1918: The Story of the Harlem Hellfighters

PODCAST (EPISODE 310): New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s first black regiment engaged in World War I.  The world knew them as the Harlem Hellfighters. On February 17, 1919, the Hellfighters – who had spent much of the year 1918 on the frontline – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support… Read More

Revolutionary History

Love in the Revolutionary War: Washington’s unexpected visitors at the Blue Bell Tavern

Before it closed in 2011, the Coliseum Cinema in Washington Heights proclaimed itself to be the ‘New York City’s oldest operating movie theater’. When it was first constructed in 1920, its stage would have hosted vaudeville acts as well as silent motion pictures. But few films that ever premiered at the Coliseum would depict events… Read More

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Bridge: Join the Bowery Boys for a special book club event at the Van Alen Institute

Love graphic novels? Love the Brooklyn Bridge? Join Greg Young from the Bowery Boys podcast as he moderates this month’s Van Alen Book Club — hosted by the Van Alen Institute, on Friday, February 28. The book we’re discussing is The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York by Peter J. Tomasi, illustrated… Read More

Bowery Boys Movie Club

The Warriors: The Bowery Boys Movie Club takes the late-night subway to revisit this 1979 cult classic

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Warriors and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Warriors and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support… Read More

Book Review

Labyrinth of Ice: A historical tale of survival in the Polar North makes for a chilling winter’s read

Consider this one of the America’s strangest national landmarks — Fort Conger, a scientific research post originally built in 1881 by an American expedition in a remote and frozen area of Nunavit, Canada. Some might call it the world’s most northern haunted house. Over two dozen men — fronted by Civil War vet Adolphus Greely… Read More

Podcasts Preservation

What Gets Saved? An explainer podcast on preservation, landmarks and historic districts

EPISODE 309 They’re tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How is this even possible? New York City is so over. Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit… Read More

Writers and Artists

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe was published 175 years ago today

“The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845, and would come to define the morbid brilliance of its author Edgar Allan Poe. Poe and his sickly young wife Virginia arrived in New York in 1844, lodging at a dairy farm at today’s West 84th Street, between Broadway and… Read More

American History Podcasts

Andrew Carnegie and New York’s public libraries: How a Gilded Age gift transformed America

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie — one of the richest Americans to ever live — began giving his money away. The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries — railroads, bridge… Read More


Seward Park Library: One of New York’s most beautiful branch libraries also had a rooftop view

Below is a picture, facing east, of Seward Park Library in the Lower East Side at 192 E. Broadway (picture taken in 1911). This spectacular branch library, funded by Andrew Carnegie, opened in November 1909, two years before the 42nd Street main branch opened.  All of the housing behind the library to the east has… Read More

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts The Jazz Age

The Holland Tunnel: How a Jazz Age engineering marvel forever changed New York and New Jersey

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think. Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for… Read More

Bowery Boys Podcasts

Here are the top Bowery Boys podcast episodes of 2019. Thanks for making this our greatest year yet!

Wow it’s been a busy time on the podcast this year. Twenty-seven new episodes of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcasts in 2019 — along with seven episodes of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, four of The Takeout and other bonus audio for those who support us on Patreon. That’s a lot of talking! We visited the neighborhoods of Downtown… Read More

Food History Podcasts

Just Desserts: The origins of New York cheesecake, cannoli and other glorious sweet things

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren’t just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today. The origins of some of these… Read More

Know Your Mayors

A short history of New York City mayors who ran for President of the United States

Last week former mayor Michael Bloomberg very unofficially — and somewhat belatedly — entered the 2020 presidential race by filing paperwork for next year’s Alabama primary. This over a month after current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio entered and dropped out of the race this year, never catching fire with the Democratic electorate.… Read More


How the Kosciuszko Bridge got its wonderfully bewildering name

“That sound that crashes in the tyrant’s ear – Kosciuszko!” Lord Byron was talking about Polish hero Tadeusz Kościuszko, who was (most likely) born on this date in 1746.  Tomorrow a new bridge bearing his name will open to the public,  hoping to eliminate the many grievances of those stuck upon its predecessor during rush hour. But how did the original 1939 span over… Read More


Eero Saarinen and his three gifts to New York

A toast to the great 20th-century architect Eero Saarinen! The Modernist icon was born on this date in 1910 in Finland. He immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was thirteen years old. His father Eliel Saarinen was himself a brilliant architect; his son would learn from the best. Eero Saarinen was a versatile furniture designer… Read More