Bowery Boys

The Bowery Boys podcast, now in its 14th year. Tell a friend about the show!

This Friday we begin our 14th year of podcasting with a new episode about one of New York City’s most beloved landmarks. And on January 29, we will release our 350th episode — on a subject which is certain to surprise you! We’re returned to our regular recording schedule — a brand new episode of […]

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

The Destruction of Penn Station

On January 1, 2021 Moynihan Train Hall officially opened to the public, a new commuters’ wing catering to both Amtrak and Long Island Railroad train passengers at New York’s underground (and mostly unloved) Penn Station. To celebrate this big moment in New York City transportation history, we’re going to tell the entire story of Pennsylvania […]

Bowery Boys Podcasts

Listening to History: The Best Bowery Boys Podcasts of 2020

Well, that year sucked. But we hope you enjoyed our many hours of diverting listening pleasure on the Bowery Boys: New York City History Podcast this year. This is the year we built the Holland Tunnel, the East Side Elevateds, the Charging Bull and New York’s steam system. We tore down King George but built […]

Amusements and Thrills The Jazz Age

Ringing in 1921: “The dullest New Year’s Eve New York has ever seen.” Or was it?

For more information on the history of Times Square’s New Year’s celebrations, listen to our show A New Year In Old New York: One hundred years ago, Americans rang in the new year in an entirely new way — without legal liquor. “New Year’s Eve Agreeably Dull,” declared the New York Herald. “Sober Crowds Jam […]

Food History Friday Night Fever Podcasts

Cheers! The Stories of Four Fabulous Cocktails

EPISODE 348 It’s the happiest of hours! The tales of four fabulous cocktails invented or made famous in New York City’s saloons, cocktail lounges, restaurants and hotels. Cocktails are more than alcoholic beverages; over the decades, they’ve been status signifiers, indulgences that show off exotic ingredients or elixars displaying a bit of showmanship behind the […]

Health and Living Podcasts

Two Stories of Historic Vaccines: The End of Polio and Smallpox

We released the following show on the history of vaccines back in early April 2020 when the idea of a COVID 19 vaccine seemed little more than distant fantasy.  Just this past Monday, on December 14, Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens became the first American […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘The Encyclopedia of New York’: A glorious and eccentric view of the city

Looking for a last minute gift idea? The Encyclopedia of New York is a rich, attractive and surprising collection of stories from the city’s history, arranged alphabetically — from abstract expressionism to zoning. Throughout the book, you’ll be discovering fascinating articles written by some of your favorite New York writers — Kevin Baker on baseball, […]

Film History Pop Culture

Watching ‘Mank’? Listen to these podcasts for more Hearst, Welles and 1930s America

The new David Fincher film Mank, a tribute to old Hollywood and an elegant inspection of the studio system, is one of the most lavish original Netflix films ever. California history buffs will find it especially fascinating. Some of the more interesting moments actually have to do with the gubernatorial campaign of Upton Sinclair. And […]

Events Holidays

The Bowery Boys Holiday Special: Finding a little joy in a difficult year

The Bowery Boys Holiday Special is now available for those who support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon at any level. To join in the revelry, head to Patreon and sign up! Spike that hot cocoa and put on your finest Robert Moses-dressed-as-Santa-themed pajamas because Greg and Tom are celebrating! The Bowery Boys look back […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Bowery Boys Bookshelf: Our Favorite Books of 2020

Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite books that I reviewed for this website in 2020. As with any list formed from the reading list of an individual writer, it’s limited by the number of books I was able to put in front of my face this year — which given all my podcast […]

Podcasts Skyscrapers

Steam Heat: The Gilded Age miracle that keeps New York warm

PODCAST It’s hot in the city — even during the coldest winter months, thanks to the most elemental of resources: steam heat. EPISODE 347 This is the story of the innovative heating plan first introduced on a grand scale here in New York City in the 1880s, a plan which today heats many of Manhattan’s […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Music History

‘The Search for John Lennon’: The short, surprising life of a music legend

John Lennon was shot and killed 40 years ago today out in front of his home at the Dakota Apartments. That fact you probably know. Many aspects of his later years — but most especially his death — have been replayed and mythologized upon the streets of New York City, the unique result of a […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

History in amber: New books on Audubon Park and New York’s natural history museum

Find your corner of the world and fight for it. That’s an underlying message behind Spady’s immersive and carefully tended history of Audubon Park, the small neighborhood just to the north of uptown’s Trinity Cemetery where its namesake — the naturalist John James Audubon — is buried. The Neighborhood Manhattan ForgotAudubon Park and the Families […]

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 […]