Billie Holiday’s New York: Here’s to Swing Street, Harlem’s 133rd Street and other landmarks of jazz

  PODCAST 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. Eleanora Fagan walked out of Pennsylvania Station in … Continue reading Billie Holiday’s New York: Here’s to Swing Street, Harlem’s 133rd Street and other landmarks of jazz

Bogie and Bacall meet Basie and Billie

This actually happened. For the debut of the new film Key Largo — starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall — the exhibitors at the Warner Strand Theater (at Broadway and 47th Street) has a special treat in store. The Strand Theatre, which opened in 1914, has already made history a few times in New York. … Continue reading Bogie and Bacall meet Basie and Billie

Brooklyn’s Forgotten Lake: Pictures of Mount Prospect Reservoir

As you can see, the Bowery Boys: New York City  History blog has gone through some major changes this week.  We have a new URL (boweryboyshistory.com) and a dynamic new layout which will present articles, photographs and podcast audio is a more user-friendly way.  There’s still some backlogged clean up to do so thank you … Continue reading Brooklyn’s Forgotten Lake: Pictures of Mount Prospect Reservoir

History in the Making 1/9: Main Squeeze Forever Edition

The Lower East Side lost a great one this week. Walter Kühr, the owner of the Main Squeeze accordion store, died last weekend.  He completely succeeded at his strange but profound mission in life — to keep accordion music alive in the heart of a once-thriving immigrant neighborhood.  He formed the Main Squeeze Orchestra — an … Continue reading History in the Making 1/9: Main Squeeze Forever Edition

The Doomsman: an apocalyptic view of New York City in 2015, written in 1906 by America’s foremost golf expert

From the original illustrations of  The Doomsman: a look up Park Row in 2015, a decrepit row of deteriorating structures. You can clearly see the ruins of old Post Office at the foot of City Hall Park.  Compare this view to the photograph at the bottom of this post. “Such is the world, or, rather, … Continue reading The Doomsman: an apocalyptic view of New York City in 2015, written in 1906 by America’s foremost golf expert

The Horror Underground: New York’s first subway disaster — during rush hour, one hundred years ago today

On January 6, 1915, a seemingly minor incident under the streets of Midtown caused a terrible panic, “the worst disaster in the history of the New York subway” up to that date, injuring hundreds of commuters and killing one.  That morning, two electrical cables feeding into manholes at Broadway and 52nd Street suddenly shorted out, … Continue reading The Horror Underground: New York’s first subway disaster — during rush hour, one hundred years ago today

Ten New Year’s resolutions that can help make New York City a better place to live in 2015

Harlem Street with Church, by William H Johnson, 1939-40, courtesy the Smithsonian Institute In the 1980s comic book Watchmen, a redheaded protester haunts a local New York newsstand holding a sign which says THE END IS NIGH. Sometimes I feel the urge to hoist my own version of that sign upon a street corner, moaning … Continue reading Ten New Year’s resolutions that can help make New York City a better place to live in 2015

The history of NYC in eight pop culture moments from 2014

In our 2014 Year In Review podcast, we didn’t have much time to talk about notable pop cultural events that depicted New York City history.  But here’s a recap a few films and television shows which used the city’s history in their narratives. I’ve arranged them in the chronological order in which they’ve been set: … Continue reading The history of NYC in eight pop culture moments from 2014