Well, nobody can say that 2016 was an uneventful year.
After a rowdy and wild election season, we enter 2017 with New York City poised to take a new — and highly unusual — prominence in American politics. (This episode from 2011 is now officially the weirdest episode in the Bowery Boys back catalog).
We arrive at the new year with glass condominiums transforming the skyline at a faster rate than ever, and the first new subway station in a quarter century poised to shape the Upper East Side. But we lost other New York institutions like Carnegie Deli and Ziegfeld Cinema. (Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York has the complete list.) And we greet the new year with few cultural icons — Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Harper Lee, David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher.
We were genuinely honored this year to finally meet and hang out with so many of you thanks to the release of our first ever book. It’s been an extraordinary year for us — and all because of our listeners and readers. We are grateful for your support and listenership.
Here’s the list of every episode we released in 2016. From the triumphs of Jane Jacobs to the revival of the Bronx. Go back and listen to them all! We plan to release just as many shows in 2017 with a few more extra surprises in store.
Have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration and a prosperous and rewarding 2017!
The history of the New York City fashion industry and how it found its home south of Times Square aka The Garment District.
The tale of the Black Tom Explosion which sent shrapnel into the Statue of Liberty and rocked the region around New York harbor.
The history of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint and the oft-polluted Newtown Creek.
The story of growing tall in New York City and the two pivotal laws that allowed for the city’s dynamic, constantly evolving skyline.
On the eve of our 200th episode, we look back at our last 100 shows, at some of the highlights of the past six or so years.
And we officially introduce to you “The Adventures In Old New York”, our new book! We give you a little insight into its development and what history you can expect to find in it.
Our tribute to Jane Jacobs, the urban activist and writer who changed the way we live in cities and her fights to preserve Greenwich Village in the 1950s and ’60s.
The history of the Gowanus Canal, at the heart of a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood today, once used to be quite beautiful and non-toxic.
A flavorful walk through the Lower East Side, exploring the neighborhood’s most famous foods.
The strange and wonderful life of Nikola Tesla in New York City.
The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age.
The mysterious disappearance of a young woman becomes one of the most talked-about events over one hundred years ago.
The story of the Lenape, the native people of New York Harbor region, and their experiences with the first European arrivals — the explorers, the fur traders, the residents of New Amsterdam.
The unbelievable tale of Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit, a curious solution from 1870 to New York’s growing transporation crisis.
Two startling stories of outrageous hoaxes perpetrated upon New Yorkers in the early 19th century.
The surprisingly complex history of one of the world’s most famous hotels.
The history of video games and arcades in New York City.
The scandalous tale 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.
A history of the land which would become the Bronx, from the first European settlement to its debut in 1874 as New York’s Annexed District.
Continuing our three part series, the Bronx becomes a part of New York City, and we present the origin of some of the borough’s most famous landmarks.
The trials and tribulations experienced by the Bronx through the mid and late 20th century.
Four strange and spooky tales taken from New York City newspaper articles published during the Gilded Age.
The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (Sneak Preview of The First Podcast)
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 ensure that his glorious mechanical ride would forever change the world. That it did, but unfortunately, its inventor paid a horrible price.
The thrilling tale of Edwin Booth and the marvelous social club he created for the acting profession.
Your ticket to Truman Capote’s celebrity-filled party at the Plaza.
The origin story of Lincoln Center, an elegy to the neighborhood its campus replaced, and a celebration of West Side Story, the film that brings together several aspects of this story in one glorious musical number.
We’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned Gilded Age story so we’re bringing back one of our favorite Bowery Boys episodes ever — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst vs. the newsies!
PLUS the first five episodes of The First: Stories of Inventions and Their Consequences
Miss Draper: The First Woman Photographed
Dorothy Catherine Draper is a truly forgotten figure in American history. She was the first woman to ever sit for a photograph — a daguerrotype, actually, in the year 1840, upon the rooftop of the school which would become New York University..
American eating habits were transformed in the early 20th century with innovations in freezing and refrigeration, allowing all kinds of foods to be shipped across the country and stored for long periods of time.
But it would actually be the television set that would inspire one of the strangest creations in culinary history — the TV dinner.
You may know the story of Alexander Graham Bell and his world famous invention. You may know that Bell made the very first phone call. But do you know the story of the man who ANSWERED that call?
The Pledge of Allegiance feels like an American tradition that traces itself back to the Founding Fathers, but, in fact, it’s turning 125 years old in 2017. This is the story of the invention of the Pledge, a set of words that have come to embody the core values of American citizenship. And yet it began as part of a for-profit magazine promotion, written by a Christian socialist minister!