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Brooklyn History Gilded Age New York

The Terrible Brooklyn Theater Fire: The Worst Disaster In Brooklyn History

It is difficult to discuss calmly the frightful disaster which happened in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. No such awful sacrifice of human life has ever been known in this country, shipwreck and the casualties of war alone being excepted. — New York Times editorial, Dec. 7, 1876 This is a black-letter day in Brooklyn. The theatre […]

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Holidays New Amsterdam

How Dutch New Amsterdam helped create the American Christmas tradition

After reading this article on the origins of Christmas in America, find some information about a virtual Christmas in Old New York tour from Bowery Boys Walks. There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas, a national holiday derived from the union of Christianity and capitalism. How one chooses to mark the occasion is a […]

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Those Were The Days

Lovely photos of the horrible New York garbage strike of 1911

New York street cleaners and garbage workers (sometimes referred to as ‘ashcart men’) went on strike on November 8, 1911, over 2,000 men walking off their jobs in protest over staffing and work conditions. More importantly, that April, the city relegated garbage pickup to nighttime shifts only, and cleaners often worked solo. This may have […]

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A Most Violent Year Know Your Mayors Politics and Protest

The Riots of 1834: New York City’s first direct election for mayor

We’re getting a new mayor! So we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors. Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This longtime feature of this website is being rebooted with […]

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American History Landmarks

The Statue of Liberty turns 135 years old: Eleven facts about her 1886 dedication

The Statue of Liberty celebrates her 135th birthday today. Technically, I suppose, it’s the anniversary of her dedication, a star-studded, pomp-laden ceremony that took place on Friday, October 28, 1886. But for many months previous, she was a fierce presence in the harbor, as the copper monument was arduously stitched together from far flung pieces — […]

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Food History Holidays

Loft’s Candies: Vintage Halloween treats from the Jazz Age

The Loft Candy Company exclusively operated several locations throughout the New York area in the 1910s-30s, many of them proper restaurants. For the Jazz Age candy lover, they were heaven on earth. Occasionally you’ll find an old Loft’s neon sign today, peering from a crumbling facade. Loft’s candy factory was over in Long Island City, […]

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Gotham’s Greatest Ghosts: The Bowery Boys Halloween Specials

This year we are celebrating our 15th year of telling New York City ghost stories. Fifteen years?! Now that’s frightening. Our first show was released on October 11, 2007. Since that time we have released fourteen Halloween-related shows (from 2007 to 2020) as well as a recording of our Joe’s Pub live show. So for […]

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Brooklyn History Mysterious Stories

For Whom The Ghost Tolls: A Haunting in Bedford-Stuyvesant

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant is defined by its architectural character, rows of impressive brownstones and ornate apartment buildings which trace back to the late 19th century.   It was once two separate villages — Bedford and Stuyvesant Heights — combined to appeal to new residents in the ever-expanding city of Brooklyn.  The Bed-Stuy of […]

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Electric New York: Illuminating the shadows, re-visualizing the night

This classic episode of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast (originally released in December of 2021) is featured in this week’s episode of the History Channel podcast HISTORY This Week. Since 2011 the Bowery Boys Podcast has revisited a few of the themes featured in this show. After listening to this episode, give […]

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Know Your Mayors Parks and Recreation Writers and Artists

Mayor Philip Hone, the party host who made Washington Square Park

We’re just a few weeks away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This […]

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Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

The French Connection: Bowery Boys Movie Club

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the new film The French Connection, the gritty action classic employing an astonishing array of on-location shots — from Midtown Manhattan to the streets of Brooklyn. It’s an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. The French Connection, directed by William Friedkin and […]

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Know Your Mayors Writers and Artists

Mayor William Paulding, the very respectable brother

We’re just a couple months away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This […]

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American History

The New York Brownstone Inauguration of Chester A. Arthur

There are several enemies in Candice Millard‘s Destiny of the Republic, the terrific 2011 narrative history of the assassination of President James Garfield during the summer of 1881. The most obvious foe is the delusional Charles Guiteau, who believed himself the nation’s savior when he shot President Garfield twice at a Washington DC train station […]

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

A Perilous Night in New York: The Great Fire of 1776

PODCAST We revisit the story of the Great Fire of 1776, the drumbeat of war leading up to the disaster, and the tragic story of the American patriot Nathan Hale. On the occasion of the 245th anniversary of the Revolutionary War in New York City, we’re presenting a reedited, remastered version of an episode that […]

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Film History Landmarks

The World Trade Center in its greatest film roles

How do you feel when you see the World Trade Center pop up in a movie from the 1970s and 80s? Sadness? Nostalgia? Or, with so many years gone by, do they just seem unusual to you? Fortunately researcher and movie lover Donna Grunewald had documented every reference you need to revisit all those emotions. […]