren't the only victims of the fire. Would it be feasible that in the confusion it would take two days or so for social services to catch up with the great uncle? I can only think that someone from the hospital would have automatically contacted them about the minor child, but it would take them several hours for someone to show up, only to be told that the child's been taken into custody by a relative. How soon would a home visit be arranged? And how many home visits, and at what intervals, would take place afterward due to a custody battle?

SPOILERS: The Great Uncle is actually a practitioner of black magic (thus the 'persuasion' boost), who started the fire that killed the parents himself, in order to get his hands on the girl. The idea is that he manages to keep her for two months or so, in order for certain astrological conditions to be met - then finds he doesn't need to use the girl to get what he wants. He then contacts social services and offers to turn her over to the godparents, claiming he's too old and set in his ways (could even throw in a serious illness as garnish) to raise her, and he's happy to sign papers giving up custody. She won't have any further contact, legal or otherwise, with the great-uncle during his lifetime. The godparents take her to live with them in Queens, formally adopting her.

I've googled custody hearings, custody battles, blood vs nominated guardianship, but I only get results for current-day situations.

Living arrangement in NYC in the 1960s

So, I'm writing a fic about two characters from modern day UK who are stranded in New York in the 1960s (take a wild guess which fandom). I've never been to New York and have only a vague idea about how the city is laid out. I've been looking at Google maps, Wikipedia,, and going through the community back posts. Some questions:

  1. How difficult would it be for an obviously English man without papers to find work/housing in New York City during the late 1960s? Where might a man in this situation end up living? (I'm planning for him to fake an ID eventually, but I want to know what kind of struggles he might have during his early days)

  1. What would be a typical salary for a male nurse in New York during the late 1960s- early 1970s. MSN careers indicates that $9,740 would be the amount a nurse would have made in 1960 if salaries have remained consistent with inflation for the past 50 years. is indicating 141 dollars a week for a general nurse in the 1960s. Does this seem accurate?

  1. Assuming that he does make 141 dollars a week (I'll adjust based on question answers) where would be a plausible place for this man to be living in 1968? I would prefer for him to not have room mates and to live somewhere reasonably close (by subway or by foot) to both a hospital and Central Park.

  1. The woman will be in the city in 1959 and will end up with a bookstore/coffee shop with a loft to live in. What would be a good, bohemian sort of neighbourhood for her to end up living in? I've got an idea that the Village is the best place, but any other suggestions would be much appreciated, especially since I don't know a huge amount about the city.

Terms searched:

For question 1: New Immigrant New York 1960s, Without papers in New York 1960s, finding housing in New York without papers 1960s (I ended up with a lot of results on Puerto Rican migrants and immigration history but nothing really saying where a person without papers would live and work)

For question 2: Various combinations of male/nurse/salary/1960s/New York/USA

For figuring out where the characters would live, I'm stumped. I really don't know what search terms to use. I've tried looking at street maps and reading the community backposts. I've also gone through a few issues of New York magazine. Mostly what I'm getting is that housing prices were really starting to jump around the mid-late 1960s but that doesn't help me figure out where the characters would be living.

inheritance tax in new york city / real estate
all you need is chocolate
TIME/LOCATION: 2012, New York City (specifically brooklyn)

SITUATION: a pair of distant cousins learn they have inherited the estate of their mutal great-uncle; he died intestate, and the cousins inherited by default after being traced by the probate office. The estate consists of a four-story (with basement) brownstone in Brooklyn, which was bought around WW2 and has passed down in a direct line. The great-uncle also ran an antiques shop out of the ground-floor level. The GU (for reasons of his own) wasn't one for paperwork, so it was very difficult for the probate office to find out the exact income of the store.

1) what kind of inheritance tax would they have to pay in actual money? (ballpark figure is fine)

2) Could they get some kind of installment plan to pay the tax?(one of the cousins has recently been honorably discharged from the army and the other is a graduate student on sabbatical.) Or would they have to, say, get a bank loan to pay off the tax at once?

3) near the end of the story, the cousins (for plot reasons) decide to take over the antique store and run it themselves. They've also become friends with an old acquaintance of the GU who worked on commission for him as a buyer, and is willing to do the same for them. Would running a business out of the building affect the above at all? What if their new friend bought in as a partner - would he be expected to pay any of it (I don't think so, but best to check)? Would that count as some kind of income to affect a possible installment plan?

4) originally, the cousins planned to sell the building; what kind of sum could they have expected for selling/renting out the building? (the ground floor is retail; the top three floors are bare-bones apartments) it's in good condition, but needs a great deal of updating; most of the fixtures haven't been upgraded since the 1980's or so.

previously searched: inheritance tax+US; brooklyn; real estate, NYC;