The Bowery Boys: New York City History

By Bowery Boys Media

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Subscribers: 990
Reviews: 1

jim Ragona
 Nov 12, 2019
this podcast is wonderful. so interesting! I am from New Jersey and I love finding out the story behind my memories.


New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people know the city's familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it?

Episode Date
The War on Newspaper Row
EPISODE 336 The newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst -- the New York World and the New York Journal -- were locked in a fierce competition for readers in the mid 1890s. New Yorkers loved it. The paper's sensational style was so shocking that it became known as "yellow journalism". So what happens when those flamboyant publications are given an international conflict to write about? On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine mysteriously exploded while stationed in Havana Harbor in Cuba. While President McKinley urged calm and patience, two New York newspapers jumped to a hasty conclusion -- Spain had destroyed the ship! The Spanish-American War allowed Hearst (with Pulitzer playing catch up) fresh opportunities to sell newspapers using exaggerated reports, melodramatic illustration and even outlandish stunts. (Think Hearst on a yacht, barreling into conflicts where he didn't belong.) But in 1899, with the war a distant memory, the publishers faced a very different battle -- one with their own newsboys, united against the paper's unfair pricing practices. It's a face-off so dramatic, they wrote a musical about it! PLUS: How have the legacies of Pulitzer and Hearst influenced our world to this day? And where can you find the remnants of their respective empires in New York City today? This is Part Two of our two-part series on Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Listen to Episode 335 (Pulitzer vs. Hearst: The Rise of Yellow Journalism) before listening to this show.  Support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon, the patronage platform where you can support your favorite content creators for just a small contribution. Visit for more information.  Support the show:
Aug 07, 2020
Pulitzer vs Hearst: The Rise of Yellow Journalism
In the 1890s, powerful New York publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst engaged in an all-out battle for readers of their respective newspapers, developing a flamboyant, sensational style of coverage today referred to as "yellow journalism". This battle between the New York World and the New York Journal would determine the direction of the American media landscape and today we still feel its aftermath -- from melodramatic headlines to the birth of eyewitness reporting and so-called "fake news".  The two men come from very different backgrounds. Pulitzer, a Hungarian immigrant who started his publishing empire in St. Louis, used the World to highlight injustices upon the working class and to promote worthy civic projects (like the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty). Hearst, himself the wealthy publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, entered the New York publishing world, specifically aimed at competing with Pulitzer. In many ways, he "out-Pulitzered" Pulitzer, creating extraordinary daily publications which appealed to all types of New Yorkers. (Even children!) In Part One of this two-part series, we introduce you to the two publishers and meet them on a battlefield of newsprint and full-page headlines -- located on just a couple short blocks south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon, the patronage platform where you can support your favorite content creators for just a small contribution. Visit for more information.  Support the show:
Jul 31, 2020
Land of the Lenape: A Violent Tale of Conquest and Betrayal
The story of the Lenape, the native people of New York Harbor region and their experiences with the first European arrivals — the explorers, the fur traders, the residents of New Amsterdam. Before New York, before New Amsterdam — there was Lenapehoking, the land of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of the places we call Manhattan, Westchester, northern New Jersey and western Long Island. This is the story of their first contact with European explorers and settlers and their gradual banishment from their ancestral land. Fur trading changed the lifestyles of the Lenape well before any permanent European settlers stepped foot in this region. Early explorers had a series of mostly positive experiences with early native people. With the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, the Lenape entered into various land deals, “selling" the land of Manhattan at a location in the area of today’s Inwood Hill Park. But relations between New Amsterdam and the surrounding native population worsened with the arrival of Director-General William Kieft, leading to bloody attacks and vicious reprisals, killing hundreds of Lenape and colonists alike. Peter Stuyvesant arrives to salvage the situation, but further attacks threatened any treaties of peace.  But the time of English occupation, the Lenape were decimated and without their land. And yet, descendants of the Lenape live on today in various parts of the United States and Canada.  All that and more in this tragic but important tale of New York City history. Visit our website for more images illustrating the events from this week's show: This episode was originally released in June 2016.  Support the show:
Jul 24, 2020
Midnight Cowboy (Bowery Boys Movie Club)
EPISODE 334: It's summer in the city, so we're re-issuing our Bowery Boys Movie Club podcast devoted to Midnight Cowboy, the 1969 buddy film starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. There are few time capsules of New York’s darker days quite as pleasurable as Midnight Cowboy.  It’s hardly as provocative as when it was released in May 1969, but its ragged edges have only become more remarkable to view as a piece of history, paying tribute to an era often romanticized today. If you’ve never seen the film — don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it, scene by scene, with some history and bad jokes thrown in. Or you could stop and watch it now, and then listen — it’s up to you!  Be sure to check out our blog post about Midnight Cowboy, which includes filming locations around the city. This episode is made possible by our supporters on Patreon, and is part of our patron-only podcast series "Bowery Boys Movie Club". Join us on Patreon to access all Movie Club episodes, along with other patron-only audio, Support the show:
Jul 17, 2020
Super City: The Secret Origin of Comic Books
A history of the comic book industry in New York City, how the energy and diversity of the city influenced the burgeoning medium in the 1930s and 40s and how New York’s history reflects out from the origins of its most popular characters. In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzee helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book. Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City. What’s Spider-Man without a tall building from which to swing? But not only are the comics often set here; the creators were often born here too. Many of the greatest writers and artists actually came from Jewish communities in the Lower East Side, Brooklyn or the Bronx. For many decades, nearly all of America’s comic books were produced here.  Unfortunately that meant they were in certain danger of being eliminated entirely during a 1950s witch hunt by a crusading psychiatrist from Bellevue Hospital named Frederic Wertham. FEATURING a special chat with comics historian Peter Sandersonabout the unique New York City connections of Marvel Comics’ most famous characters. Sanderson is the author of The Marvel Comics Guide to New York CityandThe Marvel Encyclopedia. WITH: The Yellow Kid, Little Orphan Annie, Batman, Doctor Strange and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! The episode is a rebroadcast of a show which first aired on July 24, 2015.   Support the show:
Jul 10, 2020
Tearing Down King George: The Monumental Summer of 1776
EPISODE 333 Two hundred and fifty years ago this summer, during America's colonial era, New York City received its very first commissioned public sculptures. The greatest of these was the monumental statue of King George III which once sat in Bowling Green park at the tip of Manhattan island.  Six years later, on July 9, 1776, angry New Yorkers violently tore down that statue of King George and, as the story goes, rendered his body into bullets used in the battles of the Revolutionary War.  But how did this statue get to New York in this first place? In this episode, take a trip back to the city right before the war, when the city was split into those sympathetic to the Tories and those to the Sons of Liberty, an early organization dedicated to the liberty of the American colonies. FEATURING A young Alexander Hamilton, that rascal Cadwallader Colden and an unsung hero named William Pitt Support the show:
Jul 03, 2020
Welcome to Yorkville: German Life on the Upper East Side
EPISODE 332 The Manhattan neighborhood of Yorkville has a rich immigrant history that often gets overlooked because of its location on the Upper East Side, a destination usually associated with wealth and high society. But Yorkville, for over 170 years, has been defined by waves of immigrant communities which have settled here, particular those cultures from Central and Eastern Europe -- Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs and Slovaks.  The neighborhood developed thanks to its location to various streetcar and train lines, but that proximity insured that Yorkville would evolve in quite a different way from the more luxurious Fifth Avenue just a few blocks away. Yorkville's German cultural identity was centered around East 86th Street -- aka "Sauerkraut Boulevard" -- where cafes and dance halls catered to the amusements of German Americans. The Yorkville Casino was a 'German Madison Square Garden', featuring cabaret, film, ballroom dancing and even political rallies. Does the spirit of old Yorkville still exist today? While events in the early 20th century brought dramatic change to this ethnic enclave, those events didn't entirely erase the German spirit from the city streets. In this show, we tell you where can still find the most interesting cultural artifacts of this often overlooked historical gem. This episode is brought to you by the Historic Districts Council. Funding for this episode is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Benjamin Kallos. Support the show.
Jun 26, 2020
Seneca Village: Stories of New York's Forgotten Black Communities
The history of black and African-American settlements and neighborhoods which once existed in New York City in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today we sometimes define New York City's African-American identity by the places where thriving black culture developed -- Harlem, of course, and also Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, neighborhoods that developed for groups of black residents in the 20th century. But by no means were these the first in New York City. Other centers of black and African-American life existed long before then. In many cases, they were obliterated by the growth of the city, sometimes built over without a single marker, without recognition. This is the story of a few of those places.  From the 'land of the blacks' -- the home to New Amsterdam and British New York's early black population -- to Seneca Village, a haven for freed people of color in the early 19th century that was wiped away by the need for a city park. From Little Africa -- the Greenwich Village sector for the black working class in the mid 19th century -- to Sandy Ground, a rural escape in Staten Island with deep roots in the neighborhood today. And then there's Weeksville, Brooklyn, the visionary village built to bond a community and to develop a political foothold. In this collection of short historical stories, Greg welcomes Kamau Ware (of the Black Gotham Experience) and Tia Powell Harris (formerly of the Weeksville Heritage Center) to the show. The episode is a rebroadcast of a show which first aired on June 9, 2017. Stay tuned to the end of this show for some newly written material and an update on the Black Gotham Experience and the Weeksville Heritage Center. Visit our website for more images and information. Support the show.
Jun 19, 2020
The East Side Elevateds: Life Under the Tracks
EPISODE 331 During the Gilded Age, New York City had one form of rapid transit -- the elevated railroad. The city's population had massively grown by the 1870s thanks to large waves of immigration from Ireland and Germany. Yet its transportation options -- mostly horse-drawn streetcars -- were slow and cumbersome. As a result, people rarely lived far from where they worked. And in the case of most working class New Yorkers, that meant staying in overcrowded neighborhoods like the Lower East Side. In the 1870s, New York hoped to alleviate the population pressure by constructing four elevated railroad lines -- along 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th Avenues -- in the hopes that people would begin inhabiting Upper Manhattan and the newly acquired portion of Westchester County known as the Annexed District (today's South Bronx). In this show, we focus on the two eastern-most lines and their effects on the city's growth. Take a ride with us -- through Lower Manhattan, the Lower East Side, Midtown Manhattan, Yorkville, East Harlem and Mott Haven! FEATURING an interview with elevated expert and tour guide Michael Morgenthal. This episode is brought to you by the Historic Districts Council. Funding for this episode is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Benjamin Kallos. Support the show.
Jun 12, 2020
The Silent Parade of 1917: Black Unity in a Time of Crisis
"To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue yesterday in a parade of 'silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression' inflicted upon them in this country." -- New York Times, July 29, 1917 EPISODE 330 The Silent Parade of July 28, 1917, was unlike anything ever seen in New York City -- thousands of black men, women and children marching down Fifth Avenue. Today it is considered New York's (and most likely America's) first African-American civil rights march. The march was organized by the NAACP in direct response to a horrible plague of violence against black Americans in the 1910s, culminating in the East St. Louis Riots, a massacre involving white mobs storming black neighborhoods in sheer racial animus. There were no chants or rallying cries. The women were dressed all in white, the men in black. Thousands of onlookers had lined the parade route that day out of curiosity, amusement, pride, anger and joy. How did this unusual protest come to be? How did New Yorkers really react? And why has the Silent Parade gone mostly forgotten for most Americans? FEATURING: W.E.B. Du Bois, Madam C.J. Walker, James Weldon Johnson, Lillian Wald and more Support the show.
Jun 04, 2020
The First Ambulance: The Humans (and Horses) That Saved New York
  EPISODE 329 Did you know that the first modern ambulance -- as in a 'mobile hospital' -- was invented in New York City? On June 4, 1869, America’s first ambulance service went into operation from Bellevue Hospital with a driver, a surgeon, two horses and equipment including a stretcher, a stomach pump, bandages and sponges, handcuffs, a straight-jacket, and a quart of brandy. Within just a couple years, the ambulance became an invaluable feature of New York health, saving the lives of those who might otherwise die on the streets of the city. They proved especially helpful in a riot -- of which there were many in the 19th century! In this show, you'll be introduced to a new way of thinking about urgent injuries and emergency care. True emergency medicine was not a serious factor in major hospitals until the 1960s. Yet on-the-job injuries and terrible trauma from violent crime was a perpetual problem in New York. What was life like in the city before the advent of the ambulance? How did ambulances work in the era before the telephone? PLUS: A tribute to the ambulance workers -- the EMTs, paramedics and drivers -- who have risked their lives to save those of other New Yorkers.     Support the show.
May 29, 2020
Chop Suey City: A History of Chinese Food in New York
EPISODE 328 New Yorkers eat a LOT of Chinese food and have enjoyed Chinese cuisine – either in a restaurant or as takeout – for well over 130 years. Chinese food entered the regular diet of the city before the bagel, the hot dog and even the pizza slice. In this episode, Greg explores the history of Chinese food in New York City -- from the first Mott Street kitchens in Manhattan's Chinatown to the sleek 20th century eateries of Midtown. We have one particular dish to thank for the mainstreaming of Chinese food -- chop suey. By the 1920s, chop suey had taken New York by storm, a cuisine perfect for the Jazz Age. Through the next several decades, Chinese food would be transformed into something truly American and the Chinese dining experience would incorporate neon signs, fabulous cocktails and even glamorous floor shows by the 1940s. FEATURING: Such classics as the Port Arthur Restaurant, the Chinese Tuxedo, Ruby Foo's Den, Tao, Lucky Cheng's and the eateries of 'Szechuan Valley'. PLUS: Bernstein-on-Essex and the love affair between Chinese food and Jewish New Yorkers.   Support the show.
May 22, 2020
Listener Stories: At Home In New York Part Two
EPISODE 327 This is Part Two of a special Bowery Boys podcast event featuring the voices of our listeners. What makes New York feel like home — whether you live here or not? Why do people feel comfortable in New York City -- even in troubling times? When do you officially become a New Yorker? In this episode, we focus on a few tales from New York transplants, those who were born here and moved to the city in search of employment, adventure, love -- or purpose. And stories from those native New Yorkers who have moved away but keep a part of the city with them always (and in a couple cases, we mean this literally.) ALSO: How the residents of New York City come together in crisis times. Featuring the 'origin stories' of both Tom and Greg, both of whom moved to New York City in the early 1990s. It took both the simple pleasures of urban living and major traumatic events to turn them into New Yorkers.   Support the show.
May 18, 2020
Listener Stories: At Home in New York Part One
EPISODE 326 A special episode featuring the listeners of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast. What makes New York feel like home -- whether you live here or not? What is that indefinable connection that people make with the city? Why do so many people feel a city as large as New York speaks to them personally? We asked our listeners to tell us about feeling “at home in New York," about that feeling of familiarity and nostalgia that one can feel here. Thanks to the presence of New York City in so many films, books and television shows, it's an emotion that can be felt even by those who live elsewhere. Well the listeners delivered -- in a wonderful abundance of voicemails and emails. In this episode we hear from three groups of New York City lovers: the native New Yorkers, the commuters and the frequent visitors. (In part two, we'll hear the tales of the transplants, those who, in the words of E.B. White, "came to New York in quest of something.") Support the show.
May 15, 2020
The Staten Island Quarantine War
EPISODE 325 In 1858, during two terrible nights of violence in September, the needs of the few outweighed the needs of the many when a community, endangered for decades and ignored by the state, finally reached its breaking point. In Staten Island, near the spot of today’s St. George Ferry Terminal, where thousands board and disembark the Staten Island Ferry everyday, was once America’s largest quarantine station – 30 acres of hospitals, medical facilities, shanties and doctors' homes, surrounded by a six-foot-tall brick wall. Since its construction in the year 1799, Staten Islanders had fought for the removal of the Quarantine Ground, considered a menacing danger to the health of residents and a blight upon any possible development. Yet the need for such an extensive facility at the Narrows -- the gateway to the New York Upper Bay and the Hudson River -- was so important that the state of New York mostly turned a blind eye to their wishes. And so the residents of Staten Island took matters into their own hands. Was this a case of righteous revolution in the service of safety and well-being against a tyrannical state? Or a grave and malicious act of terror? FEATURING: Cornelius Vanderbilt and two American vice presidents. And origins of New York neighborhoods, Tompkinsville, St. George and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn!     Support the show.
May 08, 2020
Moving Day! Madness and Mayhem in Old New York
EPISODE 324 At last! The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast looks at one of the strangest traditions in this city's long history -- that curious custom known as Moving Day. Every May 1st, for well over two centuries, from the colonial era to World War II, rental leases would expire simultaneously, and thousands of New Yorkers would pack their possessions into carts or wagons and move to new homes or apartments.  (Later on, October 1st would become the second ‘moving day’.) Of course, for the rest of the world May 1 would mean all different things – a celebration of spring or moment of political protest. And it would mean those things here in New York – but on a backdrop of just unbelievable mayhem in the streets. There are a few theories about the origin of Moving Day but most of them trace back the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. So why did New Yorkers continue the custom for centuries? FEATURINGDavy Crockett, The Jeffersons, Mickey Mouse and an amazing New Yorker named Amy Armstrong with a really stubborn husband. Make sure you're subscribed to the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast so you don't miss an episode. Support the show.
May 01, 2020
The Bowery Wizards: A History of Tattooed New York
EPISODE 323 Two tales from New York’s incredible history with tattooing. The art of tattooing is as old as written language but it would require the contributions of a few 19th century New York tattoo artists — and a young inventor with no tattoos whatsoever — to take this ancient art to the next level. The first documented tattoo parlor (or atelier) in the United States was a small second-floor place near the East River waterfront and close to the site of the Brooklyn Bridge. But as more sailors and seamen — the principal customers for tattoo purveyors — came to New York, more would-be tattoo artists opened shops. By the 1880s, there were a great number of professional tattooists, scattered along the waterfront and up along the Bowery. Meanwhile, over in Brooklyn, sailors in need of a fresh tattoo could head to small shops in Coney Island or near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In this episode, Greg shares two tales from New York City tattoo history: — An unsuccessful Thomas Edison invention becomes a revolutionary device for tattoo artists. The electric tattoo machine was first perfected in a tiny tattoo parlor underneath a New York elevated train in Chatham Square. — Believe it or not, tattooing was outlawed in New York City in 1961! And would remain so for 36 years. How is that even possible in a city with a vibrant music scene and iconic venues like CBGB just steps from the heart of Manhattan’s old tattooing industry? Support the show.
Apr 28, 2020
Nickelodeons and Movie Palaces: New York and the Film Industry 1893-1920
EPISODE 322 The historic movie studio Kaufman Astoria Studios opened 100 years ago this year in Astoria, Queens. It remains a vital part of New York City's entertainment industry with both film and television shows still made there to this day. The Museum of the Moving Image resides next door in a former studio building. To honor this anniversary, we are re-issuing a new version of one of our favorite shows from the back catalog -- New York City and the birth of the film industry. New York City inspires cinema, but it has also consistently manufactured it. Long before anybody had heard of Hollywood, New York and the surrounding region was a capital for movies, the home to the earliest American film studios and the inventors who revolutionized the medium. It began with Thomas Edison's invention of the Kinetoscope out in his New Jersey laboratory. Soon his former employees would spread out through New York, evolving the inventor's work into entertainments that could be projected in front of audiences. By the mid 1900s, New Yorkers fell in love with nickelodeons and gasped as their first look at moving pictures. Along the way, films were made in locations all throughout the city -- from the rooftop of Madison Square Garden to a special super-studio in the Bronx. This is a special 'director's cut' of a podcast we first released on February 18, 2011. For more information, visit our website.   Support the show.
Apr 24, 2020
Lauren Bacall ... At Home At The Dakota Apartments
EPISODE 321 The Hollywood icon and Broadway star Lauren Bacall lived at the Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side for 53 years. Her story is intertwined the Dakota, a revolutionary apartment complex built in 1884. In this episode, we tell both their stories. Bacall, born Betty Joan Perske, the daughter of Jewish Eastern European immigrants, worked her way from theater usher to cover model at a young age, then became a movie star before she was 20 years old. Her film pairings with husband Humphrey Bogart define the classic Hollywood era. After Bogart died, she returned to New York City to reinvent her career, her sights aimed at the Broadway stage. And she chose the Dakota as her home. Built by Singer Sewing Machine president Edward Clark, the Dakota was a pioneer of both apartment-style living and of living, generally speaking, on the Upper West Side. This is the story of second and third acts -- both for an woman of grit and independent spirit and for a landmark with a million stories to tell (and a million more to come).   Support the show.
Apr 21, 2020
Hart Island: The Loneliest Place in New York
Few people are allowed to go onto Hart Island, the quiet, narrow island in the Long Island Sound, a lonely place in sight of the bustling community of City Island. For more than 150 years, Hart Island has been New York's potter's field, the burial site for more than one million people -- unclaimed bodies, stillborn babies, those who died of AIDS in the 1980s and 90s, and, in 2020, the location of burials of those who have died of COVID-19 coronavirus. Hart Island's appearance in the international press this past week has drawn attention to the severity of the pandemic in New York City, but it has also drawn attention to the island itself. By the early 19th century, this peaceful place -- most likely named for deer which may have called it home -- had already developed a violent reputation as a renegade site for boxing matches. During the Civil War, black Union troops trained here and later Confederate soldiers were imprisoned in refitted prison barracks. But in the late 1860s the city prepared the island for its eventual and longest lasting purpose. Today it is the world's largest potter's field. And thanks to groups like the Hart Island Project, New Yorkers may finally get a glimpse at this strange, forlorn place and the previously forgotten people buried here. Support the show.
Apr 17, 2020
The Tale of Charging Bull and Fearless Girl
EPISODE 319 In simpler times, thousands of tourists would flock to the northern tip of Bowling Greenin Lower Manhattan to take a picture with a rather unconventional New Yorker -- the bronze sculpture Charging Bull by Italian-American artist Arturo Di Modica. Bull is a product of the 1980s New York art scene, delivered as a gift to the New York Stock Exchange (and to the American people, according to the artist) one late night in December 1989. Nobody may have asked for this particular gift, but soon New Yorkers fell in love with the bull, and the sculpture was soon placed near Bowling Green, one of New York City's oldest public spaces. By the early 1990s, Charging Bull had become one of the most photographed pieces of art in America, beloved as both work of sculpture and a genuine, photo-friendly curiosity. But in 2017, the bull faced down an unusual new neighbor -- another bronze named Fearless Girl by Kristen Visbal. Girl soon became very popular with budding selfie-takers, but her proximity to Bull changed its fundamental meaning. An art scandal in lower Manhattan was brewing!   Support the show.
Apr 14, 2020
Moonstruck: That's Amore!
Moonstruck, the 1987 comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, not only celebrates that crazy little thing called love, but also pays tribute to the Italian working class residents of the old "South Brooklyn" neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Listen in as Greg and Tom recap the story and explore the many real New York City settings of the film -- from the glamorous Lincoln Center to the still-gritty streets of 1980s Little Italy. While the film's most recognizable location (the townhouse on Cranberry Street) is still with us, other places like the Cammareri Bros. Bakery are no longer with in business.  This podcast can be enjoyed both by those who have seen the film and those who’ve never even heard of it.   We think our take on Moonstruck might inspire you to look for the film’s many fascinating (but easy to overlook) historical details, so if you don’t mind being spoiled on the plot, give it a listen first, then watch the movie! Otherwise, come back to the show after you’ve watched it. Also: Announcing the Bowery Boys "Safe At Home" Listener Challenge Take part in a future Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast! We're looking for stories about feeling at home in New York City. As we discuss at the beginning of the show, we're looking for stories about "home in New York" from native New Yorkers, those who have moved to New York, and those who only visit New York. Just call our Bowery Boys hotline and record a message. Our number is (844) 4-BOWERY. Messages can be up to one minute long. Be sure to leave your first name and the city you’re calling from. And we’ll include as many stories as we can in our upcoming show. Thank you! Support the show.
Apr 10, 2020
Vaccinated: New York and the Polio Outbreak
EPISODE 317 In 1916 New York City became the epicenter of one of America's very first polio epidemics. The scourge of infantile paralysis infected thousands of Americans that year, most under the age of five. But in New York City it was especially bad. The Department of Health took drastic measures, barring children from going out in public and even labeling home with polio sufferers, urging others to stay away. That same year, up in the Bronx, a young couple named Daniel and Dora Salk -- the children of Eastern European immigrants -- were themselves raising their young son named Jonas. As an adult, Jonas Salk would spend his life combating the poliovirus in the laboratory, creating a vaccine that would change the world. In 1921 a young lawyer and politician named Franklin Delano Roosevelt would contract what was believed at the time to be polio. He would use his connections and power -- first as governor of New York, then as president of the United States -- to guide the nation's response to the virus. FEATURING: The story of Albert Sabin and the origin of the March of Dimes. ALSO: The second half of the show is devoted to the question -- who came up the first vaccine anyway? Presenting the story of Edward Jenner -- and a cow named Blossom. Subscribe to the Bowery Boys podcast today on your favorite podcast player.   Support the show.
Apr 07, 2020
Jenny Lind at Castle Garden
EPISODE 316 What happens when P. T. Barnum, America's savviest supplier of both humbug and hoax, decides it's time to go legit? Only one of the greatest concert tours in American history. If you've seen the film musical The Greatest Showman, you've been introduced to Jenny Lind, the opera superstar dubbed "The Swedish Nightingale". And you also know that Barnum, taken with the Swedish songstress, brings her to New York to begin a heavily promoted American debut. But the film sidesteps many of the more fascinating details. Lind was greeted like a queen and rock star when she arrived at the Canal Street dock despite most New Yorkers having never heard her sing. Her stage was Castle Garden, the former fort turned performance venue that sat in New York harbor, connected to the Battery by a small bridge. The concert proved legendary. And Lind proved herself an enterprising businesswoman, bending even the will of a profiteer like Barnum. Her financial arrangement for the tour would influence 170 years of musical performances and cement her reputation as one of the greatest vocalists of the 19th century. Support the show.
Apr 03, 2020
Abandoned Pantheon: The Hall of Fame for Great Americans
EPISODE 315 The Hall of Fame for Great Americans, founded in 1900, was a precursor to the Nobel Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a vaunted tribute to those who have contributed greatly to the development the United States of America. Located on the campus of Bronx Community College in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, the Hall of Fame features the sculpted bronze busts of 96 individuals considered worthy of renown in their day, arranged along a columned arcade designed by Stanford White. It was so important in the early 20th century that the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame derive from its example. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans even pops up in The Wizard of Oz! But today it is virtually forgotten. And no person has been elected to the Hall of Fame since the 1970s. This is the story of a university with lofty intentions, a snapshot of early 20th century optimism, and a look at a few questionable considerations of 'greatness'. *There were once 98 busts but two were removed in 2017. Support the show.
Mar 31, 2020
Tillie Hart - The Holdout of London Terrace

London Terrace, an English-inspired apartment complex, is a jewel of apartment living in the neighborhood of Chelsea. In 1929, a set of historic townhouses -- also named London Terrace -- were demolished to construct this spectacular set of buildings.

That is, all townhouses but one -- the home of Mrs. Tillie Hart, a tenacious tenant who refused to leave.

In a real-life example of the movie Up, Hart's tale is a battle between urban development and an individual's right to their longtime home -- a genuine David vs. Goliath tale on the landscape of New York City real estate.

In her favor -- the support of the public and the regular attention of the New York Daily News. Will Hart prevail?

PLUS: A history of the Chelsea neighborhood and its "godfather" Clement Clarke Moore.

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Mar 27, 2020
The Straw Hat Riots of 1922

EPISODE 313 "No man likes to have his hat snatched from his head by somebody he has not yet been introduced to."

During the month of September 1922, as summer passed into autumn, large groups of rowdy 'hoodlums' swarmed the streets of New York City, grabbing straw hats off the heads of men, leaving the gutters filled with thousands of smashed lids.

Why in the world would so many people become outraged at the sight of a straw hat?

This is the story of the ultimate fashion faux pas, Jazz Age style, and a look at the dangers of men's wear uniformity.

NOTE: As this is our first remotely recorded episode, we're a bit more slap-happy than usual. Expect an extra dosage of puns.

Special thanks to


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Mar 24, 2020
Has Jack the Ripper Come to Town? A Gilded Age Hysteria

EPISODE 312 The Whitechapel murders of 1888 -- perpetrated by the killer known as Jack the Ripper -- inspired one of the greatest cultural hysterias of the Victorian era. The idea that the Ripper could appear anywhere -- even in New York City. 

The usual vicious crimes of gang members and roughs on the Bowery were not only compared to those of the Ripper, they were often framed as though they were the Ripper himself, an omnipresent specter of evil. The sordid misdeeds of other criminals were elevated by the press in comparisons to Jack the Ripper. 

But then, in April of 1891, a crime was committed on the East River waterfront that was so brutal, so garish, that comparisons to the London killer were inevitable.
The victim was named Carrie Brown. But people along the waterfront knew her by her nickname Shakespeare (or Old Shakespeare).

This is also the story of a man named Ameer Ben Ali, an Algerian immigrant who also became a victim -- of one of the greatest instances of criminal injustice in New York City history.

This is a tale of an infamous crime, a controversial detective and an unjust conviction. And hovering over it all -- a devil, a specter of fear and violence.

Who killed Old Shakespeare?

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Mar 20, 2020
Uprising: The Shirtwaist Strike of 1909

EPISODE 311 Nobody had seen anything quite like it. In late November 1909, tens of thousands of workers went on strike, angered by poor work conditions and unfair wages within the city's largest industry.

New York City had seen labor strikes before, but this one would change the city forever.

The industry in question was the garment industry, the manufacture of clothing -- and, in the case of this strike, the manufacture of shirtwaists, the fashionable blouse worn by many American women.

The strikers in question were mostly young women and girls, mostly Eastern European Jewish and Italian immigrants who were tired of being taken advantage of by their male employers.

Leading the charge were labor leaders and activists, and in particular, a young woman named Clara Lemlich who would incite a crowd of thousands at Cooper Union with a rousing speech that would forever echo as a cry of solidarity for an underpaid and abused workforce.

PLUS: A visit to the New-York Historical Society's new exhibition Women March and an interview with Valerie Paley, co-curator and director at the Historical Society's Center for Women's History.



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Mar 06, 2020
1918: The Harlem Hellfighters

On February 17, 1919, in the waning months of World War I, the Harlem Hellfighters – officially the 369th Infantry Regiment, originally a New York National Guard division that had just come from intense battle in France – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support and love.

The Hellfighters were comprised of young African-American men from New York City and the surrounding area, its enthusiastic recruits made up of those who had arrived in the city during a significant period of population migration from the Reconstruction South to (only slightly) more tolerant Northern cities.

They were not able to serve in regular American military units because of segregation, but because of an unusual series of events, the regiment instead fought alongside the French in the trenches, for 191 days in the year 1918, more than any other American unit during the war.

They became legends. They were known around the world for their valor, ferocity and bravery. This is the story of New York musicians, red caps, budding painters, chauffeurs and teenagers just out of school, serving their country in a way that would become legendary.

FEATURING the voices of World War I veterans telling their own stories. PLUS some brilliant music and a story from Barack Obama (okay it’s just a clip of the former president but still.)

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Feb 21, 2020
What Gets Saved? Landmarks & Historic Districts Explained

They're tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How can this be?

Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit and personality of the city.

In the 1960s, in the wake of the demolition of Pennsylvania Station and other beloved historic structures, the New York City Landmarks Law was enacted, granting the city powers to protect its most precious endangered places.

Walking down the beautiful street and see a brown street sign instead of the usual green? You're in a historic district.

But preservation can be a tricky business; after all, the city is basically imposing rules about how someone else’s private property, in most cases, should look and be maintained. How do you preserve the past amid a rapidly changing metropolis

In this episode, we present a sort of "landmarking 101", mapping the history of the New York City preservation movement and looking at the surprising and sometimes mysterious process of landmarking. It's everything you’ve wanted to know about landmarks (but were afraid to ask)!


Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director, Historic Districts Council
Peg Breen, President, New York Landmarks Conservancy
— Anthony C. Wood, Board Member, New York Preservation Archive Project and author of Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City’s Landmark

This show was recorded live at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, as part of the Brooklyn Podcast Festival

Visit our website for more information and images from this show.


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Feb 07, 2020
Andrew Carnegie and New York's Public Libraries

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie -- one of the richest Americans to ever live -- began giving his money away.

The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries -- railroads, bridge building, iron and steel.

In the age of the monopoly, Gilded Age moguls often made their money in ways we might consider unethical and illegal today. But Carnegie's view of his wealth was quite different than that of his rarefied clubhouse peers

Carnegie devoted his latter years to philanthropy, primarily devoting his energies to the creation of libraries across the country.

By the late 19th century, the New York City area already had dozens of libraries and reading rooms throughout the future five boroughs.  But they were certainly not welcoming to every person. And those circulating libraries that were available were limited and woefully overburdened.

Carnegie's unprecedented financial gift to the city would jump start the city's nascent library systems (the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Public Library) and broaden their reach into communities with the development of dozens of new branch libraries.

In this episode, we are joined by Adwoa Adusei and Krissa Corbett Cavouras, hosts of the Brooklyn Public Library podcast Borrowed, who give the Bowery Boys a tour of one of Carnegie's most popular New York City libraries.

In the winter of 1908, thousands stood in line to visit the new Brownsville branch library. How do treasured structures like Brownsville continue to serve the needs of the neighborhood in the 21st century? Are Carnegie libraries, most of which still stand, prepared for the future?



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Jan 23, 2020
The Holland Tunnel: The Wonder of the Jazz Age

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think.

Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for the city's many waterfront industries, there was mostly only one option --- barges and ferries that carried cargo across the crowded Hudson River, maneuvering through an overcrowded port system which profited from the grotesque congestion.

And then along came the automobile, rapidly transforming the American way of life. How could an average motorist -- or a regular cargo truck -- get back and forth to New York City in its current chaotic state?

The new tunnel envisioned by chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland would create a new pathway for motor vehicles, the first for such conveyances under the Hudson River.

Yet one pressing problem stood in the way of its completion. Railways and mass transit could travel through long, underground tunnels because their tracks were electrified. But automobiles produced poisonous exhaust -- carbon monoxide -- making a contained tunnel almost 100 feet underwater a deadly proposition.

The ingenious solution would ensure not only the success of the New York/New Jersey tunnel, but would change the fate of automobile transportation in the United States and around the world.

PLUS: The tragic story behind the naming of the Holland Tunnel

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Jan 10, 2020
Just Desserts: The Origins of New York Cheesecake, Cannoli and More

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space in downtown Manhattan

In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren't just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today.

The origins of some of these treats go way, way back -- the Dutch New Amsterdam. Others have become staples of the New York diet thanks to immigrant groups who first developed and perfected them in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side.

So while this show may seem like a trifle, the underlying story celebrates the contributions of local communities in creating timeless food classics, served in historic bake shops, candy stores, soda fountains and cafes.

Cheesecake and cannoli are two of our five historic treats. What are the other three? Tune in and find out! (And definitely save some room after dinner for dessert.)


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Dec 26, 2019
Christmas in New York: The Lights of Dyker Heights

There's a special kind of magic to Christmas in New York City, from that colossal Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to the fanciful holiday displays in department store windows.

But in the past three decades, a new holiday tradition has grown in popularity and in a surprising quarter -- the quiet residential neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.

Every December many residents of this area of southwestern Brooklyn ornament their homes in a wild and brilliant parade of Christmas lights and decorations -- from gigantic animatronic Santas to armies of toy soldiers. This electrical spectacle draws thousands of tourists a year, attracted to this imaginative (and often mind-blowing) display of Christmas spirit.

In this episode, we look at the lights of Dyker Heights from a few angles. First we explore the history of Christmas lighting in New York City and how such displays, at first mere promotional uses of Edison lighting, brought Christmas into the secular public sphere.

Then we look at the history of Dyker Heights, tracing back to one of the first Dutch settlements and a neighborhood which has developed into a stable Italian community.

Finally, we send our researcher and producer Julia Press on an excursion into Dyker Heights to reveal the origin of the Christmas display extravaganza. Featuring an interview with one of the residents who started it all!

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Dec 12, 2019
The Miracle on Eldridge Street

The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the most beautifully restored places in the United States, a testament to the value of preserving history when it seems all is lost to ruin.

Today the Museum at Eldridge Street maintains the synagogue, built in 1887 as one of the first houses of worship in the country for Eastern European orthodox Jews. The Moorish revival synagogue, adorned in symbolic decoration and sumptuous stained glass, reflected the Gilded Age opulence of the day while keeping true to the spirit of the Jewish faith.

But by the 1950s, most of the Lower East Side's Jewish population had left for other districts, and the remaining congregation sealed off its beautiful sanctuary. For decades, it was hidden from all eyes, the ruinous space left to the ravages of deterioration. "Pigeons roosted in the balcony, benches were covered with dust, and stained glass windows had warped with time."

However, thanks to a handful of determined preservationists, this capsule of Jewish American life in the late 19th century has not only been restored, but even elevated to a new height. The Museum at Eldridge Street is not only a celebration of Jewish American culture, but a breathtaking tribute to the power of preservation.

PLUS: We discuss the birth of Jewish New York and how the city's growth directly changed the way Jewish Americans worshiped in the 19th century. Did you know that evidence of New York's very first Jewish congregation sits just a couple blocks from the foot of Eldridge Street?

And support the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast on Patreon to receive our NEW after-show conversation called THE TAKEOUT. In this week’s episode, Greg explores the history of another Lower East Side synagogue – one that suffered a less glorious fate – while Tom shares an additional scene from our interview at the synagogue.

Nov 28, 2019
Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy

The residential complexes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, built in the late 1940s, incorporating thousands of apartments within a manicured "campus" on the east side, seemed to provide the perfect solution for New York City's 20th century housing woes.

For Robert Moses, it provided a reason to clear out an unpleasant neighborhood of dilapidated tenements and filthy gas tanks. For the insurance company Metropolitan Life, the city's partner in constructing these complexes, it represented both a profit opportunity and a way to improve the lives of middle class New Yorkers. It would be a home for returning World War II veterans and a new mode of living for young families.

As long as you were white.

In the spring of 1943, just a day before the project was approved by the city, Met Life's president Frederick H. Ecker brazenly declared their housing policy: "Negros and whites don’t mix. Perhaps they will in a hundred years, but not now.” 

What followed was a nine year battle, centered in the 'walled fortress' of Stuy Town, against deeply ingrained housing discrimination policies in New York City. African-American activists waged a legal battle against Met Life, representing veterans returning from the battlefields of World War II. 

But some of the loudest cries of resistance came from the residents of Stuy Town itself, waging a war from their very homes against racial discrimination.

Nov 15, 2019
Gangs of New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

EPISODE 302 With Martin Scorsese's new film The Irishman being released this month, we thought we'd share with you an episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club that explores the director's film Gangs of New York and its rich historical details. The Bowery Boys Movie Club is an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon.

Gangs of New York is a one-of-a-kind film, Scorsese's 2002 epic based on a 1927 history anthology by Herbert Asbury that celebrates the grit and grime of Old New York.

Its fictional story line uses a mix of real-life and imagined characters, summoned from a grab bag of historical anecdotes from the gutters of the 19th century and poured out into a setting known as New York City’s most notorious neighborhood — Five Points.

Listen in as Greg and Tom discuss the film’s unique blend of fact and fiction, taking Asbury’s already distorted view of life in the mid 19th century and reviving it with extraordinary set design and art direction. The film itself was released a year after September 11, 2001, and the final cut should be looked at in that context.

Meanwhile some elements of the film are more relevant in 2019 than ever.

Should you watch the movie before you listen to this episode? This podcast can be enjoyed both by those who have seen the film and those who’ve never even heard of it. 

We think our take on Gangs of New York might inspire you to look for the film’s many fascinating (but easy to overlook) historical details, so if you don’t mind being spoiled on the plot, give it a listen first, then watch the movie! Otherwise, come back to the show after you’ve watched it. 

If you’d like to watch the movie first, it’s currently streaming on iTunes and Amazon. Or rent it from your local library.

Nov 01, 2019
Haunted Houses of Old New York

EPISODE 301 Welcome to the unlucky 13th Annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast, where history combines with folklore for a bone-chilling listening experience.

In this year's Halloween-themed special, Greg and Tom take you into some truly haunted private residences from throughout New York City history. These rowhouses, brownstones and mansion all have one thing in common -- stories of restless spirits who refuse to leave.

-- Near Madison Square Park in Manhattan, an eccentric writer posts a classified ad, hoping to rent out an attic room to a prospective subletter. Unfortunately the room already an occupant -- a greenish ghost with a troubling Civil War history.

-- The Conference House in Staten Island played an interesting role in the Revolutionary War, and some residents from that period may still wander its ancient hallways.

-- On the Upper East Side, a lavish penthouse ballroom may be permanently vexed with the ghost of a testy spirit named Mrs. Spencer. Can a legendary funny lady and a Vodou priestess manage to keep the ghoul under control?

And for the first time in Bowery Boys ghost-stories history, Greg and Tom record a segment of the show -- from within an actual haunted house. Merchant's House docent Carl Raymond joins them for a close look at the life of Gertrude Tredwell and the rooms where she lived and died -- and may, to this very day, haunt.

Oct 17, 2019
The Forgotten Father of New York City

Andrew Haswell Green helped build Central Park and much of upper Manhattan, oversaw the formation of the New York Public Library, helped found great institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo, and even organized the city's first significant historical preservation group, saving New York City Hall from demolition. 

This smart, frugal and unassuming bachelor, an attorney and financial whiz, was critical in taking down William Tweed and the Tweed Ring during the early 1870s, helping to bail out a financially strapped government. 

But Green's greatest achievement -- championing the consolidation of the cities of New York and Brooklyn with communities in Richmond County (Staten Island), Westchester County (the Bronx) and Queens County (Queens) -- would create the City of Greater New York, just in time for the dawn of the 20th century. 

Kenneth T. Jackson, editor of the Encyclopedia of New York, called Green "arguably the most important leader in Gotham's long history, more important than Peter Stuyvesant, Alexander Hamilton, Frederick Law Olmsted, Robert Moses and Fiorello La Guardia.''

So why is he virtually forgotten today? "Today not one New Yorker in 10,000 has heard of Andrew Haswell Green," wrote the New York Daily News in 2003.

In our 300th episode, we're delighted to bring you the story of Mr. Green, a public servant who worked to improve the city for over five decades. And we'll be joined by an ardent Green advocate -- former Manhattan Borough President Michael Miscione.

Oct 04, 2019
The Promenade and Preservation of Brooklyn Heights

Part Two of our series on the history of Brooklyn Heights, one of New York City's oldest neighborhoods.

By the 1880s, Brooklyn Heights had evolved from America's first suburb into the City of Brooklyn's most exclusive neighborhood, a tree-lined destination of fine architecture and glorious institutions.

The Heights would go on a roller-coaster ride with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and the transformation of Brooklyn into a borough of Greater New York. The old-money wealthy classes would leave, and the stately homes would be carved into multi-family dwellings and boarding houses.

The new subway would bring the bohemians of Greenwich Village into Brooklyn Heights, transforming it into an artist enclave for most of the century. But even with addition of trendy hotels and the Brooklyn Dodgers (whose front office was located here), the Heights faced an uncertain future.

When Robert Moses began planning his Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the 1940s, he planned a route that would sever Brooklyn Heights and obliterate many of its most spectacular homes. It would take a devoted community and some very clever ideas to re-route that highway and cover it with something extraordinary -- a Promenade, allowing all New Yorkers to enjoy the exceptional views of New York Harbor.

This drama only served to highlight the value and unique nature of Brooklyn Heights and its extraordinary architecture, leading New York to designate the former tranquil suburb on a plateau into the city's first historic district.

FEATURING: Truman Capote, Jackie Robinson, Gypsy Rose Lee, St. Ann's Warehouse, Matt Damon and the Jehovah's Witnesses!

Sep 19, 2019
The Story of Brooklyn Heights

This is the first of a two-part celebration of Brooklyn Heights, a picturesque neighborhood of architectural wonder, situated on a plateau just south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

A stroll through Brooklyn Heights presents you with a unique collection of 19th century homes -- from wooden houses to brownstone mansions, all preserved thanks to the efforts of community activists in the 20th century.

But in this episode, we'll explain how they got here. And the answer can be found on almost any street sign in the neighborhood -- Pierrrepont, Hicks, Middagh, Remsen.

Those are more than just street names. Each sign traces back to an original landholder who developed this special place in the early 19th century.  In a way, the neighborhood tells its own story.

By then, the land once known as Clover Hill had seen its share of both tranquility and drama, the former site of a Revolutionary War fort and a crucial evening in the saga of the Revolutionary War.

But in the 19th century, most Americans knew Brooklyn Heights for more than just architecture and George Washington. This was the home to respected cultural institutions and to scores of churches, so many that the borough received a very spiritual nickname.

FEATURING: Henry Ward Beecher, Robert Fulton, the Marquis de Lafayette and, of course, the Lady Montague.

Sep 05, 2019
Dr. Hosack's Enchanted Garden: Botany, Medicine, and Discovery in Old New York
Aug 23, 2019
Introducing Mob Queens
Aug 19, 2019
Talking Trash: The NYC Department of Sanitation
Aug 09, 2019
Saving the City: Women of the Progressive Era
Jul 25, 2019
That Daredevil Steve Brodie, 'King of the Bowery'
Jul 11, 2019
Secret Places of Upper Manhattan
Jun 28, 2019
Sip-In At Julius': Gay New York In The 1960s
Jun 13, 2019
The Tombs: Five Points' Notorious House of Detention
May 31, 2019
Bagels: A New York Story
May 16, 2019
Blood and Shakespeare: The Astor Place Riot of 1849
May 02, 2019
The World of Tomorrow: The New York World's Fair of 1939
Apr 19, 2019
Greenwich Village in the 1960s
Apr 04, 2019
Uncovering Hudson Yards
Mar 22, 2019
Boss Tweed's House of Corruption
Mar 08, 2019
Scott Joplin in New York: A Ragtime Mystery
Feb 23, 2019
Walt Whitman in New York and Brooklyn
Feb 08, 2019
Taxi Driver (Bowery Boys Movie Club)
Jan 31, 2019
The Treasures of Downtown Brooklyn
Jan 25, 2019
House of Mystery: The Story of the Collyer Brothers
Jan 10, 2019
#279 A New Year in Old New York: From Times Square to Chinatown
Dec 27, 2018
#278 Newark vs. LaGuardia: The Tale of Two Airports
Dec 14, 2018
#277 The New York Comedy Scene: A Marvelous History
Nov 30, 2018
#276 Murder on Bond Street: Who Killed Dr. Burdell?
Nov 16, 2018
#275 Return to Tin Pan Alley: Saving American Music History
Nov 01, 2018
#274 Ghost Stories of Hell's Kitchen
Oct 19, 2018
#273 Peter Stuyvesant and the Fall of New Amsterdam
Oct 05, 2018
#272 Life in New Amsterdam
Sep 20, 2018
Counter Culture: Diners, Automats, and Luncheonettes in New York
Sep 07, 2018
#270 Heaven on the Hudson: A History of Riverside Park
Aug 23, 2018
#269 Harry Houdini and the Golden Age of Magic in New York
Aug 09, 2018
#268 The Astonishing Saga of the Atlantic Cable
Jul 26, 2018
#267 Broadway: The Story of a Street
Jul 13, 2018
#266 New York City during the Revolutionary War (1776-1783)
Jun 29, 2018
#265 Absolutely Flawless: A History of Drag in New York City
Jun 15, 2018
#264 The Landmarks of Coney Island
Jun 01, 2018
#263 Ebbets Field and the Glory Days of the Brooklyn Dodgers
May 18, 2018
#262 Secrets of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
May 04, 2018
#261 The Huddled Masses: Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty
Apr 20, 2018
#260 Journey to Grey Gardens: A Tale of Two Edies
Apr 06, 2018
#259 Crossing to Brooklyn: How the Williamsburg Bridge Changed New York
Mar 23, 2018
#258 Tales from Tribeca History
Mar 16, 2018
#257 Frozen In Time: The Great Blizzard of 1888
Mar 07, 2018
#256 DUMBO: Life on Brooklyn's Waterfront
Mar 02, 2018
#255 The Rescue of Grand Central
Feb 23, 2018
#254 The Destruction of Penn Station
Feb 16, 2018
#253 Opening Day of the New York City Subway
Feb 09, 2018
#252 The Underground Railroad: Escape through New York
Feb 02, 2018
#251 McGurk's Suicide Hall: The Bowery's Most Notorious Dive
Jan 18, 2018
#250 The Empire State Building: Story of an Icon
Jan 12, 2018
Madam C.J. Walker: Harlem's Hair Care Millionaire
Jan 04, 2018
#248 Sitting Down with Roz Chast of the New Yorker
Dec 22, 2017
#247 Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Golden Age of Broadway
Dec 15, 2017
#246 Tales from a Tenement: Three Families on the Lower East Side
Dec 07, 2017
The Fall of the Fifth Avenue Mansions
Dec 01, 2017
The Rise of the Fifth Avenue Mansions
Nov 24, 2017
#243 New York In Neon: Signs of the City
Nov 17, 2017
#242 New York and the Dawn of Photography
Nov 10, 2017
#241 Edgar Allan Poe in New York
Oct 26, 2017
#240 The Ghosts of Greenwich Village
Oct 20, 2017
#239 Murder at the Manhattan Well
Oct 13, 2017
#238 Astoria and Long Island City
Sep 29, 2017
#237 Columbus Circle: A Century of Controversy
Sep 15, 2017
#236 Times Square in the '70s
Sep 08, 2017
The Crash of 1929: New York In Crisis
Sep 01, 2017
Queen of the Speakeasies: A Tale of Prohibition New York
Aug 18, 2017
The Roaring '20s: King of the Jazz Age
Aug 04, 2017
#232 The Story of SoHo
Jul 20, 2017
The Bowery Boys Present: The First Broadway Musical
Jul 06, 2017
#231 The Stonewall Riots Revisited
Jun 22, 2017
#230 Before Harlem: New York's Forgotten Black Communities
Jun 08, 2017
#229 Live in Brooklyn! The Bowery Boys: Ten Years of Podcasting
May 25, 2017
#228 The Pirate of Pearl Street: The New York Adventures of Captain Kidd
May 12, 2017
#227 The Hindenburg Over New York
Apr 27, 2017
#226 The Beauty Bosses of Fifth Avenue
Apr 13, 2017
#225 P. T. Barnum and the Greatest Show on Earth
Mar 31, 2017
#224 The Arrival of the Irish: An Immigrant Story
Mar 16, 2017
The Algonquin Round Table
Mar 03, 2017
#222 Who Killed Helen Jewett? A Mystery By Gaslight
Feb 16, 2017
#221 New York: Capital City of the United States
Feb 02, 2017
#220 George Washington's New York Inauguration
Jan 20, 2017
#219 Newsies on Strike!
Dec 23, 2016
#218 Lincoln Center and West Side Story
Dec 09, 2016
#217: Truman Capote's Black And White Ball
Nov 24, 2016
#216: Edwin Booth and the Players Club
Nov 11, 2016
01 The Wheel: Ferris' Big Idea ('The First' Podcast Special Preview)
Oct 28, 2016
#215 Ghosts of the Gilded Age
Oct 14, 2016
#214 Bronx Trilogy (Part Three) The Bronx Was Burning
Sep 29, 2016
#213 Bronx Trilogy (Part Two) The Bronx is Building
Sep 16, 2016
#212 Bronx Trilogy (Part One) The Bronx Is Born
Sep 01, 2016
#211 The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue
Aug 18, 2016
#210 Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games
Aug 04, 2016
#209 The Waldorf-Astoria's Complicated History
Jul 21, 2016
#208 Great Hoaxes of Old New York
Jul 07, 2016
#207 The First Subway: Beach's Pneumatic Marvel
Jun 24, 2016
#206 The Lenape: The Real Native New Yorkers
Jun 10, 2016
#205 The Disappearance of Dorothy Arnold
May 26, 2016
The Cotton Club: The Aristocrat of Harlem
May 13, 2016
#203 Nikola Tesla in New York
Apr 28, 2016
#202 The Lower East Side: A Culinary History
Apr 15, 2016
#201 GOWANUS! Brooklyn's Troubled Waters
Apr 01, 2016
#200 Jane Jacobs: Saving the Village
Mar 18, 2016
#199.5: Bowery Boys - Behind the Scenes
Mar 08, 2016
#199 Battle For The Skyline: How High Can It Go?
Feb 19, 2016
#198 Greenpoint, Brooklyn: An Industrial-Strength History
Feb 05, 2016
#197 Danger In The Harbor: The Black Tom Explosion of 1916
Jan 22, 2016
#196 Ready to Wear: A History of the Garment District
Jan 08, 2016
#195 Midnight in Times Square: New Year's Eve in New York City
Dec 10, 2015
#194 Nellie Bly: Undercover in the Madhouse
Nov 13, 2015
#193 St. Mark's Place: Party in the East Village!
Oct 30, 2015
#192 Haunted Landmarks of New York
Oct 16, 2015
#191 The Great Fire of 1776
Oct 02, 2015
#190 The Curious Case of Typhoid Mary
Sep 18, 2015
#189 TAXI: History of the New York City Taxicab
Sep 04, 2015
#188: The Murder of Stanford White
Aug 06, 2015
#187: Super City: New York and the History of Comic Books
Jul 24, 2015
#186 Hell's Kitchen: New York's Wild West
Jul 09, 2015
#185 Adventures on Governors Island
Jun 26, 2015
#184 The Flatiron Building: A Story from Three Sides
Jun 11, 2015
#183 Orchard Street: Life in the Lower East Side
May 29, 2015
Mae West: "Sex" on Broadway
May 15, 2015
#181 Park Slope and the Story of Brownstone Brooklyn
May 01, 2015
#180 The Chelsea Piers and the Age of the Ocean Liner
Apr 17, 2015
#179 The Fight for Bryant Park
Apr 03, 2015
#178: The Crystal Palace: America's First World's Fair
Mar 20, 2015
#177 The Big History of Little Italy
Feb 20, 2015
#176 Billie Holiday's New York
Jan 23, 2015
#175 Bowery Boys 2014 Year In Review
Dec 25, 2014
#174 American Kicks: A History of the Rockettes
Dec 12, 2014
#173 Ruins of the World's Fair: New York State Pavilion
Nov 14, 2014
#172 Ghost Stories of Brooklyn
Oct 16, 2014
#171 The Keys to Gramercy Park
Sep 19, 2014
The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino
Aug 22, 2014
#169 The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History
Aug 07, 2014
#168 DUEL! Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton
Jul 11, 2014
#167 Cleopatra's Needle and the Freemasons Secret
Jun 27, 2014
#166 General Slocum Disaster 1904
Jun 13, 2014
#165 Ladies' Mile
May 30, 2014
#164 The Astor Place Riot
May 01, 2014
#163 South Street Seaport
Apr 04, 2014
#162 George Washington Bridge
Mar 07, 2014
#161 Fire Department of New York (FDNY)
Feb 07, 2014
#160 Tompkins Square Park
Jan 10, 2014
#159 The Broadway Musical: Setting the Stage
Dec 13, 2013
#158 Hotel Theresa: The Waldorf of Harlem
Nov 15, 2013
#157 Early Ghost Stories of Old New York
Oct 18, 2013
#156 The Boy Mayor of New York
Sep 20, 2013
#155 Sesame Street to Seinfeld: NYC TV 1969-2013
Aug 23, 2013
#154 New York in the Golden Age of Television
Aug 02, 2013
#153 NYC and the Birth of Television
Jun 28, 2013
#152 Bellevue Hospital
May 31, 2013
#151 The Limelight: Church, Nightclub and Mall
May 03, 2013
#150 Consolidation! Five Boroughs, One Big City
Apr 05, 2013
#149 John Peter Zenger and the Power of the Press
Mar 08, 2013
#148 The Great Blizzard of 1888
Feb 08, 2013
#147 Art Insanity: The Armory Show of 1913
Jan 11, 2013
#146 Herald Square
Dec 14, 2012
#145 Bicycle Mania! From Velocipede to Ten-Speed
Nov 16, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Update
Nov 02, 2012
#144 Mysteries and Magicians of New York
Oct 19, 2012
#143 Water for New York: Croton Aqueduct
Sep 21, 2012
#142 New York University (NYU)
Aug 24, 2012
#141 New York Beer History
Jul 27, 2012
#140 Rockaway Beach
Jun 29, 2012
#139 Brooklyn Academy of Music
Jun 01, 2012
#138: St. Mark's-in-the-Bowery
May 04, 2012
New York City and the World of Radio
Apr 05, 2012
#136 High Line Walking Tour
Mar 22, 2012
#135 The High Line
Mar 09, 2012
#134 St. Patrick's Cathedral
Feb 10, 2012
#133 Red Hook: Brooklyn on the Waterfront
Jan 13, 2012
#132 Electric New York: Edison and the City Lights
Dec 16, 2011
#131 The First Apartment Building
Nov 18, 2011
#130 Haunted Histories of New York
Oct 21, 2011
#129 Chinatown
Sep 23, 2011
#128 Hoaxes and Conspiracies of 1864
Aug 28, 2011
#127 The Civil War Draft Riots
Jul 22, 2011
#126 Fernando Wood: The Scoundrel Mayor
Jul 01, 2011
#125 Sardi's Restaurant
Jun 10, 2011
#124 Idlewild/JFK Airport
May 13, 2011
#123 TRUMP
Apr 29, 2011
#122: The Grid - Commissioners Plan of 1811
Apr 15, 2011
#121 Fraunces Tavern
Mar 18, 2011
#120 NYC and the Birth of the Movies
Feb 17, 2011
#119 The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Jan 21, 2011
#118 Times Square
Dec 17, 2010
#117 Mark Twain's New York
Dec 03, 2010
#116 American Museum of Natural History
Nov 24, 2010
#115 African Burial Ground
Nov 05, 2010
#114 Supernatural Stories of New York
Oct 22, 2010
#113 Niblo's Garden
Oct 08, 2010
#112 Archibald Gracie and His Mansion
Sep 17, 2010
Subway Graffiti 1970-1989
Sep 03, 2010
#110 New York City Subway, Part 2: By the Numbers (and Letters)
Aug 20, 2010
#109 New York City Subway, Part 1: Birth of the IRT
Aug 06, 2010
#108 Cable Cars, Trolleys and Monorails
Jul 23, 2010
#107 New York's Elevated Railroads
Jul 08, 2010
#106 Staten Island Ferry
Jun 25, 2010
#105 The Newsboys Strike of 1899
Jun 11, 2010
May 28, 2010
#103: Case Files of the NYPD
May 14, 2010
#102 Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach
Apr 30, 2010
#101 The Bronx Zoo
Apr 16, 2010
#100 Robert Moses
Mar 19, 2010
#99 Madison Square Garden
Feb 19, 2010
#98 Manhattan Bridge
Feb 05, 2010
#58 Delmonico's Restaurant
Jan 29, 2010
#97 Trinity Church
Jan 22, 2010
#96 The Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park
Dec 25, 2009
#95 Tin Pan Alley
Dec 11, 2009
#94 Corlear's Hook and the Pirates of the East River
Nov 28, 2009
#93 City Hall and City Hall Park
Nov 13, 2009
#92 Steinway: the Piano Man
Oct 23, 2009
#91 Haunted Tales of New York
Oct 09, 2009
#90 Columbia University
Sep 13, 2009
#89 Chelsea Hotel
Aug 14, 2009
#88 Ellis Island: The Immigrant Story
Aug 01, 2009
#87 The Kings of New York Pizza
Jul 17, 2009
#86 Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall
Jul 02, 2009
Joseph Papp vs Robert Moses: The Story of Shakespeare in the Park
Jun 19, 2009
#84 Prospect Park
Jun 05, 2009
#83 Henry Hudson
May 22, 2009
#82 Roosevelt Island
May 08, 2009
#81 Puck Building "What Fools These Mortals Be!"
Apr 24, 2009
#80 Pennsylvania Station
Apr 10, 2009
#79 The Whyos: Gang of New York
Mar 28, 2009
#78 The Great Fire of 1835
Mar 13, 2009
#77 Freedomland U.S.A.: New York's Weirdest Theme Park
Feb 27, 2009
#76 Woolworth Building
Feb 13, 2009
#75 Williamsburg(h), Brooklyn
Jan 30, 2009
# 49 LaGuardia Airport and Early New York Flight
Jan 17, 2009
#74 Ziegfeld!
Jan 16, 2009
#73 Webster Hall 'The Devil's Playhouse'
Jan 02, 2009
#48 The Stonewall Riots
Dec 29, 2008
#47 Grants Tomb
Dec 28, 2008
#46 Barnum's American Museum
Dec 23, 2008
#45 Grand Central
Dec 21, 2008
#44 Rikers Island
Dec 20, 2008
#72 Rockefeller Center
Dec 19, 2008
#43 Studio 54
Dec 19, 2008
#42: The Triangle Factory Fire
Dec 15, 2008
#41 New York Post
Dec 13, 2008
#40 Union Square
Dec 13, 2008
#39 New York Yankees
Dec 07, 2008
#38 Tiffany & Co.
Dec 06, 2008
#71 Saks Fifth Avenue
Dec 05, 2008
#37 Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church
Nov 30, 2008
#36 Life In British New York 1776-1783
Nov 29, 2008
#35 The British Invasion 1776
Nov 29, 2008
#34 Katz Delicatessen
Nov 29, 2008
#33 The World's Fair of 1964-65
Nov 29, 2008
#32 Museum of Modern Art
Nov 26, 2008
#31 Battery Park and Castle Clinton
Nov 23, 2008
#30 Peter Cooper and Cooper Union
Nov 23, 2008
#70 The Bowery Files
Nov 21, 2008
#29 Brooklyn Bridge
Nov 18, 2008
#28 One Times Square
Nov 15, 2008
#69 The Plaza Hotel
Nov 14, 2008
#27 Radio City Music Hall
Nov 02, 2008
#26 Flatiron Building
Nov 01, 2008
#68 New York City Marathon
Oct 31, 2008
#25 The Original Bowery Boys
Oct 26, 2008
#24 The Copacabana
Oct 26, 2008
#23 Macy's : the Man, the Store, the Parade
Oct 25, 2008
#67 Guggenheim Museum
Oct 24, 2008
#22 Staten Island
Oct 21, 2008
#21 The Astors and the Waldorf-Astoria
Oct 20, 2008
#20 United Nations Headquarters
Oct 19, 2008
#19 Washington Irving
Oct 18, 2008
#66 Who Killed Mary Rogers?
Oct 17, 2008
#18 Ghost Stories of New York City
Oct 16, 2008
#17 New York Public Library
Oct 13, 2008
#16 Statue of Liberty
Oct 13, 2008
#15 The Apollo Theater
Oct 12, 2008
#14 Peter Stuyvesant
Oct 12, 2008
#65 Spooky Stories of New York
Oct 10, 2008
#13 Coney Island: 20th Century Sideshow
Oct 09, 2008
#12 Coney Island: The Golden Age
Oct 07, 2008
#11 The Chrysler Building
Oct 06, 2008
#10 Central Park Zoo
Oct 05, 2008
#9 St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
Oct 05, 2008
#8 Dakota Apartments and 'Rosemary's Baby'
Oct 05, 2008
#7 Washington Square Park
Oct 04, 2008
#6 Governors Island
Oct 04, 2008
#5 Blackout
Oct 04, 2008
#64 Green-Wood Cemetery
Oct 03, 2008
#63 New York Stock Exchange
Sep 26, 2008
#62 Shea Stadium
Sep 19, 2008
#61 The Pan Am Building
Sep 19, 2008
#60 Five Points: The Fate of Five Points
Sep 19, 2008
#59 Five Points: Wicked Slum
Sep 19, 2008
#57 Carnegie Hall
Sep 19, 2008
#56 Randall's Island and the 1936 Olympic Trials
Sep 19, 2008
#55 The Evolution of Central Park
Sep 19, 2008
#54 The Creation of Central Park
Sep 19, 2008
#53 The Meatpacking District: Glamour and Gore
Sep 19, 2008
#52 DeWitt Clinton and the Erie Canal
Sep 19, 2008
#51 McSorley's Old Ale House
Sep 19, 2008
#50 Canal Street and Collect Pond
Sep 19, 2008
#71 Saks Fifth Avenue
PODCAST REWIND A podcast that's "very Saks Fifth Avenue," we get to the origins of the famous upscale retailer, follow its path from Washington D.C. to Heralds Square and then to "the most expensive street in the world," and tell you a little about a glamorous milliner named Tatiana.  THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays.   This was originally recorded on December 4, 2008
Jan 02, 2007
#70 The Bowery Files
PODCAST REWIND This is our "potpourri" episode with a little bit of everything in it. We open up some of our favorite readers mail, we take you behind the scenes of how we put together an episode, and we describe three of our very favorite history-related websites that you should check out.  But it wouldn't be a podcast without some history, right? So we take a brief stroll down the Bowery, with over 200 years of history of this famous street. But has anything really changed?   THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays.   This was originally recorded on November 21, 2008
Jan 02, 2007
#60 Five Points Part Two: The Fate of Five Points
In our second podcast on the notorious Five Points neighborhood, we see how the district changed with the influx of new immigrants and the valiant attempts to reform the seedier elements. With the new Italian and Chinese residents, the culture changed drastically, critical shifts that are still reflected in the neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy today. Who was the man who helped clear Five Points from the landscape forever, and what famous park designer is associated with its replacement in the streets of downtown Manhattan?Special 'illustrated edition; original show released August 30,
Jan 02, 2007
#52 DeWitt Clinton and the Erie Canal
Meet former mayor, governor, senator and privileged son DeWitt Clinton, one of New York's most successful politicians and champion of the Erie Canal.
Jan 02, 2007
#83 Henry Hudson and the European Discovery of Mannahatta
We turn the clock back to the very beginnings of New York history — to the European discovery of Mannahatta and the voyages of Henry Hudson. Originally looking for a passage to Asia, Hudson fell upon New York harbor and the Lenape inhabitants of lands that would later make up New York City. The river that was eventually named after Hudson may not have provided access to Asia, but it did offer something else that attracted the Dutch and eventually their very first settlement — New Amsterdam. ORIGINALLY RELEASED MAY 22, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#56 Randall's Island
The smaller islands of the East River reveal fascinating secrets of the city's past, and Randall's and Ward's Islands are no exceptions. Found out how these former potter's fields are related to the most important Olympics-related event New York City has ever seen. The cast includes a swashbuckling British engineer, Jesse Owens, Tony Bennett, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fiorello LaGuardia, Robert Moses, and Pearl Jam!
Jan 02, 2007
#69 The Plaza Hotel
It got off to a rocky start, but the Plaza Hotel has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. We take a look at its kooky history, from its days as an upper class ‘transient hotel’ to a party place for celebrities. Starring: The Beatles, Eloise, Truman Capote and of course the unsinkable Mrs. Patrick Campbell.   On certain players, this enhanced version of the podcast is embedded with pictures that will pop up as you play the show.
Jan 02, 2007
#72 Rockefeller Center
PODCAST REWIND JD Rockefeller Sr. may have earned his money is some rather unscrupulous ways, but his son Junior made good by giving midtown a towering city-within-a-city, a complex of Art Deco buildings that serves as New York's beating heart. We take a compact look at the complicated lineage of Rockefeller Center, from its controversial artwork to its famous Christmas tree. THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays if you have a device compatible with AAC/M4A files.   This was originally recorded on December 18, 2008
Jan 02, 2007
#65 Spooky Stories of New York
By popular demand, we return to the creepier tales of New York City history, ghost tales and stories of murder and mayhem, all of them at some point involving great American icons -- Alexander Hamilton, P.T. Barnum, Dorothy Parker and Mark Twain. Featuring a murder at a Manhattan well, a bloody slaying in rural Staten Island, the lingerings of New York's most fabulous undead, and the most haunted home in Greenwich Village! This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player. (Original version released Oct. 10, 2008)
Jan 02, 2007
#50 Canal Street and Collect Pond
We celebrate a year of New York City history podcasting by re-visiting the topic of our very first show. Downtown Civic Center used to have a big pond in the middle of it which provided drinking water for the island's first inhabitants. What happened to it, why is it important today and how did it give rise to Canal Street, New York's biggest traffic thoroughfare?
Jan 02, 2007
#51 McSorley's Old Ale House
Grab yourself a couple mugs of dark ale and learn about the history of one of New York City's oldest bars, serving everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Lennon --- and eventually even women!
Jan 02, 2007
#57 Carnegie Hall
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Well, we can at least show you the way through its tumultuous history, from a fortunate meeting on a Norwegian cruise ship, passed a symphonic rivalry, and into the 20th Century with some of the biggest names in classical and popular music. And forgive our pronunciation of Dunfermline!
Jan 02, 2007
#62 Shea Stadium
The New York Mets are nice and comfortable Citi Field, but we can't overlook the great stories contained in their old home, Shea Stadium, a Robert Moses project took years to get off the ground and has been populated with world class ball players, crazed Beatles fans, and one very mysterious black cat. This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player! Originally released September 19, 2008
Jan 02, 2007
#59 Five Points: Wicked Slum
You've heard the legend of New York's most notorious neighborhood, heard the story of the seedy gangs of New York. Now come with us as we hit the streets of Five Points and dig up some of the nitty, gritty details of its birth, its first residents and its most scandalous pastimes. Special illustrated version
Jan 02, 2007
#55 The Evolution of Central Park
When last we left Central Park, it was the embodiment of Olmstead and Vaux's naturalistic Greensward Plan. Then the skyscrapers came. Also, how did all those playgrounds, a swanky nightclub, a theater troupe and all those hippies get here? NOTE: Please forgive my butcher pronounciation of the word Jagiello!
Jan 02, 2007
#82 Roosevelt Island
Originally a quiet island of orchards and stone quarries, the place we call Roosevelt Island today was once New York's 'city of asylums', the place where it sent its infirm, its incarcerated, its insane. Today it has the peculiar air of a small town with one of the best views in the world. Find out about its numerous names (from Hog's Island to Welfare Island), its many former institutions, and the stories behind the island's several existing ruins, including the ghostly remains of a smallpox hospital. ORIGINALLY RELEASED MAY 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#73 Webster Hall "The Devil's Playhouse"
Webster Hall, as beautifully worn and rough-hewn as it was during its heyday in the 1910s and 20s, disguises a very surprising past, a significant venue in the history of the labor movement, Greenwich Village bohemia, gay and lesbian life, and pop and rock music. Its ballroom has hosted the likes of Emma Goldman, Marcel Duchamp, Jefferson Airplane, Robert F Kennedy and Madonna. Listen in to find out how it got it's reputation as 'the devil's playhouse'.   PODCAST REWIND This was originally released on January 3, 2009 BONUS MATERIAL! Almost ten minutes of newly recorded material, adding a couple more interesting details from Webster Hall's unique history.    Visit for other tales of New York City history
Jan 02, 2007
#75 Williamsburg(h), Brooklyn
Williamsburg used to have an H at the end of its name, not to mention dozens of major industries that once made it the tenth wealthiest place in the world. How did Williamsburgh become a haven for New York's most well-known factories and how did it then become the wildly diverse neighborhood it is today? Find out how its history connects with whalebones, baseball, beer, and medicine for intestinal worms.   This show was originally recorded on January 29, 2009, so there are a few remarks that may seem startling today. The neighborhood has changed so much since then!
Jan 02, 2007
#77 Freedomland U.S.A.
What is Freedomland U.S.A.? An unusual theme park in the Bronx, only in existence for less than five years, Freedomland has become the object of fascination for New York nostalgia lovers everywhere. Created by an outcast of Walt Disney's inner circle, Freedomland practically defines 60s kitsch, with dozens of rides and amusements related to saccharine views of American history. Along the way, we'll take a visit to the Blast-Off Bunker, Casa Loco, and, yes, Borden's Barn Boudoir! THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.) PLUS: Listen all the way to the end of this show for a special ORIGINAL tour of Freedomland U.S.A.
Jan 02, 2007
#79 The Whyos: Gang of New York
The Whyos (pronounced Why-Ohs) were New York's most notorious gang after the Civil War, organizing their criminal activities and terrorizing law abiding citizens of the Gilded Age. Find out when they lived, how they broke the law and who they were -- from Googie Corcoran to Dandy Johnny, as well as two particularly notable guys named Danny. ALSO: How much does it cost to have somebody's ear bitten off? ORIGINALLY RELEASED MARCH 28, 2009 FEATURING 2016 BONUS MATERIAL: Greg reads an excerpt from Herbert Asbury's Gangs of New York, recounting the sad fate of Dandy Johnny Dolan. THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#86 Boss Tweed and the Glory Days of Tammany Hall
You cannot understand New York without understanding its most corrupt politician -- William 'Boss' Tweed, a larger than life personality with lofty ambitions to steal millions of dollars from the city. With the help of his 'Tweed Ring', the former chair-maker had complete control over the city -- what was being built, how much it would cost and who was being paid. How do you bring down a corrupt government when it seems almost everybody's in on it? We reveal the downfall of the Tweed Ring and the end to one of the biggest political scandal in New York history. It begins with a sleigh ride. ALSO: Find out how Tammany Hall, the dominant political machine of the 19th century, got its start -- as a rather innocent social club that required men to dress up and pretend they're Native Americans. THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 2, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#63 New York Stock Exchange
We tackle the rich history of the New York Stock Exchange in this episode, beginning with Alexander Hamilton, some pushy auctioneers, a coffee house and a sycamore tree. And find how this seminal financial institution ended up in its latest home -- that beautiful, classically designed George Post building, with a marble goddess on top who was almost too heavy for her own good. This was originally recorded back in 2008 in the midst of the big financial crisis, giving it a little extra context! This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player. (Original version released Sept. 26, 2008)
Jan 02, 2007
#80 Pennsylvania Station
The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Mead and White. It's a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Find out why the original Penn Station was built to look so classical, why it was then torn down, and what strange behaviors the tunnels that connect it to New Jersey exhibit every night.   ORIGINALLY RELEASED APRIL 10, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#88 Ellis Island: The Immigrant Story
For millions of Americans, Ellis Island is the symbol of introduction, the immigrant depot that processed their ancestors and offered an opening into a new American life. But for some, it would truly be an 'Island of Tears', a place where they would be excluded from that life. How did an island with such humble beginnings -- 'Little Oyster Island', barely a sliver of land in the New York harbor -- become so crucial? Who is the 'Ellis' of Ellis Island? And how did it survive decades of neglect to become one of New York's most famous tourist attractions?  FEATURING our special guest Tanya Bielski-Braham who walks us through her own family immigration experience -- from Poland to America. THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 31, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#85 Moses vs. Papp! A History of Shakespeare In The Park
What started in a tiny East Village basement grew to become one of New York's most enduring summer traditions, Shakespeare in the Park, featuring world class actors performing the greatest dramas of the age. But another drama was brewing just as things were getting started. It's Robert Moses vs. Shakespeare! Joseph Papp vs. the city! ALSO: Learn how the Public Theater got off the ground and helped save an Astor landmark in the process. THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JUNE 18, 2009 -- MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA AND 'HAMILTON' HIT THE PUBLIC STAGE! THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#74 The Ziegfeld Follies
Cue the dancing girls, lower the props, raise the curtain -- it's the Bowery Boys and we're taking on Broadway's most famous producer, Florenz Ziegfeld! We give you a brief overview of the first days of Broadway, then sweep into Ziegfeld's life -- from his early successes (both professional and personal) to his famous Follies. And find out how the current Ziegfeld Theatre, a movie house, relates to the original Ziegfeld Theatre, home of Broadway's first 'real' musical, Show Boat.   PODCAST REWIND This was originally released on January 16, 2009 BONUS MATERIAL! Over eight minutes of newly recorded material, adding a couple more interesting details about a couple of Ziegfeld's stars.    Visit for other tales of New York City history
Jan 02, 2007
#84 Prospect Park: Brooklyn's Natural Work of Art
Prospect Park, Brooklyn's biggest public space and home to the borough's only natural forest, was a sequel for Olmsted and Vaux after their revolutionary creation Central Park. But can these two landscape architects still work together or will their egos get in the way? And what happens to their dream when McKim, Mead and White and Robert Moses get to it? ALSO: what classic Hollywood movie actor is buried here? ORIGINALLY RELEASED JUNE 5, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#81 The Puck Building: "What Fools These Mortals Be!"
A 6-foot plump gold impish figure stares down at you as you look up to observe the gorgeous red-brick design of the Puck Building, built for one of the 19th Century's most popular illustrated publications. But this architectural masterpiece was very nearly wiped away by a sudden decision by the city. How did it survive? Puck's utterance "What Fools These Mortals Be!" is the slogan for Puck Magazine and words written by Shakespeare. WITH several new minutes of material outlining the Puck Building's recent history.   ORIGINALLY RELEASED APRIL 23, 2009 THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)
Jan 02, 2007
#87 Kings of New York Pizza
New Yorkers are serious about their pizza, and it all started with a tiny grocery store in today's Little Italy and a group of young men who became the masters of pizza making. In this podcast, you'll find out all about the city's oldest and most revered pizzerias -- Lombardi's, Totonno's, John's, Grimaldi's and Patsy's in all its variations. But if those are the greatest names in New York-style pizza, then who the heck is Ray -- Original, Famous or otherwise?  NOW with several minutes of new pizza history -- including an update on Totonno's in Coney Island, the pizza war firing up underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the story of Sbarro's mall pizza domination.