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).
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 centurypoised 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 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 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.
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.
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!
Our last trivia night at Fraunces Tavernwas 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?
4A 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)
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: email@example.com. Advance registration is recommended.
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
Prepare for a trivia night event at ….Fraunces Tavern! We’re still working out the details so stay tuned.
Tuesday, August 16, 6:30-8pm
A Book Talk with the Bowery Boys at theSkyscraper Museum, on August 16, from 6:30-8 pm.
All book talks are free and open to the public. HOWEVER you must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to assure admittance. More information here.
Nine years ago this weekend (on June 19, 2007) we recorded the very first Bowery Boys podcast, appropriately about Canal Street, the street just outside our windows. Next week we celebrate the release of our first book Adventures In Old New York. We cannot have possibly imagined the moment on that hot June night, wielding only a bad microphone, a new laptop and some reasonably interesting information about a terribly polluted water source.
Thank you listeners and readers for helping us celebrate almost four hundred years of history in the past nine. We have so many exciting things on the way for 2016. The book is just the beginning!
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.
To download these shows, go to our main feed on iTunes for the latest 100 episodes and 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.
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.
Premium fashions, chosen by a personal stylist and sent to your home. Visit TrunkClub.com/BOWERY to start, type in your measurements, share your likes and dislikes, and then get assigned your own personal stylist!
Online genealogy platform. If you’re interested in finally answering some of those nagging questions about your family history, go to myheritage.com/boweryand use the coupon code BOWERY to get 20% off a premium subscription.
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.
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.
If you’re interested in becoming a Bowery Boys: New York City History patron, please visit our pageand 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.
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 TuneInand Stitcheror you can listen to them straight from our Libsyn satellite site.
There’s no new podcast for you this week as we are wrapping up the first official Bowery Boys book, arriving in May 2016. But we will have a brand new podcast for you on December 10.
Have you listened to all of our 2015 programs? Here’s a list of all our shows that have been released this year. You can find them all on iTunes, on streaming services like TuneInand Stitcheror you can listen to them straight from our Libsyn satellite site.
Here’s a few recent press and blog appearances that we’ve done in the past couple weeks: It’s almost time for our annual ghost story podcast in a couple weeks! To get you in the mood, I made an appearance on Fox 5 News on Tuesday, speaking to Dan Bowens about ghosts at the Chelsea Hotel. You’ll also hear a little sound bite about Peter Stuyvesant! Here’s the video
Speaking of horror stories, navigating the world of New York apartment renting and buying is something human beings so seldom have to do. For the real estate blog Brick Underground, I was interviewed about my own experiences with renting in New York City since the 1990s. You can read it at the link below. I personally love this headline:
And finally, I posted this a couple weeks ago, but in case you missed it — podcaster Ian Gleason interviewed me about how we put together a podcast. If you’re a podcast junkie, I think you’ll enjoy this show. You can listen here or download it from iTunes:
Tomorrow there’s a new Bowery Boys podcast. We’re going back to 1776. This calls for a song!