Joseph Papp vs. Robert Moses: The saga of Shakespeare in the Park

PODCAST REWIND The fascinating story of the Public Theater and Joseph Papp’s efforts to bring Shakespeare to the people. (Episode #85) 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. … Continue reading Joseph Papp vs. Robert Moses: The saga of Shakespeare in the Park

Stonewall Inn: The story of New York’s newest National Monument (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, … Continue reading Stonewall Inn: The story of New York’s newest National Monument (NPS 100)

‘New York Exposed’: Taking on corruption in the Gilded Age

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the tale of Madame Restell, the infamous 19th century abortionist and the moral reformer who brought her down — Anthony Comstock.  Comstock succeeded in destroying Restell in 1878. But the moral crusaders were just getting started. Old New  York luxuriated in a complex system of rewards to protect its vice … Continue reading ‘New York Exposed’: Taking on corruption in the Gilded Age

Hamilton Grange: New York’s Most Historic Mobile Home (NPS at 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, … Continue reading Hamilton Grange: New York’s Most Historic Mobile Home (NPS at 100)

The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue

The story of New York’s most prominent abortionist of the 19th century and the unique environment of morality and secrecy which accommodated her rise on the fringes of society. 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 … Continue reading The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue

Castle Clinton: New York’s Most Underappreciated Landmark (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, … Continue reading Castle Clinton: New York’s Most Underappreciated Landmark (NPS 100)

How to climb the Woolworth Building, courtesy the Historic Districts Council

Ever been to the top of the Woolworth Building? Most people haven’t. There are some good lobby tours but rarely any that take you to the very top of the building which was once the world’s tallest when it was completed in 1913. Well thanks to the Historic Districts Council (along with Sotheby’s International Realty and … Continue reading How to climb the Woolworth Building, courtesy the Historic Districts Council

What ‘The Get Down’ Gets Right About the South Bronx in 1977

Photo-mechanical postcards were popular during the Gilded Age because they were photographs printed on thick card stock and enhanced with colored inks, turning reality into a Technicolor dreamscape well before the invention of color film. This also describes the film style of Baz Luhrmann, the Australian director known his flamboyant, indulgent visual technique, seen in Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+ … Continue reading What ‘The Get Down’ Gets Right About the South Bronx in 1977

Florence Foster Jenkins: Six Historical Details From Meryl Streep’s Latest Film

NOTE: This discussion of the film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ includes minor location spoilers but no specific plot spoilers that not already in the movie trailer.  Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York music philanthropist and society maven of exceeding generosity, was actually a rather fine musician. Unfortunately, her ability to play the instrument in which she excelled … Continue reading Florence Foster Jenkins: Six Historical Details From Meryl Streep’s Latest Film

PODCAST REWIND: A Short History of Prospect Park

PODCAST REWIND 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 … Continue reading PODCAST REWIND: A Short History of Prospect Park