Categories
Religious History

The Yom Kippur Riot of 1898: Lower East Side in Turmoil

When I hear of so-called “riots” on the Lower East Side during the late 19th century, my mind goes to disgruntled newsies or agitated garment workers, rising up for fair wages and employment. Or maybe a vicious street gang like the Whyos primed to wreck havoc. I don’t immediately think of the orthodox Jewish community.… Read More

Categories
Podcasts

An Evening at Sardi’s: Dinner with a side of Broadway history

PODCAST REWIND The famous faces on the walls of Sardi’s Restaurant represent the entertainment elite of the 20th century, and all of them made this place on West 44th Street their unofficial home. Known for its kooky caricatures and its Broadway opening-night traditions, Sardi’s fed the stars of the golden age and became a hotspot for… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Politics and Protest

National Calamity: Samuel Tilden and the Presidential Election of 1876

You may have heard about the messy, chaotic and truly horrible presidential election of 1876, pitting Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B Hayes. But did you know that New York City plays a huge role in this moment in American history? Tilden, the governor of New York, was a political superstar, a reformer famous… Read More

Categories
American History True Crime

Insanity: Congressman Daniel Sickles shot and killed the son of Francis Scott Key

On the 160th anniversary of the killing of Phillip Barton Key, I’m reposting this article from 2014 which originally ran on the 100th anniversary of Daniel Sickle’s death. We don’t have large, parade-like funeral processions marching up the avenues as they once did during the Gilded Age and in the early years of the 20th… Read More

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Gilded Age New York Landmarks

The Fifth Avenue Hotel: Opulence, glamour and power on Madison Square

The double-breasted, cigar-chewing gentlemen who gathered in the sumptuous rooms of the Fifth Avenue Hotel were occasional connoisseurs of New York City history, and in particular, these amateur historians spoke of the very street corner where their hotel stood. Before Madison Square, when the area was a barren parade ground, one Corporal Thompson opened a roadhouse… Read More

Categories
The First

The Making and Remaking of the Pledge of Allegiance

On the 130th anniversary of the Pledge of Allegiance, revisit this older show that Greg Young produced for his spin-off The First, featuring Tom Meyers as the guest voice! THE FIRST PODCAST The Pledge of Allegiance feels like an American tradition that traces itself back to the Founding Fathers, but, in fact, it’s turning 125… Read More

Categories
Events Mysterious Stories

The Bowery Boys Live: Ghost Stories of New York TICKETS NOW ON SALE

It’s never too late to start planning for the spooky season with all your seasonal favorites — new sweaters, pumpkin spice latte and Bowery Boys ghost stories podcasts. And once again this year — on October 30 and 31 — you can hear those ghost stories LIVE. Tom and Greg return to Joe’s Pub at… Read More

Categories
Holidays Newspapers and Newsies

How New York newspapers covered the first Labor Day — September 5, 1882

Clothing cutters, horseshoers, shoemakers, upholsterers, printers, house painters, freight handlers, cabinet makers, varnishers, cigar makers, bricklayers and piano makers. The first American Labor Day began on September 5, 1882, with 10,000 workers from a wide variety of occupations circling Union Square, then parading up to the area of today’s Bryant Park. (A picnic ‘after party’… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Politics and Protest Preservation

The History of Jefferson Market and the Women’s House of Detention

In the heart of Greenwich Village sits the Jefferson Market Library, a branch of the New York Public Library, and a beautiful garden which offers a relaxing respite from the busy neighborhood. But a prison once rose from this very spot — more than one in fact. While there was indeed a market at Jefferson… Read More

Categories
Skyscrapers

The Big Wind of 1912: New York skyscrapers in peril, as monster gales hurl “men and women down city streets”

Trauma in Times Square: An electrical sign destroyed by the massive windstorm of February 22, 1912. One Times Square sits to the left, and the Hotel Astor is in the distance. [LOC] Shorpy has an another angle of this damaged storefront. “The great gale that blew in with Washington’s birthday will not soon be forgotten. It… Read More

Categories
Events

New Live Event: The Bowery Boys at Caveat (September 1)

Join Tom Meyers and Greg Young as they celebrate their 15th year of making the Bowery Boys Podcast with a special live podcast recording at Caveat on the Lower East Side.  Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 7pm. Greg and Tom will be joined at this show by special guest Hugh Ryan,… Read More

Categories
Museums Science Those Were The Days

Analog City: A new exhibition celebrates New York before everything went digital

Index cards. Levers and buttons. Wheels and wires and paper. Stone-gray mechanical boxes and intricate machines of gears and pulleys. It was these things — and probably a lot of coffee — that kept New York City operating before the advent of computers. From the subway to the Wall Street trading floor, life functioned in… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Those Were The Days

New York Calling: A History of the Telephone

Just a few months ago, most of the remaining phone booths were removed from the streets of New York City, oft neglected, a nostalgic victim of our increasing use of cellphones. For almost a century public phones have connected regular New Yorkers with the world. Who doesn’t have fond memories of using a payphone with… Read More

Categories
Film History Podcasts

Capturing History: Ric Burns and James Sanders on “New York: A Documentary Film”

In today’s episode, Tom discusses the vast span of New York history with filmmakers and authors Ric Burns and James Sanders, creators of New York: A Documentary Film. Tom, Ric and James discuss the 8-part documentary (which aired on PBS in installments in 1999, 2001 and 2003) and its newly updated companion book, “New York:… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Wartime New York

Danger in the Harbor: World War I and the Black Tom Explosion of 1916

PODCAST The tale of the Black Tom Explosion which sent shrapnel into the Statue of Liberty and rocked the region around New York harbor. On July 30, 1916, at just after 2 in the morning, a massive explosion ripped apart the island of Black Tom on the shoreline near Jersey City, sending a shockwave through… Read More