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Invite for April 2009 MAGIC Party
PASSWORD: Ritz Thrift Shop (or "You don’t need a million to look like a million")

Ritz Thrift Shop Ritz Fur - NYC Magic Garden party for native New Yorkers"Some women lunch at The Plaza, ski in St. Moritz, and buy expensive furs every year. Some women just look that way…" And "You don’t need a million to look like a million."
Yes, these are the wonderful advertising words of Ritz Thrift Shop, now simply Ritz Furs. Ritz Thrift Shop was founded by Aaron Kaye, who made his initial fortune at the age of 16 selling eggs during Alaska's Gold Rush in the 1890s. Kaye opened The Ritz Thrift Shop in New York City during the Great Depression. Check out the infamous commercial on Youtube. If there's a problem with Youtube, check it out in black and white here.

1934 saw the beginning of Ritz Thrift Shop. Here are some other nifty events that occurred in NYC in 1934:
  • February 9, 1934 was the lowest recorded temperature in NYC history: a whopping -15 degrees.
  • The Apollo Theater held its first "colored revue" in 1934, becoming the entertainment capital of Harlem. Ella Fitzgerald made her singing debut at 16 at the Apollo's Amateur Hour. She had originally intended to go on stage to dance, but intimidated by a local dance duo - the Edwards Sisters, who had just performed, she opted to sing instead. She won first prize that night ($25) singing Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy."
  • Fiorello H. LaGuardia became mayor. One of his goals was to clean up the police force, which was done with a vengeance by chief inspector Lewis Valentine. Valentine is said to have told the force, "Be good or be gone. The day of influence is over. There is no room in the department for parasites and drones." Valentine was named police commissioner and was so tough with weeding out the bad eggs in the force that by September 1938 he had personally fired 221 dirty cops, and more than 70 others had committed suicide. In 1942, he became the city's longest serving police commissioner, and by then there were 123 police suicides.
  • The United States Supreme Court ordered an end to ocean dumping, which resulted in NYC opening 90 dumps and landfills. A dump opened on the Crotona Park Golf Course on August 2.

The glorious and iconic Ritz Thrift Shop commercial began airing in 1975. Other notable NYC events that year include:

  • The subway fare rose from 35 cents to 50 cents.
  • Welcome Back Kotter, The Jeffersons, and Barney Miller all aired for the first time.
  • Gage & Tollner on Brooklyn's Fulton Street became the first restaurant interior designated a landmark. It opened in 1879, closed in 2004, and the restaurant is slated to be the new home of an Arby's. Wow. Just like historic banks becoming CVS and Duane Reade.
  • The first residential building opened on Roosevelt Island - Island House.
  • The Borough of Richmond was officially renamed the Borough of Staten Island.
  • Illuminated advertisements (those pyramid-like billboards) first appeared on the roofs of taxicabs.

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