Gilded Age New York Holidays

The story of the world’s first Christmas tree with electric lights

The world’s very first Christmas tree with electric lights was displayed in 1882 at the home of Edward Hibberd Johnson in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City. Not only did it glow with this innovative new form of illumination, this Christmas tree also spun around, revolving like a flashy new car at an […]

Museums Music History

Visit Bill Graham & the Rock and Roll Revolution before it closes

If you’ve listened to our show on Beatlemania in New York and you’re still in the mood for some 1960s music history, head on over to the New-York Historical Society to check out their harmonious exhibition on concert promoter Bill Graham. Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution summons the gods and goddesses of […]

Music History Podcasts

The Beatles Invade New York! Memories of Beatlemania from the fans who helped create it

PODCAST: EPISODE 346 How Beatlemania both energized and paralyzed New York City in the mid 1960s as told by the women who screamed their hearts out and helped build a phenomenon. Before BTS, before One Direction, before the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, before Menudo and the Jackson 5 — you had Paul, John, George and […]

Planes Trains and Automobiles

The story of how Idlewild Airport was renamed for John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was memorialized in dozens of ways following his assassination on November 22, 1963. None of these are more vital to the daily lives of New Yorkers than John F. Kennedy International Airport — or Kennedy Airport or simply JFK — the busiest airport in the Northeast. […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

You Talkin’ To Me? A new book explores the way New Yorkers speak

We echo our ancestors’ history everyday through our accents and spoken language. Accents are a filtered connection to how those before us spoke — well, for many people, that is. As for me — born in the Ozarks with much of my life in New York City — you’d think I would have pretty bizarre […]

Music History

Did you experience Beatlemania in New York firsthand? Let us know!

We are recording a new show about Beatlemania in New York City — tales of wild fans at JFK Airport and the Plaza Hotel, concerts at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium and, of course, those Ed Sullivan Show appearances. Were you or your parents or grandparents swept up in Beatlemania during that period? Do you […]

Food History Queens History

A Grocery Story: America’s First Supermarket Opens in Queens 1930

Did you know the modern supermarket was created in New York City? The ways people purchased groceries in the first few decades of the 20th century had evolved very rapidly. And by the 1930s all roads to the grocery store would lead to Queens. During the 19th century grocers provided shoppers with a limited number […]

Food History Podcasts

La Guardia’s War on Pushcarts and the Creation of Essex Street Market

EPISODE 345 Once upon a time, the streets of the Lower East Side were lined with pushcarts and salespeople haggling with customers over the price of fruits, fish and pickles. Whatever became of them? New York’s earliest marketplaces were large and surprisingly well regulated hubs for commerce that kept the city fed. When the city […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

‘When Harry Met Sally’ and the return of postcard New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film When Harry Met Sally and the rich historical context of late 80s New York City. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING. When Harry Met Sally, directed by Rob Reiner and written by Nora Ephron, […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Science

‘A Furious Sky’: A new book tracks the horrors of American hurricanes

This week marks the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, which wreaked havoc upon the Northeast United States, causing billions of dollars in damage. The storm hit just days before a presidential election and right before Halloween, plunging many areas of New York City into darkness and flooding the subway […]

Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Literary Horrors of New York City: Scary Stories from Lovecraft, Irving, Highsmith and Ripley

EPISODE 343 In the 14th annual Bowery Boys Podcast Halloween special, we celebrate some classic tales of the strange and supernatural written by the most famous horror writers in New York City history. Since 2020 is already a year full of ridiculous twists and frights, we thought we’d celebrate the season in a slightly different way. But don’t […]

Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Ghost Stories of Old New York: ALIVE at Joe’s Pub

EPISODE 342 A very special Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast presentation, recorded live on Halloween Night 2019. For the past couple years we have put on a LIVE cabaret version of our annual Ghost Stories podcast at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. For reasons related to the fact that it’s the hellish year […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Health and Living

‘The House on Henry Street’: A new book on the mothers of modern activism

If you’re looking to read something about the possibility of doing absolute good in the world, then a story about the Henry Street Settlement is a good place to start. The Lower East Side settlement house, founded by Lillian Wald in 1893, became not only a salvation to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in […]

Museums Podcasts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 150 Years of History on Display

EPISODE 341 Celebrating the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 150th anniversary year of its founding — certainly one of the strangest years in its extraordinary existence.  The Met is really the king of New York attractions, with visitors heading up to Central Park and streaming through the doors by the millions to gasp at […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

American Daredevil: A New Book on Comic Book Anti-Fascist Lev Gleason

Comic books were invented in New York City during the 1930s, the product of a low-key publishing trade combining the popularity of newspaper comic strips with the gloss of the magazine revolution. That was also a decade of social activism — with the Great Depression at home and the rise of fascism in Europe — […]