Landmarks Music History

Making Music History at the Hotel Pennsylvania

The following article is an excerpt from a new Bowery Boys mini-podcast — following up on this week’s episode on the Hotel Pennsylvania — which has been made available to those who support the show (at the Five Points level and above) on Patreon. In the latest episode of the Bowery Boys podcast on the […]

Music History Podcasts Preservation

Last Dance at the Hotel Pennsylvania

PODCAST When it opened in 1919, the Hotel Pennsylvania was the largest hotel in the world. Over a hundred years later, its fate remains uncertain. Is it too big to save? After the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its colossal Pennsylvania Station in 1910, the railroad quickly realized it would need a companion hotel equal to the station’s exquisite […]

Gilded Age New York Podcasts

The Man Who Saved the Horses: Henry Bergh’s Fight for Animal Rights

PODCAST “Men will be just to men when they are kind to animals.” – Henry Bergh Today’s show is all about animals in 19th-century New York City. Of course, animals were an incredibly common sight on the streets, market halls, and factories during the Gilded Age, and many of us probably have a quaint image […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

‘Republic of Detours’: Paying great writers to discover New Deal America

For the hundreds of thousands of people employed by New Deal programs during the Great Depression, it was always infrastructure week. Even for those employed by the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project, aimed at giving paychecks to unemployed writers by creating meaningful employment that benefited the public good. But their objectives weren’t to build new infrastructure; […]

Gangs of New York

William Poole, aka Bill the Butcher, was born 200 years ago

William Poole, born 200 years ago today in New Jersey, was one of the most infamous villains in New York City history. As a young man, he operated as a butcher at Washington Market (in the area of today’s Tribeca neighborhood) and that legitimate occupation lent him his nickname earned by his more disreputable activities […]

Food History Podcasts Those Were The Days

The Ice Craze: Triumphs and Scandals of the 19th Century Ice Trade

New York City on ice — a tribute to the forgotten industry which kept the city cool in the age before refrigeration and air conditioning. Believe it or not, ice used to be big business. In 1806 a Boston entrepreneur named Frederic Tudor cut blocks of ice from a pond on his family farm and […]

Health and Living Newspapers and Newsies

The hottest day in New York City history

These days of low-to-mid 90s F, high humidity temperatures got you down? Why that’s nothing! The hottest day in New York City history was eighty-five years ago last week — on July 9, 1936, when temperatures reached an agonizing 106 degrees, measured from the Central Park weather observatory. This broke the record set on August […]

Health and Living Mysterious Stories Podcasts

The dark history of North Brother Island, New York’s forbidden place

PODCAST There are two mysterious islands in the East River with a human population of zero. North Brother Island and the smaller South Brother Island sit near the tidal strait known as Hell Gate, a once-dangerous whirlpool which wrecked hundreds of ships and often deposited the wreckage on the island’s quiet shore. In the 1880s […]

New York Islands Sports

The strange link between the New York Yankees and South Brother Island

This article is an excerpt of an entire mini-podcast on the history of South Brother Island, available to those who support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon (at the Five Points level and above). Join us on Patreon to listen today! This week’s latest podcast explores the dark and dramatic history of North Brother Island, […]

Adventures In Old New York Events

The Bowery Boys Podcast takes over NYC Ferry on Instagram — Friday (June 25)

Do you follow the Bowery Boys on Instagram? Excellent! Or are you somebody who doesn’t use Instagram right now? Well tomorrow (Friday, June 25) would be a great day to check in. Because the Bowery Boys are taking over NYC Ferry for the day. No we will not be piloting ferries through the East River […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Brooklyn History

Do The Right Thing: Spike Lee’s Brooklyn movie classic gets better with age

We’re sliding into summer AT LAST — ready for great music, hot dancing and breaking into fire hydrants — and so we’ve just released an epic summertime episode of Bowery Boys Movie Club to the general Bowery Boys podcast audience, exploring the 1989 Spike Lee masterpiece Do The Right Thing. And sticking to the theme of summertime New […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Neighborhoods

In The Heights: The Movie Club dives into Upper Manhattan’s musical romance

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the new musical film In The Heights and the fascinating historical neighborhood at its center. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. Lin Manuel Miranda‘s first Broadway musical In The Heights was a critical and box office smash and won four Tony Awards — including Best Musical. And yet […]

American History Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘An Open Secret’: A gay life in Jazz Age Chicago

Robert Allerton lived without a care thanks to his family’s Gilded Age fortune, built from the stockyards of Chicago’s meat processing district. As a young man, Allerton used his inherited wealth to maintain the family estate near Monticello, Illinois, cultivating a garden escape where he could be left to his own devices. And then, in […]

Long Island Podcasts

Road Trip to Long Island: All Episodes Now Available

We’ve now reached the end of our Road Trip To Long Island mini-series but not the end of Long Island history on our podcast. Let’s just say, we were on something of a test drive to gauge listeners’ interest in the Bowery Boys Podcast expanding beyond the borders of the city. We are now anticipating […]

It's Showtime Long Island Podcasts

The Very Gay History of Fire Island

How did one particular summer settlement on Fire Island become a ‘safe haven’ for gay men and lesbians almost ninety years ago, decades before the uprising at Stonewall Inn? This is the third and final part of the Bowery Boys Road Trip to Long Island. (Check out the first part on Gatsby and the Gold […]