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Podcasts Revolutionary History

Fraunces Tavern: Raise your glass to the Revolution!

PODCAST Fraunces Tavern is one of America’s most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of taverns on the New York way of life during the Colonial era. This revered building at the corner of Pearl and Broad Street was the location of George Washington‘s farewell address to […]

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American History

Remembering the Wall Street bombing of 1920

On a usual day, lunchtime down on Wall Street today is chaotic mess of brokers and bankers on cell phones, tour groups, messengers on bikes, police officers, construction workers, people delivering lunch and perhaps a stray older lady walking her dog. One hundred years ago today, in 1920, it would have practically been the same, sans […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal

PODCAST EPISODE #339: An interview with author Eric K. Washington, author of “Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal”.  The Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal were a workforce of hundreds of African-American men who were an essential part of the long-distance railroad experience. […]

Categories
American History Bronx History

The United States Capitol Dome was built in the Bronx

In the fall of 1783 Lewis Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, helpfully suggested in a letter to the Continental Congress that his own bucolic estate Morrisania (in today’s area of the South Bronx) would make a fine home for the new capital of the United States. That didn’t happen, of course, but the Bronx […]

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Podcasts Science

Dinosaurs and Diamonds: Stories from the American Museum of Natural History

PODCAST Ancient space rocks, dinosaur fossils, anthropological artifacts and biological specimens are housed in New York’s world famous natural history complex on the Upper West Side — the American Museum of Natural History! Throughout the 19th century, New Yorkers tried to establish a legitimate natural history venue in the city, including an aborted plan for a […]

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Parks and Recreation

Where was Manhattan Square? The Gilded Age remaking of a neglected park

Theodore Roosevelt Park (77th and 81st Streets, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue), which contains the beloved American Museum of Natural History, is the oldest developed section of the Upper West Side, purchased by the city in 1839 as a possible strolling park to be called Manhattan Square. Central Park was but a gleam in the eye back in […]

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Neighborhoods

A look back at Lord & Taylor’s splashy move to Fifth Avenue in 1914

UPDATE FOR 2020: It was announced today that Lord & Taylor, America’s first department store, has announced it will go out of business after 193 years. It began in 1826 as women’s clothing store in Lower Manhattan. In tribute, we are bumping up this article from 1914, framed around its 1914 move to the Fifth […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Parks and Recreation

Nostalgia for Astoria Pool, an early Robert Moses project with a high diving, Olympic-sized history

Astoria Pool is the largest venue for swimmers in New York, outside of the Hudson and East Rivers and, of course, the ocean. Its location in Astoria Park is certainly theatrical, parallel with the river and in sight of two spectacular bridges (the Robert F. Kennedy and the Hell Gate) that sail over to Randall’s Island. […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

Circus activism: Barnum’s female stars demand right to vote

Women received the right to vote 100 years ago today with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Tens of thousands of women from all walks of life spent hard-fought decades working for this moment. Many of the most prominent suffragettes were wealthy white women of the Fifth Avenue set. It was […]

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Podcasts Science

The story of Tesla: The spark of invention in Old New York

PODCAST The strange and wonderful life of Nikola Tesla in New York City. The Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla was among the Gilded Age’s brightest minds, a visionary thinker and inventor who gave the world innovations in electricity, radio and wireless communication. So why has Tesla garnered the mantle of cult status among many? Part of that […]

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Parks and Recreation

Ten unusual views of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza

When park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux regrouped after the success of Central Park to design another great park for Brooklyn — encompassing Prospect Hill and the Revolutionary War site Battle Pass — they preserved a greater amount of natural topography than they had in Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean that Prospect Park […]

Categories
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, […]

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New Amsterdam Podcasts

Land of the Lenape: A Violent Tale of Conquest and Betrayal

PODCAST 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. Before New York, before New Amsterdam — there was Lenapehoking, the land of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of the places we […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills Film History

Come to the Airdome! Over 100 years of outdoor movies in NYC

It may be some time before we all get to truly enjoy the inside of a movie theater again. Hopefully soon! But outdoor movies — in particular, drive-in movies — have had a bit of a renaissance, a socially distanced way to enjoy blockbusters on a big screen. Mommy Poppins has a great round-up of […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills Health and Living

The Bowery Boys New York City swimsuit edition, 1880-1920

 The notion of organized ‘ocean bathing’ — actually going into the water for health, relaxation and enjoyment — was really a 19th century invention, first popularized in the United States during the 1830s at the Marine Pavilion on the Rockaway Peninsula. For propriety’s sake, people would enter a bathing hut hitched to a horse and […]