Podcasts Revolutionary History

Tearing Down King George: The Monumental Summer of 1776

PODCAST In New York City, during the tumultuous summer of 1776, the King of England lost his head. EPISODE 333 Two hundred and fifty years ago, Colonial New York received a monumental statue of King George III on horseback, an ostentatious and rather awkward display which once sat in Bowling Green park at the tip […]

Neighborhoods Podcasts

Welcome to Yorkville: German life on the Upper East Side

EPISODE 332 The Manhattan neighborhood of Yorkville has a rich immigrant history that often gets overlooked because of its location on the Upper East Side, a destination usually associated with wealth and high society. But Yorkville, for over 170 years, has been defined by waves of immigrant communities which have settled here, particular those cultures […]

Adventures In Old New York

Firecracker Lane: New York’s explosive shopping district

Looking for a healthy assortment of fireworks to ignite for the Fourth of July holiday? In New York, from the late 19th century until the 1930s, one needed to look no further than one of the city’s most heavily trafficked areas near City Hall. Firecracker Lane was a short row of fireworks dealerships that sat […]

Black History Podcasts

Seneca Village and Other Stories of New York’s Forgotten Black Communities

PODCAST The history of African-American settlements and neighborhoods which once existed in New York City Today we sometimes define New York City’s African-American identity by the places where thriving black culture developed – Harlem, of course, and also Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, neighborhoods that developed for groups of black residents in the 20th century. But […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The menagerie of New York: A colorful look at the ‘Wild City’

While traipsing through Red Hook a couple months ago, I happened upon a family of raccoons camped out underneath a pick-up truck. New York City is actually a bit of a zoo — if you open your mind to what constitutes a star attraction. Sure, we don’t have lions wandering around (thankfully), but what zoo […]

American History Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Sweet Taste of Liberty: Celebrating the life of Henrietta Wood

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, Henrietta Wood sued the man who kidnapped her and sold her back into slavery. In his lifetime, that man — a prison warden and general scoundrel named Zebulon Ward — often bragged about losing the case, saying “he was the last American ever to pay for a […]

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

The East Side Elevateds: Life Under the Tracks

EPISODE 331 During the Gilded Age, New York City had one form of rapid transit — the elevated railroad. The city’s population had massively grown by the 1870s thanks to large waves of immigration from Ireland and Germany. Yet its transportation options — mostly horse-drawn streetcars — were slow and cumbersome. As a result, people […]

Amusements and Thrills

The fire at Barnum’s American Museum 155 years ago

One hundred and fifty-five years ago (on July 13, 1865), New York City lost one of its most famous, most imaginative and most politically incorrect attractions. When P.T. Barnum opened his museum in 1841, the kooky curiosities contained within the building at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street — at the foot of Park […]

Revolutionary History

Fort Tryon Park: The breathtaking park in Manhattan named for an American enemy

Ask any New Yorker at random where the site of Fort Washington once stood, and chances are your query will be met with a furrowed brow, followed by frantic tapping on a smartphone. (ANSWER: It was located on the site of today’s Bennett Park in Washington Heights.) But ask about Fort Tryon, and chances are […]

Podcasts Politics and Protest

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

Listen to our podcast on the history of the Silent Parade of 1917 here: To get this episode, simply stream on Stitcher or your favorite podcast player Or listen to it straight from here: THE SILENT PARADE OF 1917: BLACK UNITY IN A TIME OF CRISIS “To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, […]

Health and Living Podcasts

The First Ambulance: The Humans (and Horses) That Saved the City

EPISODE 329 Did you know that the first modern urban ambulance — the ‘mobile hospital’ — was invented in New York City? On June 4, 1869, America’s first ambulance service went into operation from Bellevue Hospital with a driver, a surgeon, a horse and equipment including a stretcher, a stomach pump, bandages and sponges, handcuffs, […]

Parks and Recreation

Remember the Maine Monument!

At Memorial Day celebrations one hundred years ago, one of New York City’s great war memorials was finally unveiled — the Maine Monument, at the southwest corner entrance of Central Park. The monument pays tribute to the 266 American soldiers who perished on the USS Maine, which exploded in Havana, Cuba, on February 15, 1898. […]

Food History Podcasts

Chop Suey City: A History of Chinese Food in New York

EPISODE 328 New Yorkers eat a LOT of Chinese food and have enjoyed Chinese cuisine – either in a restaurant or as takeout – for well over 130 years. Chinese food entered the regular diet of the city LONG before the bagel, the hot dog and even pizza. In this episode, Greg explores the history […]


At Home in New York City: Stories from Our Listeners

EPISODE 326/327 Two special episodes featuring the listeners of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast! What makes New York feel like home — whether you live here or not? What is that indefinable connection that people make with the city? Why do so many people feel a city as large as New York […]

Brooklyn History Museums

The Bushwick Doll Factory: A tour of 538 Johnson, where Brooklyn’s industrial past and punk music collide

There is no place in New York City quite like the converted factory building at 538 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick*, Brooklyn. At the same time, it evokes in mysterious ways a compelling truth about this city — that every building has a story, if only it had a storyteller to share it. For 538 Johnson, that storyteller is Bryan Sears, […]