The Bowery Boys: New York City History

The Bowery Boys: New York City History
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?

Introducing Mob Queens
Aug 19 • 6 min
Check out Mob Queens, a new podcast from Stitcher! Mob stories are always all about the guys. But not this one. Anna Genovese is a New York drag club maven and bad-ass mob wife. Hollywood besties Jessica Bendinger (writer, Bring It On) and Michael…
Talking Trash: The NYC Department of Sanitation
Aug 8 • 70 min
In this fragrant episode, we chart the course to a safer, healthier city thanks to the men and women of the New York City Department of Sanitation, which was formed in the 1880s to combat a challenging humanitarian crisis.
Saving the City: Women of the Progressive Era
Jul 25 • 59 min
A history of the bold Progressive Era women who saved the lives of thousands of people in need — from the Lower East Side to Washington Heights, from Hell’s Kitchen to Fort Greene.
That Daredevil Steve Brodie, ‘King of the Bowery’
Jul 11 • 49 min
A former newsboy named Steve Brodie grabs the country’s attention by leaping off the Brooklyn Bridge on July 23, 1886. Or did he?
Secret Places of Upper Manhattan
Jun 27 • 71 min
In this episode, we look at four specific historic landmarks of Upper Manhattan, places that have survived into present day, even as their surroundings have become greatly altered.
Sip-In At Julius’: Gay New York In The 1960s
Jun 13 • 64 min
In 1966, three years before the Stonewall Riots, a group of activists challenged New York’s anti-gay bar policies in an unusual demonstration at a West Village bar.
The Tombs: Five Points’ Notorious House of Detention
May 30 • 56 min
The Bowery Boys explore the dark history of the Tombs, New York’s most infamous prison, which was located where the Five Points met City Hall.
#290 Bagels: A New York Story
May 16 • 59 min
The most iconic New York City foods — bagels, pizza, hot dogs — are portable, adaptable and closely associated with the city’s history through its immigrant communities. In the case of the bagel, that story takes us to the Polish immigrants who brought…
#289 Blood and Shakespeare: The Astor Place Riot of 1849
May 2 • 55 min
In 1849, a theatrical rivalry between two leading actors of the day sparked a chaotic night of violence — one of the most horrible moments in New York City history.
#288 The World of Tomorrow: The New York World’s Fair of 1939
Apr 18 • 64 min
Today we visit the World’s Fair of 1939-1940, held in today’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, a fair that promised New Yorkers the “World of Tomorrow”.
#287 Greenwich Village in the 1960s
Apr 4 • 69 min
The history of Greenwich Village in the 1960s — in honor of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Greenwich Village Historic District in April of 1969.
#286 Uncovering Hudson Yards
Mar 21 • 55 min
What’s under Hudson Yards? We explore the fascinating story that lies beneath the city’s newest development.
#285 Boss Tweed’s House of Corruption
Mar 7 • 58 min
The Tweed Courthouse is more than a mere landmark. Once called the New York County Courthouse, the Courthouse better known for many traits that the concepts of law and order normally detest — greed, bribery, kickbacks and graft.
#284 Scott Joplin in New York: A Ragtime Mystery
Feb 22 • 66 min
Today we examine the mysterious and overlooked decade that Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime”, spent in New York — and how he could have died forgotten by the public.
#283 Walt Whitman in New York and Brooklyn
Feb 7 • 72 min
The Bowery Boys explore the history of Walt Whitman in New York and Brooklyn, presented live at the Bell House, with special guests.
#282 Taxi Driver (Bowery Boys Movie Club)
Jan 31 • 77 min
The Bowery Boys take a trip to Times Square in the 1970s (not to mention Columbus Circle, the East Village and even Cadman Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn) in Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Taxi Driver.
#281 The Treasures of Downtown Brooklyn
Jan 24 • 67 min
Greg and Tom tell the fascinating and often overlooked history of Downtown Brooklyn.
#280 House of Mystery: The Story of the Collyer Brothers
Jan 10 • 44 min
The strange story of the Collyer Brothers, two hermits who retreated from the world inside their dilapidated Harlem mansion.
#279 A New Year in Old New York: From Times Square to Chinatown
Dec 27, 2018 • 60 min
The ultimate history of New Year’s celebrations in New York City.
#278 Newark vs. LaGuardia: The Tale of Two Airports
Dec 13, 2018 • 57 min
Newark Liberty International Airport or LaGuardia Airport? Which do you prefer? (Or is the answer — none of the above. Give me JFK!) Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy history! In this episode, we present the origin stories of New York…
#277 The New York Comedy Scene: A Marvelous History
Nov 29, 2018 • 65 min
The hilarious history of New York’s comedy scene — from vaudeville to film, radio, TV and comedy clubs.
#276 Murder on Bond Street: Who Killed Dr. Burdell?
Nov 15, 2018 • 57 min
The murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell was the most talked-about and scandalous event of 1857 — who could have done such a violent act, and in his own home on Bond Street in Manhattan?
#275 Return to Tin Pan Alley: Saving American Music History
Nov 1, 2018 • 56 min
The history of Tin Pan Alley, the birthplace of the American popular music industry, and the latest efforts to protect this unlandmarked district from the wrecking ball.
#274 Ghost Stories of Hell’s Kitchen
Oct 19, 2018 • 58 min
The Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen has a mysterious, troubling past. So what happens when you throw a few ghosts into the mix? Greg and Tom find out the hard way in this year’s ghost stories podcast, featuring tales of mystery and mayhem…
#273 Peter Stuyvesant and the Fall of New Amsterdam
Oct 4, 2018 • 69 min
There would be no New York City without Peter Stuyvesant, the stern, autocratic director-general of New Amsterdam, the Dutch port town that predates the Big Apple. The willpower of this complicated leader took an endangered ramshackle settlement and…
#272 Life in New Amsterdam
Sep 20, 2018 • 58 min
We are turning back the clock to the very beginning of New York City history with this special two-part episode, looking at the very beginnings of European settlement in the area and the first significant Dutch presence on the island known as Manhattan.…
#271 Counter Culture: Diners, Automats, and Luncheonettes in New York
Sep 6, 2018 • 63 min
The classic diner is as American as the apple pie it serves, but the New York diner is a special experience all its own, an essential facet of everyday life in the big city. They range in all shapes and sizes — from the epic, stand-alone Empire Diner to…
#270 Heaven on the Hudson: A History of Riverside Park
Aug 23, 2018 • 56 min
In peeling back the many layers to Riverside Park, upper Manhattan’s premier ribbon park, running along the west side from the Upper West Side to Washington Heights, you will find a wealth of history that takes you back to Manhattan’s most rugged days.…
#269 Harry Houdini and the Golden Age of Magic in New York
Aug 9, 2018 • 62 min
Harry Houdini became one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, a showman whose escape artistry added a new dimension to the tried-and-true craft of stage magic. In this show, we present not only a mini-biography on the daredevil wizard, but a…
#268 The Astonishing Saga of the Atlantic Cable
Jul 26, 2018 • 55 min
New Yorkers threw a wild, exuberant celebration in the summer of 1858 in honor of ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, a technological achievement that linked North America and Europe by way of an underwater cable which sat on the floor of the Atlantic…
#267 Broadway: The Story of a Street
Jul 12, 2018 • 55 min
Today we’re joined by Fran Leadon, the author of a new history of Broadway, called “Broadway: A History of New York in 13 Miles”. We’ve discussed Broadway, the street, in just about every show we’ve done — as so many of the city’s key events have taken…
#266 New York City during the Revolutionary War (1776-1783)
Jun 28, 2018 • 57 min
What was life like in New York City from the summer of 1776 to the fall of 1783 — the years of British occupation during the Revolutionary War? New York plays a very intriguing role in the story of American independence. The city and the surrounding area…
#265 Absolutely Flawless: A History of Drag in New York City
Jun 14, 2018 • 57 min
Television audiences are currently obsessed with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and FX’s Pose, presenting different angles on the profession and art of drag. New York City has been crucial to its current moment in pop culture and people have been…
#264 The Landmarks of Coney Island
May 31, 2018 • 50 min
The Coney Island Boardwalk — officially the Riegelmann Boardwalk — just became an official New York City scenic landmark, and to celebrate, the Bowery Boys are headed to Brooklyn’s amusement capital to toast its most famous and long-lasting icons.…
#263 Ebbets Field and the Glory Days of the Brooklyn Dodgers
May 17, 2018 • 61 min
The Robins. The Bridegrooms. The Superbas. The Dizziness Boys. Dem Bums. The Boys of Summer. Whatever you call them, they will always be known in the hearts of New Yorkers as the Brooklyn Dodgers, the legendary baseball team that almost literally defined…
#262 Secrets of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
May 4, 2018 • 67 min
The Bowery Boys have finally made to one of the most enigmatic and miraculous houses of worship in America – the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This Episcopal cathedral has a story like no other and a collection of eccentric artifacts and allegorical…
#261 The Huddled Masses: Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty
Apr 19, 2018 • 66 min
The words of the The New Colossus, written 135 years ago by Jewish writer Emma Lazarus in tribute to the Statue of Liberty, have never been more relevant — or as hotly debated — as they are today. What do these words mean to you? “Give me your tired, your…
#260 Journey to Grey Gardens: A Tale of Two Edies
Apr 5, 2018 • 55 min
In this episode of the Bowery Boys, Greg digs into the back story of one of the most famous documentaries ever made – Grey Gardens. The film, made by brother directing team Albert and David Maysles, looks at the lives of two former society women leading a…
#259 Crossing to Brooklyn: How the Williamsburg Bridge Changed New York
Mar 22, 2018 • 52 min
Sure, the Brooklyn Bridge gets all the praise, but New York City’s second bridge over the East River has an exceptional story of its own. In this episode, we’ll answer some interesting questions, including: — Why is the bridge named for a 19th century…
#258 Tales from Tribeca History
Mar 15, 2018 • 59 min
TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal) is a breathtaking neighborhood of astounding architectural richness. But how much do you know about this trendy destination and its patchwork of different histories? You’ll be surprised to learn about the many facets of this…
#257 Frozen In Time: The Great Blizzard of 1888
Mar 7, 2018 • 49 min
This year marks the 130th anniversary of one of the worst storms to ever wreak havoc upon New York City, the now-legendary mix of wind and snow called the Great Blizzard of 1888. The battering snow-hurricane of 1888, with its freezing temperatures and…
#256 DUMBO: Life on Brooklyn’s Waterfront
Mar 1, 2018 • 58 min
Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) is, we think, a rather drab name for a historically significant place in Brooklyn where some of the daily habits of everyday Americans were invented. This industrial area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan…
#255 The Rescue of Grand Central
Feb 22, 2018 • 55 min
The survival of New York City’s greatest train station is no accident. The preservation of Grand Central Terminal helped create the protections for all of America’s greatest landmarks. By the 1950s, this glorious piece of architecture — opened in 1913 as…
#254 The Destruction of Penn Station
Feb 15, 2018 • 62 min
The original Penn Station, constructed in 1910 and designed by New York’s greatest Gilded Age architectural firm, was more than just a building. Since its destruction in the 1960s, the station has become something mythic, a sacrificial lamb to the cause…
#253 Opening Day of the New York City Subway
Feb 8, 2018 • 51 min
What was it like to experience that epic symbol of New York City – the world famous New York City subway system – for the first time? In this episode, we imagine what opening day was like for the first New York straphangers. We begin by recounting the…
#252 The Underground Railroad: Escape through New York
Feb 1, 2018 • 63 min
For thousands of African-American enslaved people — escaping the bonds of slavery in the South — the journey to freedom wound its way through New York via the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a loose, clandestine network of homes,…
#251 McGurk’s Suicide Hall: The Bowery’s Most Notorious Dive
Jan 18, 2018 • 53 min
The old saloons and dance halls of the Bowery are familiar to anyone with a love of New York City history, their debauched and surly reputations appealing in a prurient way, a reminder of a time of great abandon. The Bowery bars and lounges of today often…
#250 The Empire State Building: Story of an Icon
Jan 11, 2018 • 63 min
Start spreading the news …. the Bowery Boys are finally going to the Empire State Building! New York City’s defining architectural icon is greatly misunderstood by many New Yorkers who consider its appeal relegated to tourists and real estate titans. But…
#249 Madam C.J. Walker: Harlem’s Hair Care Millionaire
Jan 4, 2018 • 49 min
In 1867, Sarah Breedlove was born to parents who had once been enslaved on a Louisiana plantation. Less than fifty years later, Breedlove (as the hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker) would be the richest African-American woman in the United States, a…
#248 Sitting Down with Roz Chast of the New Yorker
Dec 22, 2017 • 57 min
This week, we celebrate the end of the year by sitting down with Roz Chast, who has been contributing cartoons to the New Yorker Magazine since 1978. Chast is out with a new book, “Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York”, which is a guidebook to…
#247 Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Golden Age of Broadway
Dec 14, 2017 • 55 min
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are two of the greatest entertainers in New York City history. They have entertained millions of people with their unique and influential take on the Broadway musical — serious, sincere, graceful and poignant. In…
#246 Tales from a Tenement: Three Families on the Lower East Side
Dec 7, 2017 • 54 min
In today’s show, we’ll continue to explore housing in New York, but move far from the mansions of Fifth Avenue to the tenements of the Lower East Side in the 20th Century. Specifically, we’ll be visiting one building, 103 Orchard Street, which is today…
#245 The Fall of the Fifth Avenue Mansions
Nov 30, 2017 • 50 min
In this episode, the symbols of the Gilded Age are dismantled. During the late 19th century, New York’s most esteemed families built extravagant mansions along Fifth Avenue, turning it into one of the most desired residential streets in the United States.…
#244 The Rise of the Fifth Avenue Mansions
Nov 23, 2017 • 49 min
At the heart of New York’s Gilded Age – the late 19th century era of unprecedented American wealth and excess – were families with the names Vanderbilt, Belmont and Astor, alongside power players like A.T. Stewart, Jay Gould and William ‘Boss’ Tweed. They…
#243 New York In Neon: Signs of the City
Nov 16, 2017 • 56 min
A neon sign blazing on a rainy New York City street evokes the romance of another era, welcoming or mysterious — depending on how many film noirs you’ve seen. In 2017, a neon sign says more about a business than the message that its letters spell out.…
#242 New York and the Dawn of Photography
Nov 9, 2017 • 56 min
We’re taking you back to a world that seems especially foreign today – a world with no selfie sticks, no tens of billions of photographs taken every day from digital screens, a world where the photograph was a rare, special and beautiful thing. New York…
#241 Edgar Allan Poe in New York
Oct 26, 2017 • 61 min
Edgar Allan Poe was a wanderer — looking for work, for love, for meaning. That’s why so many American cities can lay claim to a small aspect of his legacy. Baltimore, Boston, Richmond and Philadelphia all have their own stories to tell about the great…
#240 The Ghosts of Greenwich Village
Oct 19, 2017 • 54 min
For this year’s annual Bowery Boys Halloween ghost story podcast, we cautiously approach the dark secrets of Greenwich Village, best known for bohemians, shady and winding streets and a deep unexpected history. You will never look at its parks and…
#239 Murder at the Manhattan Well
Oct 12, 2017 • 49 min
There once was a well just north of Collect Pond (New York’s fetid source of drinking water in the late 18th century) in a marshy place called Lispenard’s Meadow, in the area of today’s SoHo. One cold day in December – in the year 1799 — a boy came across…
#238 Astoria and Long Island City
Sep 28, 2017 • 58 min
The borough of Queens has a history unlike any in the New York City region, but the story of its northwestern region — comprising Astoria, Long Island City and about a half dozen other, smaller neighborhoods — is particularly surprising. And there are…
#237 Columbus Circle: A Century of Controversy
Sep 14, 2017 • 50 min
Columbus Circle, a center of media and shopping at the entrance to Central Park, has a history that, well, runs against the grain. Counter-clockwise, if you will. When the park was completed in the mid 19th century, a ‘Grand Circle’ was planned for a busy…
#236 Times Square in the ’70s
Sep 7, 2017 • 63 min
Take a trip with us down the grittiest streets in Times Square — the faded marquees of the grindhouses, the neon-lit prurient delights of Eighth Avenue at night. Times Square in the 1970s was all about fantasy — from the second-run theaters of 42nd Street…
#235 The Crash of ‘29: New York In Crisis
Aug 31, 2017 • 56 min
Something so giddy and wild as New York City in the Jazz Age would have to burn out at some point but nobody expected the double catastrophe of a paralyzing financial crash and a wide-ranging government corruption scandal. Mayor Jimmy Walker, in a race…
#234 Queen of the Speakeasies: A Tale of Prohibition New York
Aug 17, 2017 • 59 min
Texas Guinan was the queen of the speakeasy era, the charismatic and sassy hostess of New York’s hottest nightclubs of the 1920s. Her magnetism, sharpened by years of work in Hollywood, would make her one of the great icons of the Prohibition era. She’s…
#233 The Roaring ’20s: King of the Jazz Age
Aug 3, 2017 • 59 min
The Bowery Boys are heading to the speakeasy and kicking back with some bathtub gin this month — with a brand new series focusing on New York City during the Prohibition Era. The 1920s were a transformational decade for New York, evolving from a Gilded…
#232 The Story of SoHo
Jul 20, 2017 • 59 min
Picture the neighborhood of SoHo (that’s right, “South of Houston”) in your head today, and you might get a headache. Crowded sidewalks on the weekend, filled with tourists, shoppers and vendors, could almost distract you from SoHo’s unique appeal as a…
The Bowery Boys Present: The First Broadway Musical
Jul 6, 2017 • 26 min
While Greg and Tom are away this week on life-changing adventures, please enjoy this very New York City-centric episode of the Bowery Boys spinoff podcast The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences — The Black Crook is considered the…
#231 The Stonewall Riots Revisited
Jun 22, 2017 • 52 min
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, undercover police officers attempting to raid the Stonewall Inn, a mob-controlled gay bar with darkened windows on Christopher Street, were met with something unexpected — resistance. That ‘altercation’ was a…
#230 Before Harlem: New York’s Forgotten Black Communities
Jun 8, 2017 • 56 min
Today we sometimes define New York City’s African-American culture by place – 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…
#229 Live in Brooklyn! The Bowery Boys: Ten Years of Podcasting
May 25, 2017 • 78 min
In early June of 2007, Tom Meyers and Greg Young sat around a laptop and a karaoke microphone, looked out over Canal Street in the Lower East Side and began recording the very first Bowery Boys: New York City History Podcast. For ten years the Bowery Boys…
#228 The Pirate of Pearl Street: The New York Adventures of Captain Kidd
May 11, 2017 • 48 min
The area of Lower Manhattan below Wall Street is today filled with investment bankers, business people and tourists. But did you know, over 300 years ago, that the same streets were once crawling with pirates? In the early decades of the British colony of…
#227 The Hindenburg Over New York
Apr 27, 2017 • 47 min
On the afternoon of May 6, 1937, New Yorkers looked overhead at an astonishing sight — the arrival of the Hindenburg, the largest airship in the world, drifting calmly across the sky. New York City was already in the throes of “Zeppelin mania” by then.…
#226 The Beauty Bosses of Fifth Avenue
Apr 13, 2017 • 46 min
The Midtown Manhattan stretch of Fifth Avenue, once known for its ensemble of extravagant mansions owned by the Gilded Age’s wealthiest families, went through an astonishing makeover one hundred years ago. Many lavish abodes of the rich were turned into…
#225 P. T. Barnum and the Greatest Show on Earth
Mar 30, 2017 • 54 min
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages — the Bowery Boys present to you the tale of P. T. Barnum and his “Greatest Show on Earth,” the world’s most famous circus! You can’t even bring up the discussion of circuses without mentioning the name of…
#224 The Arrival of the Irish: An Immigrant Story
Mar 16, 2017 • 54 min
You don’t have a New York City without the Irish. In fact, you don’t have a United States of America as we know it today. This diverse and misunderstood immigrant group began coming over in significant numbers starting in the Colonial era, mostly as…
#223 The Algonquin Round Table
Mar 2, 2017 • 59 min
One June afternoon in the spring of 1919, a group of writers and theatrical folk got together at the Algonquin Hotel to roast the inimitable Alexander Woollcott, the trenchant theater critic for the New York Times who had just returned from World War I,…
#222 Who Killed Helen Jewett? A Mystery By Gaslight
Feb 16, 2017 • 48 min
In the spring of 1836, a young woman named Helen Jewett was brutally murdered with a hatchet in a townhouse on Thomas Street, just a few blocks northwest from City Hall. This was not a normal crime. Helen was a prostitute of great beauty and considerable…
#221 New York: Capital City of the United States
Feb 2, 2017 • 48 min
During a handful of months in 1789 and 1790, representatives of the new nation of the United States came together in New York City to make decisions which would forever affect the lives of Americans. In this second part of our two-part show on New York as…
#220 George Washington’s New York Inauguration
Jan 19, 2017 • 51 min
The story of New York City’s role in the birth of American government is sometimes forgotten. Most of the buildings important to the first U.S. Congress, which met here from the spring of 1789 to the late summer of 1790, have long been demolished. There’s…
#219 Newsies on Strike!
Dec 23, 2016 • 52 min
We’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned Gilded Age story so we’re replaying one of our favorite Bowery Boys episodes ever — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst vs. the newsies! It was pandemonium in the streets. One hot summer in July 1899,…
#218 Lincoln Center and West Side Story
Dec 8, 2016 • 55 min
Warm up the orchestra, lace up your dance slippers, and bring the diva to the stage! For our latest show we’re telling the origin story of Lincoln Center, the fine arts campus which assembles some of the city’s finest music and theatrical institutions to…
#217: Truman Capote’s Black And White Ball
Nov 23, 2016 • 51 min
Truman Capote is a true New York character, a Southern boy who wielded his immense writing talents to secure a place within Manhattan high society. Elegant, witty, compact, gay — Capote was a fixture of swanky nightclubs and arm candy to wealthy,…
#216: Edwin Booth and the Players Club
Nov 10, 2016 • 54 min
Edwin Booth was the greatest actor of the Gilded Age, a superstar of the theater who entertained millions over his long career. In this podcast, we present his extraordinary career, the tragedies that shaped his life (on stage and off), and the legacy of…
01 The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (‘The First’ Podcast Special Preview)
Oct 27, 2016 • 50 min
01: The first Ferris Wheel was invented to become America’s Eiffel Tower, making its grand debut at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The wheel’s inventor George Washington Gale Ferris was a clever and optimistic soul; he did everything in his power to…
#215 Ghosts of the Gilded Age
Oct 13, 2016 • 61 min
For this year’s 10th annual Bowery Boys Halloween special, we’re highlighting haunted tales from the period just after the Civil War when New York City became one of the richest cities in the world — rich in wealth and in ghosts! We go to four boroughs in…
#214 Bronx Trilogy (Part Three) The Bronx Was Burning
Sep 29, 2016 • 57 min
The Bronx was burning. The Bronx is now rising. In the third and final part of our Bronx history series, we tackle the most difficult period in the life of this borough — the late 20th century and the days and nights of urban blight. The focus of this…
#213 Bronx Trilogy (Part Two) The Bronx is Building
Sep 15, 2016 • 56 min
In the second part of the Bowery Boys’ Bronx Trilogy — recounting the entire history of New York City’s northernmost borough — we focus on the years between 1875 and 1945, a time of great evolution and growth for the former pastoral areas of Westchester…
#212 Bronx Trilogy (Part One) The Bronx Is Born
Sep 1, 2016 • 54 min
The story of the Bronx is so large, so spectacular, that we had to spread it out over three separate podcasts! In Part One — The Bronx Is Born — we look at the land that is today’s borough, back when it was a part of Westchester County, a natural expanse…
#211 The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue
Aug 18, 2016 • 50 min
Ann Lohman, aka Madame Restell, was one of the most vilified women of the 19th century, an abortion practitioner that dodged the law to become one of the wealthiest self-made women in the Gilded Age. But is her reputation justified? Thoughts on abortion…
#210 Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games
Aug 4, 2016 • 52 min
New York has an interesting, complex and downright weird relationship with video games, from the digital sewers below Manhattan to the neon-lit arcades of Times Square. In this grab bag episode – filled with nostalgia and nerdyness — we capture all sides…
#209 The Waldorf-Astoria’s Complicated History
Jul 21, 2016 • 50 min
You might think you know this tale, but do we have surprises for you. The Waldorf-Astoria — or the Waldorf=Astoria or even the Waldorf Astoria — has been a premier name in hotel accommodations since the opening of the very first edition on 34th Street and…
#208 Great Hoaxes of Old New York
Jul 7, 2016 • 49 min
New Yorkers can be tough to crack, maneuvering through a rapidly changing, fast-paced city. But they can, at times, also be easily fooled. In this episode, we explore two of the wackiest stories in early New York City history, two instances of tall tales…
#207 The First Subway: Beach’s Pneumatic Marvel
Jun 23, 2016 • 50 min
The first subway in New York — the first in the United States! – travelled only a single block and failed to influence the future of transportation. And yet Alfred Ely Beach’s marvelous pneumatic transit system provides us today with one of the most…
#206 The Lenape: The Real Native New Yorkers
Jun 9, 2016 • 51 min
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…
#205 The Disappearance of Dorothy Arnold
May 26, 2016 • 44 min
The young socialite Dorothy Arnold seemingly led a charmed and privileged life. The niece of a Supreme Court justice, Dorothy was the belle of 1900s New York, an attractive and vibrant young woman living on the Upper East Side with her family. She hoped…
#204 The Cotton Club: The Aristocrat of Harlem
May 12, 2016 • 33 min
The Cotton Club, Harlem’s most prominent nightclub during the Prohibiton era, delivered some of the greatest music legends of the Jazz Age — Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Ethel Waters, the Nicolas Brothers. Some of the most iconic…
#203 Nikola Tesla in New York
Apr 28, 2016 • 46 min
The Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla was among the Gilded Age’s brightest minds, a visionary thinker and inventor who gave the world innovations in electricity, radio and wireless communication. So why has Tesla garnered the mantle of cult status among…
#202 The Lower East Side: A Culinary History
Apr 15, 2016 • 55 min
Join us as we experience the tastes of another era by visiting some of the oldest culinary institutions of the Lower East Side. From McSorley’s to Katz’s, Russ & Daughters and Economy Candy — when did these shops open, who did they serve, and how, in the…
#201 GOWANUS! Brooklyn’s Troubled Waters
Apr 1, 2016 • 57 min
This is the dirtiest Bowery Boys podcast ever. Literally. Brooklyn’s Gowanus — both the creek and the canal — is one of the most mysterious and historically important waterways in New York City. By coincidence, it also happens to be among its most…
#200 Jane Jacobs: Saving the Village
Mar 18, 2016 • 60 min
Washington Square Park torn in two. The West Village erased and re-written. Soho, Little Italy and the Lower East Side ripped asunder by an elevated highway. This is what would have happened in New York City in the 1950s and 60s if not for enraged…
#199.5: Bowery Boys - Behind the Scenes
Mar 8, 2016 • 39 min
As we prepare for our #200th episode — and the release of the first-ever Bowery Boys book — we’ve decided to take a look back at our last 100 shows, at some of the highlights of the past six or so years. What were some of our favorite episodes? The most…
#199 Battle For The Skyline: How High Can It Go?
Feb 19, 2016 • 54 min
This year is the one hundred anniversary of one of the most important laws ever passed in New York City — the 1916 Zoning Law which dictated the rules for building big and tall in the city. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to ponder on the many…
#198 Greenpoint, Brooklyn: An Industrial-Strength History
Feb 5, 2016 • 53 min
Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has a surprising history of bucolic green pastures and rancid oil patches. Before the 19th century this corner of Brooklyn was owned by only a few families with farms (and slaves tending them). But with the future borough of Brooklyn…
#197 Danger In The Harbor: The Black Tom Explosion of 1916
Jan 21, 2016 • 46 min
On July 30, 1916, at just after 2 in the morning, a massive explosion ripped apart the island of Black Tom on the shoreline near Jersey City, sending a shockwave through the region and thousands of pounds of wartime shrapnel into the neighboring Ellis…
#196 Ready to Wear: A History of the Garment District
Jan 8, 2016 • 52 min
The Garment District in Midtown Manhattan has been the center for all things American fashion for almost one hundred years. The lofts and office buildings here still buzz with industry of making clothing — from design to distribution. New York’s long…
#195 Midnight in Times Square: New Year’s Eve in New York City
Dec 10, 2015 • 49 min
In this episode, we look back on the one day of the year that New Yorkers look forward. New Years Eve is the one night that millions of people around the world focus their attentions on New York City — or more specifically, on the wedge shaped building in…
#194 Nellie Bly: Undercover in the Madhouse
Nov 12, 2015 • 54 min
Nellie Bly was a determined and fearless journalist ahead of her time, known for the spectacular lengths she would go to get a good story. Her reputation was built on the events of late September-early October 1887 — the ten days she spent in an insane…
#193 St. Mark’s Place: Party in the East Village!
Oct 29, 2015 • 50 min
St. Mark’s Place may be named for a saint but it’s been a street full of sinners for much of its history. One of the most fascinating streets in the city, St. Mark’s traces its story back to Peter Stuyvesant, meets up with the wife of Alexander Hamilton…
#192 Haunted Landmarks of New York
Oct 15, 2015 • 54 min
Don’t be frightened! It’s the ninth annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast. We’re here to guide you through the back alleys … OF TERROR! In this installment, we take a look at the spectral lore behind some of New York City’s most famous landmarks,…
#191 The Great Fire of 1776
Oct 1, 2015 • 50 min
A little after midnight on September 21, 1776, the Fighting Cocks Tavern on Whitehall Street caught on fire. The drunken revelers inside the tavern were unable to stop the blaze, and it soon raged into a dangerous inferno, spreading up the west side of…
#190 The Curious Case of Typhoid Mary
Sep 17, 2015 • 50 min
The gripping and startling tale of Typhoid Mary is a harrowing detective story and a chilling tale of disease and death. Why are whole healthy families suddenly getting sick with typhoid fever — from the languid mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast to the…
#189 TAXI: History of the New York City Taxicab
Sep 3, 2015 • 57 min
In this episode, we recount almost 175 years of getting around New York in a private ride. The hansom, the romantic rendition of the horse and carriage, took New Yorkers around during the Gilded Age. But unregulated conduct by ‘nighthawks’ and the messy…
#188: The Murder of Stanford White
Aug 6, 2015 • 53 min
On the evening of June 25, 1906, during a performance of Mam’zelle Champagne on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden, the architect Stanford White was brutally murdered by Harry Kendall Thaw. The renown of White’s professional career — he was one of New…
#187: Super City: New York and the History of Comic Books
Jul 23, 2015 • 52 min
In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer 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…
#186 Hell’s Kitchen: New York’s Wild West
Jul 9, 2015 • 50 min
Hell’s Kitchen, on the far west side of Midtown Manhattan, is a neighborhood of many secrets. The unique history of this working class district veers into many tales of New York’s criminal underworld and violent riots which have shaken the streets for…
#185 Adventures on Governors Island
Jun 25, 2015 • 58 min
What can you find on Governors Island? Almost 400 years of action-packed history! This island in New York Harbor has been at the heart of the city’s defense since the days of the Revolutionary War, and its story takes us back to the very beginnings of…
#184 The Flatiron Building: A Story from Three Sides
Jun 11, 2015 • 50 min
For our 8th anniversary episode, we’re revisiting one of New York City’s great treasures and a true architectural oddity — the Flatiron Building. When they built this structure at the corner of Madison Square Park (and completed in 1902), did they realize…
#183 Orchard Street: Life in the Lower East Side
May 29, 2015 • 57 min
The Lower East Side is one of the most important neighborhoods in America, with a rich history as dense as its former living quarters. Thousands of immigrants experienced American life on these many crowded streets. In this podcast, we look at this…
#182 Mae West, “Sex” on Broadway
May 15, 2015 • 51 min
Mae West (star of I’m No Angel and She Done Him Wrong) would come to revolutionize the idea of American sexuality, challenging and lampooning ideas of femininity while wielding a suggestive and vicious wit. But before she was America’s diamond girl, she…
#181 Park Slope and the Story of Brownstone Brooklyn
May 1, 2015 • 58 min
Park Slope – or simply the park slope, as they used to say – is best known for its spectacular Victorian-era mansions and brownstones, one of the most romantic neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn. It’s also a leading example of the gentrifying forces that…
#180 The Chelsea Piers and the Age of the Ocean Liner
Apr 16, 2015 • 50 min
The Chelsea Piers were once New York City’s portal to the world, a series of long docks along the west side of Manhattan that accommodated some of the most luxurious ocean liners of the early 20th century. Passenger ocean travel became feasible in the mid…
#179 The Fight for Bryant Park
Apr 2, 2015 • 51 min
In our last show, we left the space that would become Bryant Park as a disaster area; its former inhabitant, the old Crystal Palace, had tragically burned to the ground in 1858. The area was called Reservoir Square for its proximity to the Murray Hill…
#178: The Crystal Palace: America’s First World’s Fair
Mar 19, 2015 • 46 min
New York’s Crystal Palace seems like something out of a dream, a shimmering and spectacular glass-and-steel structure — a gigantic greenhouse — which sat in the area of today’s Bryant Park. In 1853 this was the home to the Exhibition of the Industry of…
#177 The Big History of Little Italy
Feb 20, 2015 • 51 min
Little Italy is the pocket-neighborhood reminder of the great wave of Italian immigration which came through New York City starting in the late 1870s. This was the home of a densely packed, lively neighborhood of pushcarts, cheese shops, barber shops and…
#176 Billie Holiday’s New York
Jan 23, 2015 • 36 min
Grab your fedora and take a trip with the Bowery Boys into the heart of New York City’s jazz scene — late nights, smoky bars, neon signs — through the eyes of one of the greatest American vocalists who ever lived here — Billie Holiday. This a tour of the…
#175 Bowery Boys 2014 Year In Review
Dec 25, 2014 • 50 min
When historians look back at the year 2014, what events or cultural changes within New York City will historians consider significant? In this special episode, the Bowery Boys look back at some of the biggest historical headlines of the year — the opening…
#174 American Kicks: A History of the Rockettes
Dec 11, 2014 • 50 min
The Radio City Rockettes are perhaps America’s best known dance troupe — and a staple of the holiday season — but you may not know the origin of this most iconic of New York City symbols. For one, they’re not even from the Big Apple! Formerly the Missouri…
#173 Ruins of the World’s Fair: New York State Pavilion
Nov 13, 2014 • 57 min
The ruins of the New York State Pavilion, highlight of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, have become a kind of unofficial Statue of Liberty of Queens, greeting people as they head to and from LaGuardia and JFK airports. Its…
#172 Ghost Stories of Brooklyn
Oct 15, 2014 • 49 min
Brooklyn is the setting for this quartet of classic ghost stories, all set before the independent city was an official borough of New York City. This is a Brooklyn of old stately mansions and farms, with railroad tracks laid through forests and large…
#171 The Keys to Gramercy Park
Sep 18, 2014 • 51 min
Gramercy Park is Manhattan’s only private park, a prohibited place for most New Yorkers. However we have your keys to the history of this significant and rather unusual place, full of the city’s greatest inventors, civic leaders and entertainers!…
#170 The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino
Aug 21, 2014 • 48 min
Rudolph Valentino was an star from the early years of Hollywood, but his elegant, randy years in New York City should not be forgotten. They helped make him a premier dancer and a glamorous actor. And on August 23, 1926, this is where the silent film icon…
#169 The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History
Aug 6, 2014 • 32 min
One World Trade Center was declared last year the tallest building in America, but it’s a very different structure from the other skyscrapers who have once held that title. In New York, owning the tallest building has often been like possessing a valuable…
#168 DUEL! Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton
Jul 10, 2014 • 29 min
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met at a clearing in Weehawken, NJ, in the early morning on July 11, 1804, to mount the most famous duel in American history. But why? This is the story of two New York lawyers — and two Founding Fathers — that so…
#167 Cleopatra’s Needle and the Freemasons Secret
Jun 26, 2014 • 48 min
Cleopatra’s Needle is the name given to the ancient Egyptian obelisk that sits in Central Park, right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is the bizarre tale of how it arrived in New York and the unusual forces that went behind its transportation…
#166 General Slocum Disaster 1904
Jun 12, 2014 • 27 min
On June 15, 1904, hundreds of residents of the Lower East Side’s thriving German community boarded the General Slocum excursion steamer to enjoy a day trip outside the city. Most of them would never return home. The General Slocum disaster is, simply put,…
#165 Ladies’ Mile
May 30, 2014 • 48 min
Ladies’ Mile — the most famous New York shopping district in the 19th century and the “heart of the Gilded Age,” a district of spectacular commercial palaces of cast-iron. They are some of the city’s greatest buildings, designed by premier architects.…
#164 The Astor Place Riot
May 1, 2014 • 49 min
England’s great thespian William Macready mounted the stage of the Astor Place Opera House on May 10, 1849, to perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth, just as he had done hundreds of times before. But this performance would become infamous in later years as the…
#163 South Street Seaport
Apr 3, 2014 • 49 min
The glory of early New York City came from its role as one of the world’s great ports. Today the South Street Seaport is a lasting tribute to that seafaring heritage, a historical district beneath the Brooklyn Bridge that contains some of the city’s…
#162 George Washington Bridge
Mar 7, 2014 • 47 min
The George Washington Bridge is surprisingly graceful, but politically scandalous. And we’re not talking about the current crisis being faced by current New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Figuring out a way to cross over the Hudson River (not using a…
#161 Fire Department of New York (FDNY)
Feb 6, 2014 • 44 min
The New York Fire Department protects the five boroughs from a host of disasters and mishaps — five-alarm blazes, a kitchen fire run amok, and even those dastardly midtown elevators, always getting stuck! But today’s tightly organized team is a far cry…
#160 Tompkins Square Park
Jan 10, 2014 • 46 min
Central Park has frequently been called ‘the people’s park,” but we think Tompkins Square Park may have a better claim to that title. From its inception, this East Village recreational spot — named for Vice President Daniel D Tompkins — has catered to…
#159 The Broadway Musical: Setting the Stage
Dec 12, 2013 • 57 min
The Broadway Musical is one of New York City’s greatest inventions, 150 years in the making! It’s one of the truly American art forms, fueling one of the city’s most vibrant entertainment businesses and defining its most popular tourist attraction — Times…
#158 Hotel Theresa: The Waldorf of Harlem
Nov 14, 2013 • 23 min
The Hotel Theresa is considered a genuine (if under-appreciated) Harlem treasure, both for its unique architecture and its special place in history as the hub for African-American life in the 1940s and 50s. The luxurious apartment hotel was built by a…
#157 Early Ghost Stories of Old New York
Oct 17, 2013 • 57 min
This is the Bowery Boys 7th annual Halloween podcast, with four new scary stories to chill your bones and keep you up at night, generally doused with strange and fascinating facts about New York City. For this episode, we’ve decided to go truly…
#156 The Boy Mayor of New York
Sep 19, 2013 • 44 min
As New York City enters the final stages of this year’s mayoral election, let’s look back on a decidedly more unusual contest 100 years ago, pitting Tammany Hall and their estranged ally (Mayor William Jay Gaynor) up against a baby-faced newcomer, the…
#155 Sesame Street to Seinfeld: NYC TV 1969-2013
Aug 22, 2013 • 22 min
In the third part of the Bowery Boys Summer TV Mini-Series, we give you a grand tour of the New York City television production world from the 1970s to today, from the debut of Sesame Street in the Upper West Side to the flourishing 1990s, where the city…
#154 New York in the Golden Age of Television
Aug 2, 2013 • 53 min
It’s the second part of the Bowery Boys TV Mini-Series, covering the years of New York City television production from the late 1940s to the 1960s. This podcast is arranged a little bit like a leisurely Midtown walking tour, taking you past four of the…
#153 NYC and the Birth of Television
Jun 28, 2013 • 51 min
It’s the beginning of The Bowery Boys Summer TV Mini-Series, three podcasts devoted to New York City’s illustrious history with broadcast television — from Sarnoff to Seinfeld! In our first show, we go back to the start of the invention of the television…
#152 Bellevue Hospital
May 30, 2013 • 45 min
Bellevue Hospital, you might have heard, once had a very notorious psychiatric ward. But those horror stories have only distracted from the rather breathtaking — and heart-breaking — history of this historic institution, a lifeline not only for the sick,…
#151 The Limelight: Church, Nightclub and Mall
May 2, 2013 • 44 min
If you had told 1840s religious leader William Muhlenberg that his innovative new Church of the Holy Communion, designed by renown architect Richard Upjohn, would become the glittering seat of drugs and debauchery 150 years later, he might have burned it…
#150 Consolidation! Five Boroughs, One Big City
Apr 5, 2013 • 55 min
Here’s the story of how two very big cities and a whole bunch of small towns and villages — completely different in nature, from farmland to skyscraper — became the greatest city in the world. This is the tale of Greater New York, the forming of the five…
#149 John Peter Zenger and the Power of the Press
Mar 7, 2013 • 48 min
A long, long time ago in New York — in the 1730s, back when the city was a holding of the British, with a little over 10,000 inhabitants — a German printer named John Peter Zenger decided to print a four-page newspaper called the New York Weekly Journal.…
#148 The Great Blizzard of 1888
Feb 7, 2013 • 48 min
This year is the 125th anniversary of one of the worst storms to ever wreck havoc upon New York City, the now-legendary mix of wind and snow called the Great Blizzard of 1888. Its memory was again conjured up a few months ago as people struggled to…
#147 Art Insanity: The Armory Show of 1913
Jan 11, 2013 • 25 min
The Armory Show of 1913 was the mainstream debut of modernist art — both European and American — to New York City audiences. Galleries had previously devoted themselves to the great European masters, antiquity and American landscapes as a way to influence…
#146 Herald Square
Dec 14, 2012 • 54 min
Welcome to the secret history of Herald Square, New York City’s second favorite intersection — after Times Square, of course, just a few blocks north. But we think you may find this intersection at 34th Street, Sixth Avenue and Broadway perhaps even more…
#145 Bicycle Mania! From Velocipede to Ten-Speed
Nov 15, 2012 • 20 min
The bicycle has always seemed like a slightly awkward form of transportation in big cities, but in fact, it’s reliable, convenient, clean and — believe it or not — popular in New York City for almost 200 years. The original two-wheeled conveyance was the…
Hurricane Sandy Update
Nov 2, 2012 • 16 min
A brief snapshot into what’s happening in the city as of Friday afternoon, November 2, reviewing some of the events associated with Hurricane Sandy, the catastrophic storm which hit the Northeast this week. Featuring some of the historical context for the…
#144 Mysteries and Magicians of New York
Oct 18, 2012 • 54 min
Our sixth annual ghost story podcast takes a little twist this time around. Oh sure, we have two of New York’s most FAMOUS horror stories in our first part, beginning with a spirited sailor named Mickey who haunted a classic structure on the Lower West…
#143 Water for New York: Croton Aqueduct
Sep 20, 2012 • 46 min
One of the great challenges faced by a growing, 19th-century New York City was the need for a viable, clean water supply. Before the 1830s, citizens relied on cisterns to collect rainwater, a series of city wells drilling down to underground springs, and…
#142 New York University (NYU)
Aug 24, 2012 • 45 min
They once called it the University of the City of New York, an innovative, nondenominational school located in a intellectual castle on the northeast corner of the Washington military parade ground. Today its better known as New York University, one of…
#141 New York Beer History
Jul 26, 2012 • 49 min
New York City’s thriving craft brewing industry today hearkens to a time over a century ago when the city was one of America’s great beer-making capitols, the home to a robust industry of breweries and beer halls. In the 19th century, German immigrants…
#140 Rockaway Beach
Jun 28, 2012 • 49 min
The Rockaways are a world unto its own, a former resort destination with miles of beach facing into the Atlantic Ocean, a collection of diverse neighborhoods and a truly quirky history. Retaining a variant of its original Lenape name, the peninsula…
#139 Brooklyn Academy of Music
Jun 1, 2012 • 46 min
One of New York’s oldest cultural institutions, the Brooklyn Academy of Music has an unusual history that spans over 150 years and two locations. We trace the story from the earliest roots of a Manhattan-Brooklyn rivalry and a discussion over high-class…
#138: St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery
May 3, 2012 • 53 min
St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery is one of Manhattan’s most interesting and mysterious links to early New York history. This East Village church was built in 1799 atop the location of the original chapel of Peter Stuyvesant, New Amsterdam’s peg-legged…
#137 NYC and the World of Radio
Apr 5, 2012 • 55 min
The discovery of radio changed the world, and New York City was often front and center for its creation and development as America’s prime entertainment source during the 1930s and 40s. In this show, we take you on a 50-year journey, from Marconi’s…
#136 High Line Walking Tour
Mar 22, 2012 • 32 min
Welcome to the unofficial High Line audio walking tour! In our last podcast, we gave you a history of the High Line, the one-mile linear park situated atop a stretch of abandoned elevated railroad tracks along the West Side. This time, I’ll take you on a…
#135 The High Line
Mar 8, 2012 • 45 min
The High Line, which snakes up New York’s west side, is an ambitious park project refitting abandoned elevated train lines into a breathtaking contemporary park. This is the remnant of a raised freight-delivery track system that supported New York’s…
#134 St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Feb 10, 2012 • 46 min
One of America’s most famous churches and a graceful icon upon the landscape of midtown Manhattan, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was also one of New York’s most arduous building projects, taking decades to build. An overflow of worshippers at downtown’s old St…
#133 Red Hook: Brooklyn on the Waterfront
Jan 13, 2012 • 21 min
Red Hook, Brooklyn, the neighborhood called by the Dutch ‘Roode Hoek’ for its red soil, became a key port during the 19th century, a stopping point for vessels carry a vast array of raw goods from the interior of the United States along the Erie Canal. In…
#132 Electric New York: Edison and the City Lights
Dec 15, 2011 • 50 min
The streets of New York have been lit in various ways through the decades, from the wisps of whale-oil flame to the modern comfort of gas lighting. With the discovery of electricity, it seemed possible to illuminate the world with a more dependable,…
#131 The First Apartment Building
Nov 17, 2011 • 21 min
Well, we’re movin’ on up….to the first New York apartment building ever constructed. New Yorkers of the emerging middle classes needed a place to live situated between the townhouse and the tenement, and the solution came from overseas — a daring style of…
#130 Haunted Histories of New York
Oct 20, 2011 • 50 min
What mischievous phantoms and malevolent spirits haunt the streets of New York City today? In our fifth annual podcast of local ghost stories, we bring you the histories of four very haunted places from three boroughs and a small island in the harbor. The…
#129 Chinatown
Sep 22, 2011 • 45 min
Manhattan’s Chinatown is unique among New York neighborhoods as its origins and its provocative history can still be traced in many of the buildings and streets still in existence. Two hundred years ago, the sight of a Chinese person would have astonished…
#128 Hoaxes and Conspiracies of 1864
Aug 28, 2011 • 45 min
We’re officially subtitling this ‘Strange Tales of 1864’, a series of odd, fascinating stories from one pivotal year in New York City history. With the city both fatigued by the length of the Civil War and energized by Union victories, New Yorkers were…
#127 The Civil War Draft Riots
Jul 22, 2011 • 50 min
The week of July 13, 1863, was indeed among the most dangerous weeks to be a New Yorker. The announcement of conscription to replenish Union troops — and the inclusion of that incendiary $300 exemption fee — fell upon jaded ears, and as the draft lottery…
#126 Fernando Wood: The Scoundrel Mayor
Jun 30, 2011 • 22 min
Fernando Wood, New York’s mayor at the dawning of the Civil War, was the South’s best friend. Famous during his first term for inciting a police riot, Wood drummed up pro-slavery support amongst his Irish and German constituents and even suggested New…
#125 Sardi’s Restaurant
Jun 9, 2011 • 44 min
The famous faces on the walls of Sardi’s Restaurant represent the entertainment elite of the 20th Century, and all of them made this place on West 44th Street their unofficial home. Known for its caricatures and its Broadway opening-night traditions,…
#124 Idlewild/JFK Airport
May 12, 2011 • 49 min
Come fly with us through a history of New York City’s largest airport, once known as Idlewild (for a former golf course) and called John F. Kennedy International Airport since 1964. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia wanted a new and improved facility to relieve…
#123 TRUMP
Apr 28, 2011 • 22 min
Donald Trump - financial wizard, reality star, or political distraction? The secret in figuring him out may be contained in the roots of his wealth — a saga that stretches back to the 1880s and begins with a 16-year-old boy named Drumpf who made his…
#122: The Grid - Commissioners Plan of 1811
Apr 15, 2011 • 47 min
How did Manhattan get its orderly rows of numbered streets and avenues? In the early 18th century, New York was growing rapidly, but the new development was confined on an island, giving city planners a rare opportunity to mold a modern city that was…
#121 Fraunces Tavern
Mar 17, 2011 • 49 min
Fraunces Tavern is one of America’s most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of tavern culture on the New York way of life during the Colonial era. This revered building at the corner of Pearl and…
#120 NYC and the Birth of the Movies
Feb 17, 2011 • 52 min
New York City inspires cinema, but it has also consistently manufactured it. And long before anybody had heard of Hollywood, New York and the surrounding region was a movie capital too, the home to the earliest American film studios and inventors who…
#119 The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Jan 21, 2011 • 39 min
The longest suspension bridge in the United States, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge was one of Robert Moses’ most ambitious projects, a commanding structure that would finally link Staten Island with Brooklyn. Today it soars above New York Harbor as one of…
#118 Times Square
Dec 17, 2010 • 55 min
Times Square is the centerpiece of New York for most visitors and a place that sharply divides city residents. Nothing about it sits still. Even its oldest buildings are severely transformed and slathered with electronic imagery. In 1900, the neighborhood…
#117 Mark Twain’s New York
Dec 2, 2010 • 24 min
You hear the name Mark Twain and think of his classic characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, his locales along the Mississippi River and his folksy wit. But he was equal parts New York as well, and the city helped shape his sharp, flamboyant…
#116 American Museum of Natural History
Nov 23, 2010 • 52 min
Millions of years of space rocks, fossils, artifacts and specimens are housed in New York’s world famous natural history complex on the Upper West Side. But few know the whole story about the museum itself. Residents of New York tried a few times to…
#115 African Burial Ground
Nov 4, 2010 • 18 min
During the construction of a downtown federal administration building, an extraordinary find was discovered — the remnants of a burial ground used by African slaves during the 18th Century. In the earliest days of New Amsterdam, the first Africans were…
#114 Supernatural Stories of New York
Oct 21, 2010 • 54 min
It’s our fourth annual ‘haunted’ podcast, and we’ve got four bloodcurdling stories for the season. The first three are spooky ghost tales — a haunted boardinghouse on 14th street with violent, vain spirits; a short history of New York’s seance craze and a…
#113 Niblo’s Garden
Oct 7, 2010 • 21 min
It’s the 1820s and welcome to the era of the pleasure garden, an outdoor entertainment complex delighting wealthy New Yorkers in the years before public parks. Niblo’s Garden, at the corner of Broadway and Prince Street, was the greatest of them all, with…
#112 Archibald Gracie and His Mansion
Sep 17, 2010 • 46 min
Gracie Mansion today serves as the city’s official mayoral residence. But who was Archibald Gracie, and why did the city take over his country house?
#111 Subway Graffiti 1970-1989
Sep 2, 2010 • 20 min
Art. Vandalism. Blight. Freedom. Crime. Creativity. Graffiti has divided New Yorkers since it first appeared on walls, signs and lampposts in the late 1960s. Its ascent paralleled the city’s sunken financial fortunes, allowing simple markings to evolve…
#110 New York City Subway, Part 2: By the Numbers (and Letters)
Aug 19, 2010 • 47 min
The amazing New York City subway system travels hundreds of miles under the earth and elevated through the boroughs. In this episode, we let you in on how it went from one long tunnel in 1904 to the busiest subway on earth. This is our last episode in our…
#109 New York City Subway, Part 1: Birth of the IRT
Aug 6, 2010 • 48 min
In the fourth part of our transportation series BOWERY BOYS ON THE GO, we finally take a look at the birth of the New York City subway. After decades of outright avoiding underground transit as a legitimate option, the city got back on track with the help…
#108 Cable Cars, Trolleys and Monorails
Jul 22, 2010 • 19 min
For the third part of our Bowery Boys On The Go series, looking back at the history of New York City public transportation, it’s a look at the long gone, forgotten methods of getting around the city. The streets were mostly dominated by horse-based…
#107 New York’s Elevated Railroads
Jul 8, 2010 • 44 min
Before there were subways, New York City transported travelers up and down the length of Manhattan by elevated railroad, an almost unreal spectacle to consider today. Steam engines sat high above several avenues in the city, offering passengers not just a…
#106 Staten Island Ferry
Jun 24, 2010 • 20 min
The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last remaining vestiges of an entire ferry system in New York, taking people between Manhattan and its future boroughs long before any bridges were built. In Staten Island, the northern shores were spiked in piers,…
#105 The Newsboys Strike of 1899
Jun 10, 2010 • 39 min
Extra! Extra! Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst vs. the newsboys! Pandemonium in the streets! One hot summer in July 1899, thousands of corner newsboys went on strike against the New York Journal and the New York World. Throngs filled the…
May 27, 2010 • 18 min
Modern American rock music would have been a whole lot different without the rundown dive mecca CBGB’s, a beat-up former flophouse bar that made stars out of young musicians and helped shape the musical edge of downtown Manhattan. Owner Hilly Kristal may…
#103: Case Files of the NYPD
May 14, 2010 • 48 min
We’re playing Good Cop / Bad Cop this week, as we take a close look at four events from the early history of the New York Police Department. You’ll meet shining stars of the force like Jacob Hays, who kept the peace in the early 19th century armed with a…
#102 Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach
Apr 29, 2010 • 17 min
Today it’s known as Brooklyn’s thriving Russian community next door to the amusements of the neighborhood of Coney Island. But a hundred years ago, the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach were the homes of lavish hotels catering to the…
#101 The Bronx Zoo
Apr 16, 2010 • 39 min
New York City’s most exotic residents inhabit hundreds of leafy acres in the Bronx at the once-named New York Zoological Park. Sculpted out of the former DeLancey family estate and tucked next to the Bronx River, the Bronx Zoo houses hundreds of different…
#100 Robert Moses
Mar 19, 2010 • 67 min
EPISODE 100 We obviously had to spend our anniversary show with the Power Broker himself, everybody’s favorite Parks Commissioner — Robert Moses. A healthy debate about Moses will divide your friends, and we provide the resources to make your case for…
#99 Madison Square Garden
Feb 18, 2010 • 45 min
Madison Square Garden is certainly the recognizable name in arena entertaining, hosting sports, concerts, even political conventions. But it adopted that reputation from three other buildings which also called themselves ‘Madison Square Garden’. The…
#98 Manhattan Bridge
Feb 4, 2010 • 17 min
I love the Manhattan Bridge, but there’s no doubt it’s had a rocky history. For one hundred years, it’s withstood more than just comparisons to its far more iconic neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge. Built to relieve pressure on the East River’s best known…
#58 Delmonico’s Restaurant
Jan 29, 2010 • 18 min
Before Delmonico’s, New Yorkers ate in taverns or oyster houses. But the city caught the fine dining bug at this family-owned business, Delmonico’s Restaurant Francais, which standardized everything you know about restaurants today. Find out about…
#97 Trinity Church
Jan 21, 2010 • 34 min
Trinity Church, with its distinctive spire staring down upon the west end of Wall Street, is more than just a house of worship. Over three different church buildings have sat at this site, and the current one by architect Richard Upjohn is one of…
#96 The Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park
Dec 24, 2009 • 17 min
The Cloisters, home of the Metropolitan Museum’s repository for medieval treasures, was a labor of love for many lovers of great European art. In this podcast, I highlight three of the most important men in its history — a passionate sculptor, a generous…
#95 Tin Pan Alley
Dec 11, 2009 • 38 min
The modern music industry begins…. on 28th Street? A seemingly nondescript street in midtown Manhattan contains some of the most important buildings where early American pop music was created. Tin Pan Alley was a bustling and frenzied area, the most…
#94 Corlear’s Hook and the Pirates of the East River
Nov 27, 2009 • 18 min
Avast ye mateys, there were indeed pirates in New York! Not only did they operate throughout the New York region in the 19th century, most of their grave misdeeds were focused around the East River waterfront, and in particular, Corlear’s Hook. Once a…
#93 City Hall and City Hall Park
Nov 13, 2009 • 40 min
New York City Hall sits majestically inside a nostalgic, well-manicured park, topped with a beautiful old fountain straight out of gaslight-era New York. But its serenity belies the frantic pace of government inside City Hall walls, and disguises a…
#92 Steinway: the Piano Man
Oct 22, 2009 • 19 min
Henry Steinway, a German immigrant who came to New York in 1850, made his name in various showrooms and factories in downtown Manhattan, enticing the wealthy with his award-winning quality pianos. At their grand Steinway Hall on 14th Street, the family…
#91 Haunted Tales of New York
Oct 9, 2009 • 38 min
It’s time for our third annual ‘ghost stories’ episode, our mix of historical facts and spooky legends from the annals of New York’s past. For this round of scary tales, we visit a famous 19th century townhouse haunted by a lonely spinster, a West Village…
#90 Columbia University
Sep 13, 2009 • 41 min
We’re going back to school with one of New York’s oldest continually operating institutions — Columbia University. Or should we say, King’s College, the pre-Revolution New York school that spawned religious controversy and a few Founding Fathers to boot.…
#89 Chelsea Hotel
Aug 14, 2009 • 38 min
Arguably New York’s least conventional hotel, the Chelsea Hotel (or rather, the Hotel Chelsea) is the one of New York’s counter-culture centers, a glamorous, art-filled Tower of Babel for both creativity and debauchery. From Mark Twain to Andy Warhol,…
#88 Ellis Island: The Immigrant Story
Jul 31, 2009 • 35 min
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…
#87 The Kings of New York Pizza
Jul 16, 2009 • 18 min
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…
#86 Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall
Jul 2, 2009 • 38 min
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…
#85 Shakespeare in the Park
Jun 18, 2009 • 16 min
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…
#84 Prospect Park
Jun 5, 2009 • 34 min
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…
#83 Henry Hudson
May 21, 2009 • 15 min
We turn the clock back to the very beginnings of New York history — to the European discovery of Manahatta 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…
#82 Roosevelt Island
May 8, 2009 • 35 min
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…
#81 Puck Building “What Fools These Mortals Be!”
Apr 23, 2009 • 17 min
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…
#80 Pennsylvania Station
Apr 10, 2009 • 36 min
The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Meade and White. It’s a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Find out why the…
#79 The Whyos: Gang of New York
Mar 28, 2009 • 15 min
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…
#78 The Great Fire of 1835
Mar 13, 2009 • 38 min
The Great Fire of 1835 devastated the city during one freezing December evening, destroying hundreds of buildings and changing the face of Manhattan forever. It underscored the city’s need for a functioning water system and permanent fire department. So…
#77 Freedomland U.S.A.: New York’s Weirdest Theme Park
Feb 26, 2009 • 16 min
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,…
#76 Woolworth Building
Feb 12, 2009 • 30 min
F.W. Woolworth was the self-made king of retail’s newfangled ‘five and dime’ store and his pockets were overflowing with cash. Meanwhile, in New York, the contest to build the tallest building was underway. The two combine to create one of Manhattan’s…
#75 Williamsburg(h), Brooklyn
Jan 29, 2009 • 18 min
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…
# 49 LaGuardia Airport and Early New York Flight
Jan 17, 2009 • 19 min
We embark on the tale of the birth of New York City flight — featuring a Wright brother on Governor’s Island, the site of a glue factory turned Brooklyn air strip, Queens’ forgotten first airport, and finally to the pet project of mayor Fiorello…
#74 Ziegfeld!
Jan 15, 2009 • 35 min
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…
#73 Webster Hall ‘The Devil’s Playhouse’
Jan 2, 2009 • 12 min
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…
#48 The Stonewall Riots
Dec 28, 2008 • 36 min
It’s the summer of 1969, and the police have raided the Stonewall, a popular gay bar in the West Village. Join us as we look at the raid, the riots, and their significance
#47 Grants Tomb
Dec 28, 2008 • 16 min
What’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? A quirky history that includes an ambitious architect, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, lots of ugly raspberry paint, and charges of prostitution and animal sacrifice! Oh yeah, and that Civil War guy’s buried…
#46 Barnum’s American Museum
Dec 23, 2008 • 33 min
You know PT Barnum from his circus, but he was bringing the freakshow to New York long before then. Come take a tour with us of the craziest museum to ever hit New York City. Co-starring the Fejee Mermaid, the Witch of Staten Island, Tom Thumb, the…
#45 Grand Central
Dec 20, 2008 • 33 min
Join the Bowery Boys for a commute through the history of Grand Central — the depot, the station, and the terminal.
#44 Rikers Island
Dec 20, 2008 • 16 min
What do Salvador Dali, John Jacob Astor, Peter Stuyvesant, the Civil War, and a big pile of trash have to do with the world’s biggest penal colony? We connect the dots in this history of Rikers Island.
#72 Rockefeller Center
Dec 19, 2008 • 38 min
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…
#43 Studio 54
Dec 18, 2008 • 31 min
You don’t have to be a beautiful celebrity to enjoy the history of New York’s greatest disco, from its early days as an opera and television studio, to the late 70s, full of wild parties, famous folk and a really difficult door policy. With Warhol,…
#42: The Triangle Factory Fire
Dec 14, 2008 • 22 min
Come listen to the strange and shocking facts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, of a workplace tragedy that changed how New Yorkers live an work in a world of tall, flammable buildings.
#41 New York Post
Dec 13, 2008 • 30 min
EXTRA! EXTRA! Origins of New York Scandal Sheet Revealed! Post May Be Responsible For Central Park! Rupert Murdoch Property Was Once A Nest of Liberal Sympathizers! PLUS: Was there really a “headless body” in a “topless bar”?
#40 Union Square
Dec 12, 2008 • 32 min
New York’s most hectic park has been the stage for massive Civil War rallies, somber funerals, passionate workers gatherings and both premier and inexpensive shopping. Today, it’s got a little bit of everything for everyone. Join the Bowery Boys as they…
#39 New York Yankees
Dec 7, 2008 • 31 min
Get ready for nine innings (or 30 minutes) of the greatest sports team ever — the New York Yankees. Hear about their modest beginnings, their best players, and the fate of Yankee Stadium, their home for 85 years. (And I apologize in advance for this…
#38 Tiffany & Co.
Dec 6, 2008 • 16 min
You’ll be surprised by Tiffany’s 170-year history as a vanguard in New York luxury. See how they went from selling horse whips to world class diamonds. And what makes Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast At Tiffany’s particularly important to the fate of this…
#71 Saks Fifth Avenue
Dec 4, 2008 • 29 min
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…
#37 Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church
Nov 30, 2008 • 21 min
We’ve never done such a saucy show — full of sex, lies, and petticoats. Meet Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn Heights’ most notorious resident, and find out about the fascinating and provocative history of the church that turned him into a national celebrity.…
#36 Life In British New York 1776-1783
Nov 29, 2008 • 31 min
What was life like in New York during the British occupation during the Revolutionary War? Overcrowding, prison ships, food shortages, spies … and theater?
#35 The British Invasion 1776
Nov 28, 2008 • 28 min
It’s 1776 and revolution is in the air! Join the Bowery Boys as we tackle the British invasion and takeover of New York.
#34 Katz Delicatessen
Nov 28, 2008 • 12 min
The Bowery Boys stop for a nosh at three Jewish culinary stalwarts of the Lower East Side — Katz Delicatessen (a movie-friendly dining experience), Russ and Daughters (a tale of herring and girl power) and the Yonah Schimmel Knishery (and its surprising…
#33 The World’s Fair of 1964-65
Nov 28, 2008 • 28 min
It’s 1964, and we’re heading out to Flushing Meadows, Queens, where Robert Moses has constructed the World’s Fair of his dreams — for a second time. Join us for this tale of yesterday’s World of Tomorrow…
#32 Museum of Modern Art
Nov 25, 2008 • 31 min
The biggest surprise behind the revolutionary creation of the Museum of Modern Art is that the characters who put it together were almost as colorful as the art they championed. Tag along as we peek behind the canvas of New York’s oldest temple of the…
#31 Battery Park and Castle Clinton
Nov 22, 2008 • 30 min
Castle Clinton, built to defend New York City from a war that never arrived, has worn a lot of hats in its almost 200 year history; it’s been a performance hall, an immigration center and an aquarium! And you can find it in Battery Park, today host to a…
#30 Peter Cooper and Cooper Union
Nov 22, 2008 • 13 min
Cooper Union is one of New York City’s more storied institutions, not only fostering the best and brightest of art and architecture, but playing host to presidents and activists. Also, find out a little about its amazingly resourceful founder, Peter…
#70 The Bowery Files
Nov 21, 2008 • 28 min
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…
#29 Brooklyn Bridge
Nov 17, 2008 • 36 min
The Bowery Boys explore the story and the family behind the Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York’s most treasured landmarks — caissons, anchorages and all.
#28 One Times Square
Nov 15, 2008 • 13 min
Times Square’s New Years Eve celebration would not be the same without One Times Square and its annual ball drop. But the quirky history of this sometimes abused building reaches all the way back to the naming of Times Square and its original tenent — the…
#69 The Plaza Hotel
Nov 14, 2008 • 32 min
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: Henry…
#27 Radio City Music Hall
Nov 1, 2008 • 30 min
Behind the glamour of New York’s greatest stage, Radio City Music Hall is a story involving a toothpaste tube designer, an allergy to Brazil nuts, a hydraulic lift protected from the Nazis, and a grandstanding but forgotten man by the name of Roxy. PLUS:…
#26 Flatiron Building
Nov 1, 2008 • 16 min
What are the Bowery Boys doing in Chicago? Just a little detour in our search for the origins of the Flatiron Building, the wedge shaped, wind producing oddity — built as an office space in a department store neighborhood which grew to become one of the…
#68 New York City Marathon
Oct 31, 2008 • 30 min
A true five-borough episode! The New York City Marathon hosts thousands of runners from all over the world, the dream project of the New York Road Runners and in particular one Fred Lebow, an employee of the Fashion District turned athletic icon. Find out…
#25 The Original Bowery Boys
Oct 26, 2008 • 25 min
For our very special 25th episode, we give you all sorts of Bowery boys — the cultural and fashion trends of the 1840s, the notorious enemy of the Five Points gangs, and that slapstick bunch of New York actors from the 1930s and 1940s. And of course, a…
#24 The Copacabana
Oct 25, 2008 • 15 min
During the 1940s and 1950s, any celebrity worth their weight in fame either frequented or performed at the Copacabana, a swanky nightclub known for its showgirls, its Chinese food and its mafia ties. On this mini-podcast, we take you on a night on the…
#23 Macy’s : the Man, the Store, the Parade
Oct 24, 2008 • 31 min
Did you know that the man whose name adorns one of the most successful department stores in the world was a sailor turned failed businessman? Or why Macy’s Department Store ALMOST takes up an entire city block? Or how many clowns have been in the Macy’s…
#67 Guggenheim Museum
Oct 24, 2008 • 33 min
The spiral-ramped wonder that is the Guggenheim Museum began as the dream of two colorful characters — a severe German artist and her rich patron art-lover. So how did they convince the most famous architect in the world to sign on to their dream for a…
#22 Staten Island
Oct 20, 2008 • 25 min
The Bowery Boys take on the history of New York City’s most ‘forgotten’ borough, from its beginnings as a British outpost during the Revolutionary War to the controversy over that big stinky landfill. And we do it all in exactly the time it takes for the…
#21 The Astors and the Waldorf-Astoria
Oct 19, 2008 • 31 min
We’re going to the ‘original’ Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in this podcast to hang with the filthy rich. Our guides are the styling and eccentric Astor family, the centerpiece of 19th Century New York wealth and society. Come along as we weave through a family…
#20 United Nations Headquarters
Oct 18, 2008 • 25 min
It’s the only area of Manhattan that actually belongs to the entire world (literally). Come along with the Bowery Boys as we cut the security line to uncover the true story about the unusual headquarters of the United Nations, and why they ended up in New…
#19 Washington Irving
Oct 18, 2008 • 13 min
In this mini-podcast, we bring you New York City’s first internationally famous writer Washington Irving and his creepy tale of the Headless Horseman. We’ll tell you where you can go to celebrate his life and work, and what famous Irving landmark has…
#66 Who Killed Mary Rogers?
Oct 16, 2008 • 18 min
The most desirable woman in downtown Manhattan — the ‘beautiful cigar girl’ Mary Rogers — is found horribly murdered along the Hoboken shore. Hear some of the stories of the murder’s prime suspects and marvel at the excessive attentions of the penny…
#18 Ghost Stories of New York City
Oct 15, 2008 • 27 min
A city this size certainly has its share of ghosts, and the Bowery Boys spend the spooky season with some of the most famous — a suicide showgirl, a grumpy landowner, a womanizer theater owner and a rich
#17 New York Public Library
Oct 13, 2008 • 24 min
The New York Public Library may be one of the most revered libraries in America, but it took a far flung combination of bookworms, millionaires and do-gooders to make it into the institution it is today. Also: find out why the architectural style of the…
#16 Statue of Liberty
Oct 12, 2008 • 27 min
Lady Liberty — her torch may shine bright, but what story is she hiding under that copper-toned skin? The Bowery Boys bring you the story of the French dinner party that created an American icon.
#15 The Apollo Theater
Oct 12, 2008 • 27 min
Harlem’s jewel, the Apollo Theater, has more than lived up to its promise as a place “where stars are born and legends are made.” It’s been the cultural centerpiece of New York for more than seven decades, not bad for a former burlesque theater. And find…
#14 Peter Stuyvesant
Oct 12, 2008 • 27 min
Back when New York was New Amsterdam, it was the domain of the bullheaded, pear-growing, peglegged Peter Stuyvesant, who cleaned up the city and gave us our most important street. Find out why he still matters and why he’s the king of the East…
#65 Spooky Stories of New York
Oct 10, 2008 • 34 min
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. Our older…
#13 Coney Island: 20th Century Sideshow
Oct 8, 2008 • 27 min
Come see the Wonder Wheel, the king of hot dogs, the “Freaks” in the Dreamland Sideshow, a beached whale and Donald Trump’s dad — all in one place! It’s Coney Island in the 20th Century. But will it be around much longer in the 21st?…
#12 Coney Island: The Golden Age
Oct 6, 2008 • 28 min
A world of amusement starts here in New York — Coney Island, the world’s oldest and strangest collection of amusement parks, a mishmash of sideshows, concession stands, gambling halls, new-fangled rides and luxury hotels. Take a daytrip with us back to…
#11 The Chrysler Building
Oct 5, 2008 • 21 min
Ah, the classic Chrysler Building! She’s got style, glamour and all that jazz. But what magical surprise did she spring on New York in October of 1929? Join us as we tell the story of New York’s most beautiful art deco treasure.
#10 Central Park Zoo
Oct 4, 2008 • 22 min
From an odd assortment of abandoned creatures, to one of the most notorious zoos in the world, take a tour with us through Central Park’s storybook zoo.
#9 St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
Oct 4, 2008 • 15 min
The fashionable district of NoLIta happens to be home to a few ghosts as well, tucked behind the walls of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Come with us as we unearth some info about a mysterious New York fraternal order, the occupants of a few cemetery crypts,…
#8 Dakota Apartments and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’
Oct 4, 2008 • 16 min
Learn about New York’s most famous luxury apartment building and the classic horror film set here. Plus: Lauren Bacall, Connie Chung and some dumb waiters!
#7 Washington Square Park
Oct 4, 2008 • 21 min
Something’s afoot in Washington Square Park. Join the Bowery Boys this week on an expedition through one of New York’s quirkiest — and most beloved — parks, from Hangman’s Elm to Bob Dylan. And you say there’s WHAT buried in the ground underneath the park?
#6 Governors Island
Oct 4, 2008 • 18 min
New York’s most under-appreciated treasure gets the Bowery Boys treatment. It’s Governors Island: a fort, a small town, a prison and a Burger King … all bought for one dollar.
#5 Blackout
Oct 3, 2008 • 19 min
Flash back to the summer of 1977, when Star Wars and the Yankees ruled, gas prices were high, a serial killer roamed the streets, and the city experienced a little convenience called the New York City blackout.
#64 Green-Wood Cemetery
Oct 2, 2008 • 16 min
Green-wood Cemetery is one of New York’s oldest burial grounds, but its development reaches back all the way to the beginning of Brooklyn’s surprising history — in fact, to the founder of Brooklyn Heights. Find out why it took an inventive city planner…
#63 New York Stock Exchange
Sep 26, 2008 • 37 min
We tackle 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…
#62 Shea Stadium
Sep 18, 2008 • 15 min
The Mets are movin’ out to Citi Field, but we can’t overlook the great stories contained in their own home, Shea Stadium, a Robert Moses project took years to get off the ground.
#61 The Pan Am Building
Sep 18, 2008 • 30 min
Today it’s the Met Life Building. It’s been called the ugliest building in New York City. It sits like a monolith behind one of the city’s most enduring icons Grand Central Terminal. But it’s got some secrets you may not know about. In this podcast, we…
#60 Five Points: The Fate of Five Points
Sep 18, 2008 • 33 min
Part two of our “Five Points” podcast. Join us as we explore the “wicked” neighborhood’s clean up, fall from grace, and eventual destruction.
#59 Five Points: Wicked Slum
Sep 18, 2008 • 31 min
You’ve heard the legend of New York’s most notorious neighborhood. 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.…
#57 Carnegie Hall
Sep 18, 2008 • 31 min
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, past a symphonic rivalry, and into the 20th Century with some of the biggest names in classical…
#56 Randall’s Island and the 1936 Olympic Trials
Sep 18, 2008 • 18 min
Small islands reveal fascinating secrets of New York’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…
#55 The Evolution of Central Park
Sep 18, 2008 • 33 min
When last we left Central Park, it was the embodiment of Olmstead and Vaux’s naturalistic Greensward Plan. So how did all those playgrounds, a swanky nightclub, a theater troupe and all those hippies get here?
#54 The Creation of Central Park
Sep 18, 2008 • 30 min
Come with us to the beginnings of New York’s most popular and most ambitious park — from the inkling of an idea to the arduous construction. Learn who got uprooted and find out who the park was REALLY intended for.
#53 The Meatpacking District: Glamour and Gore
Sep 18, 2008 • 15 min
How did the land surrounding an old 19th century fortress develop into the city’s mainline distributor for produce and meat? And how did that once bustling place transform itself from the dilapidated home of leather bars and prostitutes to a hot spot of…
#52 DeWitt Clinton and the Erie Canal
Sep 18, 2008 • 32 min
Meet former mayor, governor, senator and privileged son DeWitt Clinton, one of New York’s most successful politicians and champion of the Erie Canal.
#51 McSorley’s Old Ale House
Sep 18, 2008 • 14 min
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!
#50 Canal Street and Collect Pond
Sep 18, 2008 • 26 min
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 ole pond in the middle of it which provided drinking water for the island’s first inhabitants. What happened…