Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Birth of the Five Boroughs: 125 Years of Greater New York

On January 1, 2023, New York City will celebrate a special moment, the 125th anniversary of the formation of Greater New York and the creation of the five boroughs — The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. In honor of this special moment in New York City history, we are celebrating a bit early,… Read More

Categories
Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Gotham’s Greatest Ghosts: The Bowery Boys Halloween Specials

Our first ghost stories show was released on October 11, 2007, featuring New York City’s famous haunted tales and urban legends (with historical context). Since that time we have released sixteen Halloween-related shows as well as a recording of our Joe’s Pub live show. Take a spooky trip down memory lane with a re-listen to… Read More

Categories
Revolutionary History

Richmond Hill: West Village’s former Vice Presidential mansion and the lonely refuge of Aaron Burr

Richmond Hill, the spacious mansion and 26-acre estate on the outskirts of town that had once been George Washington‘s headquarters and later the home of John Adams, was also home to another vice president — Aaron Burr.  This was the place he lived on that fateful day, July 11, 1804, when he entered into a… Read More

Categories
Religious History

The Yom Kippur Riot of 1898: Lower East Side in Turmoil

When I hear of so-called “riots” on the Lower East Side during the late 19th century, my mind goes to disgruntled newsies or agitated garment workers, rising up for fair wages and employment. Or maybe a vicious street gang like the Whyos primed to wreck havoc. I don’t immediately think of the orthodox Jewish community.… Read More

Categories
Podcasts

An Evening at Sardi’s: Dinner with a side of Broadway history

PODCAST REWIND The famous faces on the walls of Sardi’s Restaurant represent the entertainment elite of the 20th century, and all of them made this place on West 44th Street their unofficial home. Known for its kooky caricatures and its Broadway opening-night traditions, Sardi’s fed the stars of the golden age and became a hotspot for… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Landmarks

The Fifth Avenue Hotel: Opulence, glamour and power on Madison Square

The double-breasted, cigar-chewing gentlemen who gathered in the sumptuous rooms of the Fifth Avenue Hotel were occasional connoisseurs of New York City history, and in particular, these amateur historians spoke of the very street corner where their hotel stood. Before Madison Square, when the area was a barren parade ground, one Corporal Thompson opened a roadhouse… Read More

Categories
The First

The Making and Remaking of the Pledge of Allegiance

On the 130th anniversary of the Pledge of Allegiance, revisit this older show that Greg Young produced for his spin-off The First, featuring Tom Meyers as the guest voice! THE FIRST PODCAST The Pledge of Allegiance feels like an American tradition that traces itself back to the Founding Fathers, but, in fact, it’s turning 125… Read More

Categories
Holidays Newspapers and Newsies

How New York newspapers covered the first Labor Day — September 5, 1882

Clothing cutters, horseshoers, shoemakers, upholsterers, printers, house painters, freight handlers, cabinet makers, varnishers, cigar makers, bricklayers and piano makers. The first American Labor Day began on September 5, 1882, with 10,000 workers from a wide variety of occupations circling Union Square, then parading up to the area of today’s Bryant Park. (A picnic ‘after party’… Read More

Categories
Skyscrapers

The Big Wind of 1912: New York skyscrapers in peril, as monster gales hurl “men and women down city streets”

Trauma in Times Square: An electrical sign destroyed by the massive windstorm of February 22, 1912. One Times Square sits to the left, and the Hotel Astor is in the distance. [LOC] Shorpy has an another angle of this damaged storefront. “The great gale that blew in with Washington’s birthday will not soon be forgotten. It… 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

Categories
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

Categories
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
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
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