Category Archives: Bowery Boys

Every Bowery Boys podcast in chronological order by subject (updated for 2017)

Ten years ago (officially on June 19, 2007) we recorded the very first Bowery Boys podcast, appropriately about Canal Street, the street just outside our windows.  We cannot have possibly imagined on that hot June night, wielding only a bad microphone, a new laptop and some reasonably interesting information about a terribly polluted water source, that would still be doing this, stronger than ever.

Thank you listeners and readers for helping us celebrate almost four hundred years of history in the past ten. We have so many exciting things on the way for 2017.

Here’s a new way to experience our old podcasts. Below is our entire list of shows, placed in a particular chronological order, based on a critical date in that subject’s history.

Viewing our back catalog of podcasts in this fashion, we hope that you can really start seeing the entire history of New York City emerging. Naturally there are some blatant holes in our coverage that we hope to close up in future shows.

So enjoy! And thank you all again.

You can find our podcasts anyplace. Read here more information. You can directly to our Bowery Boys Archives feed for the first 75 or so. There’s a few in between that we haven’t had time to migrate to the Archive feed, but you can listen to those by clicking on the link below.

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Courtesy Museum of the City of New York



#206 The Lenape: The Real Native New Yorkers (Pre 1609 inhabitants)

#83 Henry Hudson and the European Discovery of Mannahatta (1609 – Hudson in the harbor)

#212 Bronx Trilogy: The Bronx Is Born (1639 Jonas Bronck sets up a farm on what would be called the Bronx River)

#14 Peter Stuyvesant (1647 Stuyvesant arrives)

#22 Staten Island (1680 Conference House built)

#228 The Pirate of Pearl Street: The New York Adventures of Captain Kidd (1690 Kidd moves to New York)

#97 Trinity Church (1698 – First Trinity Church opens)


#90 Columbia University (1754 — King’s College established)


#115 African Burial Ground (Mid-18th century – Burials begin in area south of Collect Pond)


Museum of the City of New York
Museum of the City of New York
#121 Fraunces Tavern (1762 – Samuel Fraunces opens tavern)


#35 The British Invasion 1776

#201 GOWANUS! Brooklyn’s Troubled Waters (1776 – Battle of Brooklyn)

#191 The Great Fire of 1776 (1776 Fire at the Fighting Cocks Tavern)

#36 Life In British New York 1776-1783 

#157 Early Ghost Stories of Old New York (1778 – Mohican Indians fighting for George Washington slaughtered)


Painting by Anthony Imbert
Painting by Anthony Imbert


#220 George Washington’s New York Inauguration (1789)

#221 New York: Capital City of the United States (1789-1790)

#63 New York Stock Exchange (1792 Buttonwood Agreement)

#112 Archibald Gracie and His Mansion (1799 — Mansion constructed)

#138: St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery (1799 — Chapel opens)

#65 Spooky Stories of New York (1800 Levi Weeks accused of murder)

#41 New York Post (1801 Alexander Hamilton establishes the paper)

#19 Washington Irving (1802 Irving begins writing)

#168 DUEL! Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton (1804 – The infamous duel)

#6 Governors Island (1807 Castle Williams constructed)

#185 Adventures in Governors Island (1807 Castle Williams constructed)

#31 Battery Park and Castle Clinton (1808 Castle Clinton constructed)

#9 St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (1809 Cathedral begins construction)

#50 Canal Street and Collect Pond (1811 Collect Pond is filled)

#163 South Street Seaport (1811 – Schermerhorn Row counting houses constructed)

#93 City Hall and City Hall Park (1811 City Hall constructed)

#40 Union Square (1815 Union Place opened)

#145 Bicycle Mania! From Velocipede to Ten-Speed (1819 – First bicycle on the streets of New York)



#152 Bellevue Hospital (1821 – Hospital opens)

#52 DeWitt Clinton and the Erie Canal (1825 Canal opens)

#230 Before Harlem: New York’s Forgotten Black Communities (1825 Seneca Village founded)

#7 Washington Square Park (1826 City buys potter’s field to create a military parade ground)

#70 The Bowery Files (1826 – Bowery Theatre opens)

#58 Delmonico’s Restaurant (1827 First restaurant opens)

#142 New York University (NYU) (1831 – College founded in Washington Square)

#193 St. Mark’s Place: Party In The East Village (1831 – Hamilton-Holly house constructed)

#91 Haunted Tales of New York (1832 — Merchant’s House built)

#171 The Keys to Gramercy Park (1833 — Gramercy Park enclosed with a private fence)

#94 Corlear’s Hook and the Pirates of the East River (1833 — First tenement built in the Hook)

#140 Rockaway Beach (1833 – Marine Pavilion opens)

#224 The Arrival of the Irish: An Immigrant Story (1830s)

#208 Great Hoaxes of New York (1835 – the Moon Hoax runs in the New York Sun)

#78 The Great Fire of 1835

#211 The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue (1836 Ann Lohman begins work)

#222 Who Killed Helen Jewett? A Mystery By Gaslight (1836)

#59 Five Points: Wicked Slum (1837 Old Brewery becomes a slum)

#38 Tiffany & Co. (1837 Tiffany’s first opens)

#64 Green-Wood Cemetery (1838 Cemetery opens in Brooklyn)

#82 Roosevelt Island (1839 – Lunatic asylum opens)

#130 Haunted Histories of New York (1841 – Most Holy Trinity in Bushwick constructed)

#46 Barnum’s American Museum (1841 Museum opens)

#66 Who Killed Mary Rogers? (1841 Rogers is murdered)

#143 Water for New York: Croton Aqueduct (1842 – Croton Aqueduct opens)




#133 Red Hook: Brooklyn on the Waterfront (1847 – Atlantic Basin constructed)

#37 Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church (1847 Beecher moves to Brooklyn)

#164 The Astor Place Riot (1849 — Riot erupts)

#160 Tompkins Square Park (1850 – Park opens)

#181 Park Slope and the Story of Brownstone Brooklyn (1850s – Edwin Litchfield purchases parcels of land in South Brooklyn)

#75 Williamsburg(h), Brooklyn (1852 City of Williamsburgh)

#178: The Crystal Palace: America’s First World’s Fair (1853 – Crystal Palace opens)

#92 Steinway: the Piano Man (1853 – Henry Steinway opens first shop in Manhattan)

#117 Mark Twain’s New York (1853 – Young Mark Twain first visits New York)

#60 Five Points Part Two: The Fate of Five Points (1953 New Mission replaces the Old Brewery)

#51 McSorley’s Old Ale House (1854 Tavern opens)

#25 The Original Bowery Boys (1855 Death of Bowery Boys leader Bill the Butcher)

#103: Case Files of the NYPD (1857 — Infamous Police Riot between Municipals and Metropolitans)

#54 The Creation of Central Park (1857 Park opens)

#134 St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1858 – Cornerstone laid)

#30 Peter Cooper and Cooper Union (1858 Cooper Union begins construction)

#23 Macy’s : the Man, the Store, the Parade (1858 Rowland Macy opens first store)

#129 Chinatown (1858 – First Chinese resident of New York documented)

#126 Fernando Wood: The Scoundrel Mayor (1860 – Becomes mayor of New York)

#139 Brooklyn Academy of Music (1861 – Academy opens)

#183 Orchard Street: Life On The Lower East Side (1863 – Construction of 97 Orchard Street)

#127 The Civil War Draft Riots (1863 — Summer of Draft Riots

#10 Central Park Zoo (1864 Menagerie opens)

#128 Hoaxes and Conspiracies of 1864 (1864 – Fires in November)


Painting George Loring Brown, courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Painting George Loring Brown, courtesy Museum of the City of New York


#113 Niblo’s Garden (1866 – The Black Crook debuts)

#84 Prospect Park (1867 — Park opens to the public)

#141 New York Beer History (1867 – George Ehret opens brewery)

#102 Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach (1868 – First resort in Brighton Beach

#114 Supernatural Stories of New York (1869 – Hart Island first used as a potter’s field)

#131 The First Apartment Building (1869 Stuyvesant Apartments constructed)

#207 The First Subway: Beach’s Pneumatic Marvel (1869 Alfred Ely Beach builds under Broadway)

#161 Fire Department of New York (FDNY) (1870 – City-funded fire team founded)

#177 The Big History of Little Italy (1870s – Italian immigrants began arriving in large numbers)

#86 Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall (1871 – Boss Tweed arrested)

#45 Grand Central (1871 Grand Central Depot opens)

#198 Greenpoint, Brooklyn: An Industrial Strength History (1874 Opening Faber Pencil Factory)

#116 American Museum of Natural History (1877 – First portion of museum opens)

#215 Ghosts of the Gilded Age (1877 – Mysterious body found in an abandoned Queens farmhouse)

#107 New York’s Elevated Railroads (1878 – First regular elevated railroad in service)

#172 Ghost Stories of Brooklyn (1878 – Reports of a ghostly doorbell in Clinton Hill)

Art by Charles Hart. Courtesy Museum City of New York
Art by Charles Hart. Courtesy Museum City of New York



#99 Madison Square Garden (1879 – First Madison Square Garden opens

#8 Dakota Apartments and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1880 Dakota begins construction)

#167 Cleopatra’s Needle and the Freemasons Secret (1881 – Obelisk erected in Central Park

#186 Hell’s Kitchen: New York’s Wild West (1881 Incident at Hell’s Kitchen tenement)

#225 P. T. Barnum and the Greatest Show on Earth (1881 Barnum and Bailey Circus formed)

#132 Electric New York: Edison and the City Lights (1882 Pearl Street Station opened)

#108 Cable Cars, Trolleys and Monorails (1883 – New York’s first cable car system)

#29 Brooklyn Bridge (1883 Bridge completed)

#89 Chelsea Hotel (1883-5 Hotel is constructed as a cooperative)

#79 The Whyos: Gang of New York (1884 – Whyos list of ‘killing prices’ published)

#179 The Fight for Bryant Park (1884 – Park renamed for William Cullen Bryant)

#95 Tin Pan Alley (1885 – First music publishers move to West 28th Street)

#81 The Puck Building: “What Fools These Mortals Be!” (1885 — Puck Building constructed)

#34 Katz Delicatessen (1886 Deli opens as the Iceland Brothers)

#73 Webster Hall “The Devil’s Playhouse” (1886 Webster Hall completed)

#16 Statue of Liberty (1886 Statue dedicated)

#194 Nellie Bly – Undercover In the Madhouse (1887 Nellie goes to the asylum)

#148 The Great Blizzard of 1888 (1888 The blizzard hits)

#203 Nikola Tesla In New York (1888 – Westinghouse licenses Tesla patents)

#216 Edwin Booth and the Players Club (1888 — Booth forms the Players Club in Gramercy Park)

#169 The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History (1890 – Construction of the New York World Building)

#213 Bronx Trilogy: The Bronx Is Building (1890 Construction begins on the Grand Concourse)

#57 Carnegie Hall (1891 Hall opens)

#120 NYC and the Birth of the Movies (1892 — First Kinetoscope parlor)

#88 Ellis Island (1892 — Immigration station opens)

Courtesy Library of Congress
Courtesy Library of Congress


#21 The Astors and the Waldorf-Astoria (1893 Hotel Opens)

#146 Herald Square (1894 New offices for the New York Herald)

#165 Ladies’ Mile (1896 – Siegel-Cooper opens)

#87 The Kings of New York Pizza (1897 – Lombardi’s Pizza opens)

#47 Grants Tomb (1897 Tomb completed)

#189 TAXI: History of the New York City taxicab (1897 first electric taxis)

#150 Consolidation! Five Boroughs, One Big City (1898 Five boroughs created)

#71 Saks Fifth Avenue (1898 Store founded)

#101 The Bronx Zoo (1899 — Zoo opens)

#105 The Newsboys Strike of 1899 and #219 Newsies on Strike!(1899 Strike freezes newspaper delivery)

#159 The Broadway Musical: Setting the Stage (1901 Florodora opens)

#26 Flatiron Building (1902 Flatiron constructed)

#184 The Flatiron Building: A Story from Three Sides (1902 Flatiron constructed)

#166 General Slocum Disaster 1904 

#12 Coney Island: The Golden Age (1904 Dreamland opens)

#109 New York City Subway, Part 1: Birth of the IRT (1904 — First subway opens)

#28 One Times Square (1904 New York Times opens new headquarters)

#118 Times Square (1904 – New York Times opens new headquarters)

#106 Staten Island Ferry (1905 – New York takes over private ferry service)

#188 The Murder of Stanford White (1906 White is killed at MSG)

#190 The Curious Case of Typhoid Mary (1906 Mary gets a job in Oyster Bay)



#69 The Plaza Hotel (1907 Hotel opens)

#74 The Ziegfeld Follies (1907 The first Follies)

#195 Midnight in Times Square: New Year’s Eve In New York City (1907 – first ball drop)

#98 Manhattan Bridge (1909 Bridge opens)

#180 The Chelsea Piers and the Age of the Ocean Liner (1910 – Chelsea Piers constructed)

#205 The Disappearance of Dorothy Arnold (1910 – Dorothy Disappears)

#80 Pennsylvania Station (1910 – Penn Station opens)

#42: The Triangle Factory Fire (1911 Disaster occurs in March)

#17 New York Public Library (1911 Main branch opens)

#147 Art Insanity: The Armory Show of 1913 (1913 — Exhibition debuts)

#110 New York City Subway, Part 2: By the Numbers (and Letters) (1913 — The Dual Contracts agreement inspired subway growth)

#158 Hotel Theresa: The Waldorf of Harlem (1913 — Hotel constructed)

#156 The Boy Mayor of New York (1913 – Mitchel elected mayor)

#76 Woolworth Building (1913 — Woolworth Building completed)

#39 New York Yankees (1913 Highlanders renamed the Yankees)

#202 The Lower East Side: A Culinary History (1914 – Russ & Daughters opens)

#226 The Beauty Bosses of Fifth Avenue (1915 – Rubinstein opens her first shop)

#199 Battle For The Skyline: How High Can It Go (1916 – Zoning Law)

#197 Danger In The Harbor: The Black Tom Explosion (1916 – Explosion Occurs)

Samuel H. Gottscho, courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Samuel H. Gottscho, courtesy Museum of the City of New York


#223 The Algonquin Round Table (1919)

#144 Mysteries and Magicians of New York (1920 – Joseph Rinn debunks spiritualists at Carnegie Hall)

#137 NYC and the World of Radio (1920 – First radio station)

#18 Ghost Stories of New York City (1920 Showgirl Olive Thomas commits suicide)

#125 Sardi’s Restaurant (1921 – Sardi’s opens for business)

#196 Ready to Wear: A History of the Garment District (1920s – Moves from LES to Midtown)

#100 Robert Moses (1922 Robert Moses begins work on New York City parks)

#192 Haunted Landmarks of New York (1923 – John Campbell leases his Apartment in Grand Central)

#153 NYC and the Birth of Television (1925 – First television broadcast from Roosevelt Hotel)

#174 American Kicks: A History of the Rockettes (1925 – Dance troupe founded in St. Louis)

#170 The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino (1926 – Rudolph Valentino dies)

#182 Mae West, “Sex” on Broadway (1926 – The play ‘Sex’ opens)

#204 The Cotton Club: Aristocrat of Harlem (1927 – Duke Ellington debuts)

#32 Museum of Modern Art (1929 Museum established)

#11 The Chrysler Building (1930 Building completed)

#162 George Washington Bridge (1931 – GWB opened)

#209 The Waldorf-Astoria’s Complicated History (1931 Hotel opens)

#44 Rikers Island (1932 Jail opens)

#27 Radio City Music Hall (1932 Opening night)

#55 The Evolution of Central Park (1934 New York Parks Department created)

#15 The Apollo Theater (1934 Vaudeville house becomes the Apollo)




#53 Meatpacking District (1934 Elevated railway opens)

#135 The High Line (1934 Elevated railway opens)

#136 High Line Walking Tour (1934 Elevated railway opens)

#56 Randall’s Island (1936 Jesse Owens wins the Olympic trials)

#227 The Hindenburg Over New York (1937 The zeppelin crashes in New Jersey)

#187 Super City: New York and the History of Comic Books (1938 – Action Comics debuts)

#96 The Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park (1938 – Cloisters Museum opens)

# 49 LaGuardia Airport and Early New York Flight (1939 New York Municipal Airport opens)

#72 Rockefeller Center (1939 Opens to the public)

#176 Billie Holiday’s New York (1939 – Billie Holiday sings “Strange Fruit”)

#24 The Copacabana (1940 Club opens)

#13 Coney Island: 20th Century Sideshow (1944 Luna Park damaged in fire)

#154 New York in the Golden Age of Television (1947 – Howdy Doody first broadcast

#124 Idlewild/JFK Airport (1948 — New York International Airport opens)

#20 United Nations Headquarters (1952 Building Completed)

#85 Shakespeare in the Park (1954 — Festival founded by Joe Papp)

#67 Guggenheim Museum (1959 — Upper East Side museum opens its doors)

#218 Lincoln Center and West Side Story (1959 — Groundbreaking and construction begins)

#77 Freedomland U.S.A. (1960 – Park opens in the Bronx)

#61 Pan Am Building (1960 Construction begins)

Waterside Plaza, 1974.
Waterside Plaza, 1974.


#200 Jane Jacobs: Saving the Village (1961 – The Death and Life of Great American Cities)

#119 The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (1964 – Bridge opens)

#33 The World’s Fair of 1964-65 (1964 World’s Fair opens)

#173 Ruins of the World’s Fair: New York State Pavilion (1964 – World’s Fair opens)

#62 Shea Stadium (1964 – Stadium opens)

#217 Truman Capote’s Black And White Ball (1967 Ball is held at the Plaza Hotel)

#155 Sesame Street to Seinfeld: NYC TV 1969-2013 (1969 – Sesame Street on the air)

#48 The Stonewall Riots (1969 Riots erupt)

#68 New York City Marathon (1970 The first marathon)

#104 CBGB & OMFUG (1973 Hilly Kristal opens club)

#43 Studio 54 (1977 Disco opens)

#5 Blackout (1977 Blackout occurs)

#214 Bronx Trilogy: The Bronx Was Burning (1977 Game 2 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium)

#123 TRUMP (1978 — Trump develops Grand Hyatt Hotel)

#210 Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games (1978 Space Invaders takes New York by storm)

#111 Subway Graffiti 1970-1989 (1980s – Koch cracks down on subway graffiti)

#151 The Limelight: Church, Nightclub and Mall (1983 Limelight Club opens)

Hurricane Sandy Update (2012)

#175 Bowery Boys 2014 Year In Review (2014)

#229 LIVE IN BROOKLYN! The Bowery Boys: Ten Years of Podcasting


Pictured at top:   That’s Midtown Manhattan! The American Horse Exchange at 1634 Broadway and 50th Street. Somebody did a great annotation of this photograph here

Come to our first live recorded show — NYC Podfest, April 9th in Brooklyn!

This April we will be recording a show in front of a live audience that will be released as an upcoming podcast — in honor of the 10th anniversary of recording the first episode of the Bowery Boys: New York City History. And we would really, really love for you to be a part of it.

Yes, believe it or not, the first episode of our podcast came out in the middle of June 2007!

On April 9th we will be making our debut appearance in the fifth annual NYC Podfest, a weekend of live podcast extravaganzas, hosted by the Bell House, the Gowanus, Brooklyn, venue best known to New York podcast lovers for hosting events for shows like Stuff You Should Know and Slate Political Gabfest.

The Bowery Boys 10th Anniversary Celebration will be our biggest live show to date. We’ll be on stage talking about how we managed to make it an entire decade, giving you some hilarious back stories on some of your favorite episodes, with some fun and games thrown in. We’ll be talking about Peter Stuyvesant, Billie Holiday, Boss Tweed, P.T. Barnum, Jane Jacobs, Stanford White and of course Robert Moses!

And the show will be hosted by Nat Towsen, the debonair East Village comedy impresario and host of the Nat Towsen’s Downtown Variety Hour at UCB East.

So please join us! Get your tickets now at the Bell House website.

SUN, APRIL 9, 2017

Doors: 3:30 pm / Show: 4:00 pm

$15 adv / $20 dos


(By the way, can you guess where the picture at the top of this post was taken?)

Where To Find The Bowery Boys This Week: Twin Peaks, GANYC, Atlas Obscura

Wait, what, the Bowery Boys are in Twin Peaks? Well, only Greg is. He’s a guest on this week’s DAMN FINE PODCAST, hosted by Tom Merritt and Ron Richards, a celebration of the TV show Twin Peaks as it gears up for a new season on Showtime in May.

(The name is a reference to Agent Dale Cooper’s review of Twin Peaks’ superior diner beverage.)

On the new show, the discuss in detail the episode of Twin Peaks where the killer of Laura Palmer is revealed!  If you’re a fan of the show or just like some good pop-culture gabfest, give it a try.

You can download it from the same places you get the Bowery Boys podcast.  Here’s a direct link to Damn Fine Podcast’s iTunes and Android pages.

This Monday, March 6, the Guides Association of New York City (or GANYC) presents their 3rd Annual GANYC Apple Awards at the SVA Theatre in Chelsea. Since 2015 they have presented awards to the community, “honoring individuals and organizations that encourage and promote New York City tourism, culture and preservation while supporting the work and contributions of professional New York City tour guides.”

The 3rd Annual GANYC Apple Award nominations were announced in December, and we were honored with a nomination for our book The Bowery Boys’ Adventures In Old New York.

The GANYC Apple Awards are a tremendous celebration of the living culture and history of New York City. Come out and see the show! Tickets are available here. And you can find more information on the event here.


Then, on Thursday, March 9, Greg’s lining up an outrageous New York City scandal to talk about at the very next Atlas Obscura live event at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Here are the details from Atlas Obscura: “It’s time again for another Atlas Obscura LIVE! Last time we sold out while we explored the wide world of rivalries, but this time, we’re going for straight up SCANDAL! Join us on Thursday, March 9th, at Union Hall in Brooklyn, where you can learn how to deal with a scandal in the 1800s, answer trivia for prizes, and see Atlas staffers, along with our friends Jim Tews (Felines of New York), Matt Koff (The Daily Show), Greg Young (The Bowery Boys), and more, exploring amazing tales of uncomfortable experiences!”

Get your tickets here.
Doors: 7:30 PM  // Show: 8:00 PM
$15 Advance / $20 Day of Show

And we’re about a month away from our biggest event of the year!


On April 9th we will be making our debut appearance in the fifth annual NYC Podfest, a weekend of live podcast extravaganzas, hosted by the Bell House, the Gowanus venue best known to New York podcast lovers for hosting events for shows like Stuff You Should Know and Slate Political Gabfest. For this year’s festival, we’ll be joining other shows such as Another Round, Lore, Sidedoor, Risk!, How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black and many others.

But this will not be an ordinary event. This will be the kickoff event for The Bowery Boys 10th Anniversary celebration. We’ll be on stage talking about how we managed to make it an entire decade, giving you some hilarious back stories on some of your favorite episodes, with some fun and games thrown in.

Get your tickets now at the Bell House website.

Doors: 3:30 pm // Show: 4:00 pm

$15 advance / $20 at the door


The First: New and Noteworthy on iTunes!

The Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences has been featured on iTunes podcast page for the past couple weeks as a new and noteworthy selection. We thank them for their support of both The First and the Bowery Boys!

The First returns with a brand new episode this Friday, January 13. Catch up on the first five episodes by finding it on iTunes here, listening to it on Stitcher or other podcast aggregators, or downloading episodes directly from here.

And the Bowery Boys return with a brand new episode on Friday, January 20. Subscribe to both and get a new podcast episode to listen to every week!

Here’s the last episode of The First (on the Pledge of Allegiance) and of The Bowery Boys (on the Newsboys Strike of 1899).




The Bowery Boys Year In Review 2016

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!

Library of Congress/WikiMedia
Ready To Wear: The History of Garment District

The history of the New York City fashion industry and how it found its home south of Times Square aka The Garment District.

Danger In The Harbor: The Black Tom Explosion of 1916

The tale of the Black Tom Explosion which sent shrapnel into the Statue of Liberty and rocked the region around New York harbor.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn: An Industrial Strength History

The history of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint and the oft-polluted Newtown Creek.

Battle for the Skyline: How High Can It Go?

The story of growing tall in New York City and the two pivotal laws that allowed for the city’s dynamic, constantly evolving skyline.

The Bowery Boys: Behind The Scenes

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.

Photography by Cervin Robinson/New York Times.
Jane Jacobs: Saving the Village

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.

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
GOWANUS! Brooklyn’s Troubled Waters

The history of the Gowanus Canal, at the heart of a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood today, once used to be quite beautiful and non-toxic.

Photo by Edmund Vincent Gillon, 1975, courtesy Museum of the City of New York
The Lower East Side: A Culinary Tour

A flavorful walk through the Lower East Side, exploring the neighborhood’s most famous foods.

Courtesy Everett Collection Inc., ALAMY
The Spark: Nikola Tesla In New York

The strange and wonderful life of Nikola Tesla in New York City.

Courtesy Getty Images/ Michael Ochs Archives
The Cotton Club: The Aristocrat of Harlem

The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age.

The Disappearance of Dorothy Arnold

The mysterious disappearance of a young woman becomes one of the most talked-about events over one hundred years ago.

Hudson Trading With Indians On Manhattan Island
The Lenape: The Real Native New Yorkers

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 First Subway: Beach’s Pneumatic Marvel

The unbelievable tale of Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit, a curious solution from 1870 to New York’s growing transporation crisis.

Great Hoaxes of Old New York

Two startling stories of outrageous hoaxes perpetrated upon New Yorkers in the early 19th century.

The Waldorf-Astoria’s Complicated History

The surprisingly complex history of one of the world’s most famous hotels.

Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games

The history of video games and arcades in New York City.

The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue

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.

Bronx Trilogy (Part One): The Bronx Is Born

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.

Bronx Trilogy (Part Two): The Bronx Is Building

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.

Bronx Trilogy (Part Three): The Bronx Was Burning

The trials and tribulations experienced by the Bronx through the mid and late 20th century.


Ghosts of The Gilded Age

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.

Edwin Booth and the Players Club

The thrilling tale of Edwin Booth and the marvelous social club he created for the acting profession.

Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball

Your ticket to Truman Capote’s celebrity-filled party at the Plaza.

Lincoln Center and West Side Story

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.

Newsies on Strike!

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

The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea

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..

Every Day Is Thanksgiving — The History of the TV Dinner

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.

The Calling: Mr. Watson and the First Telephone

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 Making of the Pledge of Allegiance

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!

Prepare for the next Bowery Boys trivia night — with these trivia questions:

Next Wednesday (December 14)  we are teaming with the Tenement Museum to present TRIVIA NIGHT WITH THE BOWERY BOYS! Details are below.

Our last trivia night at Fraunces Tavern was a huge success. And the ultimate in New York City history geeks came out that evening to celebrate. Here’s a sampling of some of the questions that were posed to the teams that evening.

HINT: You’re gonna do really well if you’ve listened to our prior podcasts!  Answers are at the bottom of this email:

1 Taking an extraordinarily liberal interpretation of his charter to dig a small tunnel in the city, Alfred Ely Beach instead built the city’s first subway in 1870 ­­ along Broadway for one block. It was a publicity coup, and locals and tourists lined up to give it a ride. How was it powered?

2 In 1927, what famous musician and his orchestra made their floor debut at the Cotton Club, a Harlem nightclub with an exclusionary door policy against black patrons, despite employing African ­Americans as talent?

3 The Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel has been a safe haven for celebrated deceased New Yorkers since it opened in 1898, and pretty much invented the idea of the “funeral chapel.” On August 24, 1926, once such celebrity funeral caused a riot, with hysterical mourners stormed the streets and even smashed the funeral chapel’s windows. Who were these mourners in grief over?

4 A pear tree stood at Third Avenue and 13th Street from the mid­17th century until a horse­drawn truck accident knocked it down in 1867. It was located at the corner where Keihl’s is today. Upon whose land did this pear tree once famously stand?

5 On August 23, 1775, the British warship Asia appeared in New York harbor as an ominous sign of aggression between the sea power and her colonists. Alexander Hamilton and other Kings College students rescued the city’s cannons by dragging them from the Battery to the Commons. The Asia did eventually begin firing into the city, sending a cannonball through the rooftop of which famous New York structure?

6 What is the name of the disco song and the artist who performed it ­­ that featured the lyrics: “You grew up riding the subways, running with people/Up in Harlem/Down on Broadway.”?


As for our upcoming trivia event:

Admission is $10, and comes with two drink coupons. Teams of no more than six and no smaller than four will compete over five rounds of trivia. If you don’t come with a team, we’ll be happy to add you to one. Doors and the bar open at 6 p.m. 

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place teams. Our book, The Bowery Boys: Adventures in Old New York: An Unconventional Exploration of Manhattan’s Historic Neighborhoods, Secret Spots and Colorful Characters will be for sale with a 15% discount.

Tickets: $10
Venue: Tenement Museum
103 Orchard Street, New York, NY
(corner of Delancey Street)


If you have any questions, contact Laura Lee at or (646) 518-3032.













    1. Pneumatic power or wind power
    2. Duke Ellington
    3. Rudolph Valentino
    4. Peter Stuyvesant
    5. Fraunces Tavern
    6. “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey

Four Bowery Boys live appearances

Our book  The Bowery Boys’ Adventures In Old New York is officially released around the world this week.  To promote the book, we are making a few appearances in the New York City region. Here are the next four. Please keep checking the website for further announcements and details! (I suspect we’ll have many more appearances scheduled in a few weeks.)

Tuesday, June 28

There are still a few tickets left for our appearance at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York on Tuesday, June 28, at 6:30 pm.  If you’re interested, definitely book early, as our last event sold out. Here’s the details:

“How much do you really know about NYC’s history? Introducing  a special program celebrating the launch of The Bowery Boys: Adventures in Old New York, the official companion book to the No. 1 travel podcast that offers an unconventional exploration of Manhattan’s historic neighborhoods, secret spots and colorful characters. The Bowery Boys  – Greg Young and Tom Meyers – will be here to discuss among other things,”Top Ten Hidden Secrets” of New York.

20 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

To register please  email: Advance registration is recommended.

Just $10 General admission. Further info here.

Wednesday, July 13, 6:30 pm

A free reading and book signing at Fishs Eddy near the Flatiron Building at 889 Broadway.  Fishs Eddy is a homeware store with unique, quirkly styles. (You must check out their Alexander Hamilton-Aaron Burr dueling shot glasses.) More details and times to come but prepare for a fun surprise — a Bowery Boys related product for sale at the store!

Tuesday, July 26, 6-8:30


Tuesday, August 16, 6:30-8pm

A Book Talk with the Bowery Boys at the Skyscraper Museum, on August 16, from 6:30-8 pm.

All book talks are free and open to the public. HOWEVER you must RSVP to to assure admittance.  More information here.

The Bowery Boys official podcast sponsors and a list of offer codes

We’ve had a lot of terrific sponsors on our show who provide extra offers for our listeners. You can help the Bowery Boys by checking these out yourself and using the offer codes they provide when you make a purchase. Every time you use one of these codes confirms that you heard their spot on our show. And luckily these are all pretty cool and interesting products and services — so why not give them a go and save some money while you’re at it?

Below are a list of sponsors from recent podcast episode and offer codes that are associated with them.


All-in-one solution for creating your very own beautiful website. Start your free trial today, at and enter offer code BOYS to get 10% off your first purchase.



Trunk Club

Premium fashions, chosen by a personal stylist and sent to your home. Visit to start, type in your measurements, share your likes and dislikes, and then get assigned your own personal stylist!




Quality men’s shaving products. Harry’s will give you $5 off your first order with promo code BOWERY at




My Heritage

Online genealogy platform. If you’re interested in finally answering some of those nagging questions about your family history, go to and use the coupon code BOWERY to get 20% off a premium subscription.



Boll and Branch

Comfortable luxury bedding and goods. For $50 off a set of sheets (plus free shipping) go to and use promo code BOWERY

For Casper offer codes, check out their spot in the following episodes:  #199 Battle For The Skyline and #203 Nikola Tesla In New York. 



The image at top:  An advertisement for Campbell’s Soup, believe it or not, from an 1873 issue of the children’s magazine St. Nicholas Magazine, created by Mary Mapes Dodge, best known for her story Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates.
Courtesy Internet Archives Book Images
Courtesy Internet Archives Book Images


Perks of Being A Patreon Member: A Flight Through Governors Island

Happy 2016! For the past several months we have been blessed to interact with listeners and readers through our involvement with the Patreon program, a crowdfunding patronage platform allowing us to provide exclusive content for a sliding scale of donations.

It’s because of our Patreon supporters (as well as our advertisers) that we have been able to produce twice as many shows over the past year. And we would like to do it again for 2016.

What do you get for being a Bowery Boys patron? There are several different levels of participation which you can review here.  Last December we met with some patrons in the higher donation brackets for a lovely drinks-and-dinner at Landmark Tavern. And we definitely expect to do more events like this in the future!

But all patrons get access to the extra material which we produce alongside our regular show.  What’s in the extra material? It can be anything really — from bonus scenes that were cut from the show to readings of historic writing that supports the subject of that week’s show.

For our Nellie Bly show, we took a tour of Roosevelt Island, the former Blackwell’s Island. For our podcast on the history of St. Mark’s Place, we did a walking tour of the street, highlighting the history and some of our personal recollections.

If you’re interested in becoming a Bowery Boys: New York City History patron, please visit our page and check our video presentation.

For a sampling of the goodies, we’re doing a little open house for some material we presented several months ago in support of our podcast on the history of Governors Island.

You can listen to that exclusive content HERE.  Enjoy! Also it will remind you a little bit of warmer weather.

And to our current Patreon members, thanks again for your support in 2015 and in the future!

What’s that picture at top? The intrepid pilot Ruth Bancroft Law, one of the world’s first female pilots, landing at Governors Island during the second leg of a record-breaking flight from Chicago on November 19, 1916.


Pictures courtesy Library of Congress






The Bowery Boys 2015 Podcasts: From Billie Holiday to New Year’s Eve

Thank you for making 2015 our greatest year ever! Much excitement on the way for 2016 including the release of the first-ever Bowery Boys book. Relive the year by re-visiting some of our shows from the past 12 months..  You can find them all on iTunes, on streaming services like TuneIn and Stitcher or you can listen to them straight from our Libsyn satellite site.

Episode #176
Billie Holiday’s New York

[Download here] [Original blog post]

Courtesy Columbia Records
Courtesy Columbia Records

Episode #177
The Big History of Little Italy

[Download here] [Original blog post]

Photo by Jacob Riis, 1895, courtesy Museum of City of New York
Photo by Jacob Riis, 1895, courtesy Museum of City of New York

Episode #178
The Crystal Palace: America’s First World’s Fair

[Download here] [Original blog post]

The view from one of the naves, looking towards the George Washington statue. Courtesy New York Public Library
The view from one of the naves, looking towards the George Washington statue. Courtesy New York Public Library

Episode #179
The Fight for Bryant Park

[Download here] [Original blog post]

Wurts Brothers, 1955-1965, Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Wurts Brothers, 1955-1965, Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Episode #180
The Chelsea Piers and the Age of the Ocean Liner

[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #181 Park Slope and the Story of Brownstone Brooklyn
[Download here] [Original blog post]

Montauk Club, 1905, Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Montauk Club, 1905, Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Episode #182
Mae West: Sex on Broadway

[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #183 
Orchard Street: Life on the Lower East Side

[Download here] [Original blog post]

Courtesy Library of Congress
Courtesy Library of Congress

Episode #184 
The Flatiron Building: A Story From Three Sides

[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #185 
Adventures on Governors Island
[Download here] [Original blog post]

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York
Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Episode #186 
Hell’s Kitchen: New York’s Wild West

[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #187 
Super City: NYC and the History of Comic Books
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #188 
The Murder of Stanford White
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #189 
TAXI: A History of the New York City Taxicab
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #190 
The Curious Case of Typhoid Mary
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #191 
The Great Fire of 1776
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #192 
Haunted Landmarks of New York
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #193
Party on St. Mark’s Place!
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #194 
Nellie Bly: Undercover in the Madhouse
[Download here] [Original blog post]


Episode #195
Midnight in Times Square: New Year’s Eve in New York City
[Download here] [Original blog post]