Author: ljspencer

Abandoned Places

The Unfinished Church

At first, the church looks like a centuries old Gothic ruin: the stained glass windows are missing, as are the roof and spire. Left open to the elements, a fine layer of grass covers the floor where the aisle, pews and pulpit would have once been. You’d think you’d stepped […]

Abandoned Places

Manhattan’s Lost Avenue

In the Society Archives the other day, we were looking at a map of New York City from 1909, and noticed something unusual. The familiar Avenues ran up and down the island, from 1st to 12th, including some of the most famous streets in the world – Madison, Park, Fifth. […]

Cocktail Hour

Dicke Wirtin, das Alt Berliner

In a city that has seen such tumultuous upheaval, it is always enjoyable to find an authentic taste of the old Berlin. In Charlottenburg there is just such a place: a charming, old fashioned bar & restaurant called Dicke Wirtin, that’s been serving pork knuckles, pilsner & schnapps since the […]

Adventure Travel

A Prison Island from the Civil War

This week, we’re setting sail for a little known island, home to an abandoned Civil War prison, and links to the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Far flung desert islands often capture the imagination as idyllic places to escape to. But there is an island the Gulf of Mexico that is so […]

Cocktail Hour

Auerbachs Keller – Goethe’s Favourite Bar

Here at the SGE, we always enjoy bars that have a literary twist. So when we were exploring Leipzig recently, we were delighted to find nothing less than Goethe’s favourite bar! The Auerbachs Keller is the second oldest establishment in the grand old city, and has been serving fine wines […]

Adventure Travel

A Desert Island of Ruins & Shipwrecks

Most travellers head to the Caribbean in search of a relaxing, tropical paradise. Here at the SGE however, we prefer our island visits to have a touch of danger and adventure! We heard of a small, uninhabited island, home only to ruins once used to quarantine slaves, a forgotten graveyard, […]

Cocktail Hour

In’t Aepjen, Amsterdam’s Monkey Bar

For today’s Bar of the Week, we’re stopping by one of the oldest bars in the historic city of Amsterdam, In’t Aepjen, to discover a rather peculiar way of paying your bar bill hundreds of years ago! After Amsterdam was destroyed by fire in 1452, the old city was rebuilt […]

Secret Histories

The Vanderbilt’s Abandoned Salt Water Pool

The Vanderbilts were once the richest family in America. Bankrolled by Cornelius Vanderbilt’s vast shipping and railroad empire, they spent money in an astonishing fashion during the Gilded Age, until it all disappeared, in what has become known as ‘The Fall of the House of the Vanderbilts’. The most storied […]