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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

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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

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Amusements and Thrills It's Showtime

In the Pleasure Gardens of Old New York

It has become a name so associated with American sports and entertainment that you barely think about it. In New York City, when you say you are going to The Garden, you aren’t going to see flowers. Most likely, you’re going to see the Knicks. Or possibly Billy Joel. New York City’s many actual gardens… Read More

Categories
Neighborhoods Preservation

History repeats itself? Protesting demolition at Penn Station

Sixty years ago today — on August 2, 1962 — the Action Group for Better Architecture in New York (AGBANY), a group of young architects and activists, held a most curious protest outside of Pennsylvania Station, the old train station designed by McKim, Mead and White. “The best dressed picket line in New York City… Read More

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Landmarks

A Tour of New York City Through 60 Years of Spider-Man Comic Book Covers

The summer blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming may be the greatest New York City superhero movie ever. It doesn’t treat New York like a series of famous backdrops (although there certainly are a couple); it has a familiar landscape and there’s a particular care given to depicting Queens, the home of Peter Parker. There’s even a couple scenes with… Read More

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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

TAXI: A History of the New York Taxi Cab

PODCAST The history of the New York City taxicab, from the handsome hansoms of old to the modern issues facing the modern taxi fleet today. In this episode, we recount almost 175 years of getting around New York in a private ride. The hansom, the romantic rendition of the horse and carriage, took New Yorkers… Read More

Categories
ON TELEVISION Pop Culture

Movin’ On Up: New York City as depicted in the opening themes of 1970s TV shows

In honor of the 100th birthday of television icon Norman Lear (creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times and many, many more) I’ve revised and re-edited this, yes, rather strange round-up originally published in 2013 about New York City and television intros and theme songs. Please play the TV themes as you… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Spending the summer with two Pulitzer Prize winning histories

Two books won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History this year, underscoring the excellent offerings on the history shelf in 2021. They are two wildly different stories but they share a similar theme — the complicated relationship between the United States and foreign nations. In Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York The Gilded Gentleman The Immigrant Experience

Invisible Magicians: Domestic Servants in Gilded Age New York

What was life like for a valet, a cook or a scullery maid in the mansions of late 19th century New York? How were houses with large staffs even managed? What were the hardships? And what were the benefits? Join The Gilded Gentleman for a look below stairs! Carl is joined by Esther Crain, author of The Gilded… Read More

Categories
Health and Living

Hot as Hell: Surviving the deadly heat wave of July 1911

The New York Tribune of July 7, 1911, says it all: “Heat’s Scythe Mows Down 56 On Fifth Day.” The city was in the midst of a devastating heatwave gripping in the entire Northeast during the first two weeks of July 1911. There was little escape from the scorching temperatures among the cramped tenements. New… Read More

Categories
Food History The Gilded Gentleman

Dancing with the Green Fairy: The Mysteries of Absinthe

New on The Gilded Gentleman Podcast: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about one of the most mysterious alcoholic spirits in the world. Absinthe was one of the most popular and most mysterious drinks that fueled Paris and London’s cafe society and artistic circles in the Belle Epoque and late Victorian and Edwardian worlds.  Artists and writers from Henri… Read More

Categories
Religious History Women's History

In honor of Mother Cabrini: Places to pay tribute to the American saint

Frances Xavier Cabrini was born on this date (July 15) in 1850 in today’s Italian region of Lombardy. She entered the sisterhood at a young age, and by 1880 had formed her own order with seven other women — the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The good works performed by the order soon got… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf Bronx History

‘Freedomland’: A New Book Explores the Story of Co-Op City

Most New Yorkers have probably never been to Co-Op City, the massive residential development in the Bronx. And that’s partially by design. This historic development, built upon the site of the old Freedomland amusement park, is the largest single residential development in the world. It is a true city-within-a-city — and also a place seemingly… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys

Every Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast in chronological order by subject

Fifteen years ago (officially on June 19, 2007) we recorded the very first Bowery Boys podcast, appropriately about Canal Street, the street just outside the window of Tom’s apartment on the Lower East Side.   We cannot have possibly imagined on that hot June night, wielding only a bad microphone, a new laptop and some reasonably… Read More