Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

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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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. […]

Categories
Film History

The first film ever made outdoors in New York – May 4, 1895

Ever wonder what the very first movie ever shot in Manhattan was? It also happens to be the first American film ever shown to a paying movie audience.Woodville Latham and his sons Otway and Gray Latham had invented the Eidoloscope projector (also called the Pantoptikon), running very crudely like a film projector today. However its […]

Categories
Alternate Side History Podcasts

The Bowery Wizards: A History of Tattooed New York

EPISODE 323 Two tales from New York’s incredible history with the art of tattooing. The art of tattooing is as old as written language but it would require the contributions of a few 19th century New York tattoo artists — and a young inventor with no tattoos whatsoever — to take this ancient art to […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Movie Club

The Muppets Take Manhattan: The Bowery Boys Movie Club in Jim Henson’s New York

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Muppets Take Manhattan and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. TOGETHER AGAIN! In 1984, Jim Henson brought his world-famous Muppets to New York for a wacky musical comedy that satirized the gritty, jaded environment […]

Categories
Film History Podcasts

Nickelodeons and Movie Palaces: New York and the Film Industry 1893-1920

The historic movie studio Kaufman Astoria Studios opened 100 years ago this year in Astoria, Queens. It remains a vital part of New York City’s entertainment industry with both film and television shows still made there to this day. The Museum of the Moving Image resides next door in a former studio building. To honor […]

Categories
Holidays

Easter in Old New York: The Fifth Avenue Fashion Stroll

In the picture above: People in Sunday finery stroll past the New York Public Library building. The library had not even been open two years by the time this picture was taken in March 23, 1913. New York City’s time-honored Easter custom — the Sunday morning Fifth Avenue Easter bonnet stroll — once turned the […]

Categories
Health and Living

The Turtle Cure: In New York, a German doctor offers an unusual remedy for tuberculosis

“I am here to show what the serum will do,” said the visiting doctor from Berlin. “That is my only answer to those who have natural doubts before they have made observations.” Dr. Friedrich Franz Friedmann had come to New York in February 1913 to tackle one of the city’s most persistent scourges upon its […]

Categories
Health and Living

Quarantine on the Lower East Side: A frightening tale from 1892

The neighborhood converging at the intersections of Essex Street, Rutgers Street, Canal Street and East Broadway on the Lower East Side — officially called Straus Square** — somehow seems exactly as it might have looked 125 years ago. Anchored by Seward Park and its beautiful Carnegie library, it retains some of its turn-of-the-century character, while […]

Categories
Planes Trains and Automobiles

The First Subway: Alfred Ely Beach’s Marvelous Pneumatic Transit

Beach’s pneumatic subway — the first in the United States — opened 150 years ago today. To celebrate this anniversary, we are re-representing our 2016 show on the history of Alfred Ely Beach and his shortlived (but truly marvelous) invention. PODCAST The unbelievable story of Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit, a curious solution from 1870 […]

Categories
Podcasts Roaring 20s

Celebrate the Roaring ’20s with these Bowery Boys podcasts

One hundred years ago, American rang in the 1920s in a most somber and sober way. The perception of the next several years becoming characterized in American culture as a gay and frolicking decade — a ‘Jazz Age’ — was far from the minds of Americans in 1920. From the New York Times (1/1/1920): “Hard […]