Podcasts Writers and Artists

A New Deal for the Arts: How the WPA funded an American creative revolution

PART TWO of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at how one aspect of FDR’s New Deal — the WPA’s Federal Project Number One — was used to put the country’s creative community back to work and lift the spirits of downtrodden Americans. EPISODE 338 Federal […]

Parks and Recreation Podcasts

Robert Moses and the Art of the New Deal

PART ONE of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at the impact New Deal funding had in shaping the city’s infrastructure — from bridges and tunnels to neighborhood parks — how New York City uniquely benefited from this government program. EPISODE 337 New York City during […]

Black History Events

Honoring New York’s first civil rights march — a special virtual event with Green-Wood Cemetery

I’m very pleased to be able to join author Eric K. Washington in a special ‘virtual history’ discussion of the Silent Parade of 1917 — courtesy a special event sponsored by Green-Wood Cemetery. Join Eric and I on Wednesday, August 19 at 5pm for an illustrated discussion of this important moment in New York City […]


H.P Lovecraft’s very bizarre hatred of Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights

Howard Philip Lovecraft — aka H.P. Lovecraft — was born 130 years ago this week (on August 20, 1890) in Providence, Rhode Island.   The pulp-fiction storyteller, known for claustrophobic tales of the occult, lived for a time in Brooklyn. He did not enjoy it. In 1924, he moved to  259 Parkside Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, close to Ebbets Field and Prospect Park. […]

Bowery Boys

A small favor to ask our listeners. Anonymous survey time!

If you are a listener of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast, would you do us a kind favor and fill out a short anonymous survey? We’re going to start bringing in a small number of advertisements into the show again, but we want to make sure those advertisers are ones you will […]

Podcasts Wartime New York

The War on Newspaper Row: Pulitzer, Hearst and the Sinking of the USS Maine

EPISODE 336 The newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — the New York World and the New York Journal — were locked in a fierce competition for readers in the mid 1890s. New Yorkers loved it. The paper’s frantic, sensational style was so shocking that it became known as ‘yellow journalism’. So what […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf True Crime

‘The Vapors’: How an Arkansas spa town became a New York gangster paradise

Owney Madden was one of New York’s most infamous gangsters, a bootlegger and murderer who seemed to cross paths with every major cultural marker of the Roaring 20s. He opened the Cotton Club (with Jack Johnson), dated Mae West, and operated a liquor smuggling racket that catered to the city’s busiest speakeasies. In essence Madden […]

Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Pulitzer vs. Hearst: The Rise of Yellow Journalism in Gilded Age New York

PODCAST (EPISODE 335) In the 1890s, powerful New York publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst engaged in an all-out battle for daily readers of their respective newspapers, developing a flamboyant, sensational style of coverage today referred to as ‘yellow journalism’. This battle between the New York World and the New York Journal would determine […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

Seven New York City Documentaries to Watch This Week

Looking for a good documentary on New York City history — particularly the 1970s and 80s? Try out one of these recent releases, now available for streaming at home: FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS. THE MAFIA The FBI takes down the Five Families — New York’s major organized crime syndicates — in this extremely attractive […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf It's Showtime

‘Lady Romeo’: The unconventional life of actress Charlotte Cushman

Without moving images or sound recordings to guide us, it can be hard to imagine the lives and careers of famous theater actors from the 19th century. And yet the American theater produced a list of wildly famous performers whose names were repeated in households that often had no possibility of ever seeing a major […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Brooklyn History

Do The Right Thing: Brooklyn heats up in the new Bowery Boys Movie Club

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film Do The Right Thing and its rich historical context. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. FIGHT THE POWER! In 1989, director Spike Lee electrified film audiences with Do The Right Thing,documenting a day in the life of one block […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Podcasts

Midnight Cowboy: I’m Walkin’ Here! Celebrating a gritty New York film classic

We’ve now made our Bowery Boys Movie Club episode on the film Midnight Cowboy available for everyone. Listen to it today wherever you get your podcasts. Midnight Cowboy, released one month before the Stonewall Riots, depicts several alternative scenes that were thriving in New York City in the late 1960s — from wild psychedelic parties to the sleazy movie theaters […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Politics and Protest

‘Begin Again’: What James Baldwin can teach us about 2020

There were five, maybe six moments, during the reading of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons For Our Own where I experienced something that few books had ever made me feel — that the pages were being written as I turned them. The sentiments so immediate and revealing of this moment — […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Landmarks

‘Walking Broadway’: A splendid guide for a summer stroll through Manhattan

Manhattan’s 13-mile stretch of Broadway — as you’ve heard us say many times — has an extraordinary history. Thanks to its unique path up the length of the island, it crosses through a wide variety of fascinating neighborhoods and historical eras. And as it turns out — it also makes for a beautiful stroll. WALKING […]

A Most Violent Year Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Murder in the Garment District’: Unraveling the labor unions in mob-controlled Manhattan

By the 1930s, New York City’s thriving garment industry had moved from the Lower East Side to Midtown Manhattan*, housed within nondescript buildings with hundreds of showrooms and shop floors. The streets were lined with idling trucks, racks of dresses pulled along the sidewalk by loaders and truck men. The streets where American fashion was […]