As a child my name was "R. J."
That may have been the only hint that I was destined for a life in animation in New York.
I was looking at an older essay of John Canemaker which mentioned that J. R. Bray's studio -the first professional animation on the planet Earth -was on 26th Street.
Hey, our studio is on 26th Street! How cool would it be if we were at the same address?
Turns out they were a few blocks down on 23 E. 26th Street across from Madison Square Park. By 1914, when he took the offices, the area was no longer the outskirts of town. Less than ten years earlier, the first "Crime of the Century" took place a few doors down when Stanford White was shot dead in the rooftop restaurant of the (second) Madison Square Garden.
Gunplay aside, Mr. Bray had a superior location. I imagine the young Fleischers, Paul Terry, and dozens of other future luminaries would have appreciated the proximity to a restful lunchtime hangout as much as animators today. They may have even stood in line for an hour at a WWI version of Shake Shack.
While our work is a very distant relative to "Colonel Heeza Liar" and other Bray staples -I suspect he would have produced products closer to "Wonder Pets" or "Little Einsteins" if he were producing today -I do appreciate the geographic proximity to the ghosts of this haunted artform.