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Amusements and Thrills

The fire at Barnum’s American Museum 155 years ago

One hundred and fifty-five years ago (on July 13, 1865), New York City lost one of its most famous, most imaginative and most politically incorrect attractions. When P.T. Barnum opened his museum in 1841, the kooky curiosities contained within the building at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street — at the foot of Park […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

Jenny Lind at Castle Garden: New York City’s Most Famous Concert

EPISODE 316 What happens when P. T. Barnum, America’s savviest supplier of both humbug and hoax, decides that it is time to go legit? The result is one of the greatest concert tours in American history. If you’ve seen the film musical The Greatest Showman, you’ve been introduced to Jenny Lind, the opera superstar dubbed […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The marvelous history of New York comedy, from the Village coffeehouses to the heights of 30 Rock

PODCAST How New Yorkers (and New York City itself) changed the way the world laughs. New York City has always cast a melodramatic profile in the Bowery Boys podcasts, but in this episode, we’re walking on the funny side of the street to reveal the city’s unique relationship with live comedy. The award-winning show The Marvelous […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

Harry Houdini and the Golden Age of Magic: Spectacle, sorcery and spiritualism in New York

PODCAST The history of magic in New York City — in all its peculiar varieties. Harry Houdini became one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, a showman whose escape artistry added a new dimension to the tried-and-true craft of stage magic. In this show, we present not only a mini-biography on the daredevil wizard, […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Landmarks of Coney Island: Spending the day with the amusement icons of the boardwalk

PODCAST The story of Coney Island’s illustrious past via the official and unofficial landmarks which survive to this day. The Coney Island Boardwalk — officially the Riegelmann Boardwalk — just became an official New York City scenic landmark, and to celebrate, the Bowery Boys are headed to Brooklyn’s amusement capital to toast its most famous and […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Before seeing ‘The Greatest Showman’, listen to these three Bowery Boys podcasts

The latest, lavish movie musical arrives this week to movie theaters and it’s the story of P. T. Barnum! The Greatest Showman (opening Wednesday, Dec. 20) featuring Hugh Jackman as the title impresario, certainly a role he was born for. The film will recount Barnum’s life and his most audacious projects including such pivotal characters […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

New York and the Dawn of Photography: Mathew Brady, Samuel Morse and the Daguerreotype Craze

PODCAST The saga of the early days of photographic images and how daguerreotypes became all the rage in 1840s New York. LISTEN TO IT HERE:   We’re taking you back to a world that seems especially foreign today – a world with no selfie sticks, no tens of billions of photographs taken every day from digital […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts The Deuce

Times Square in the 1970s: Grindhouses, peep shows and XXX neon nostalgia

PODCAST 42nd Street After Hours. Cinema and sleaze. Nostalgia and fantasy. The story of a real and imagined New York. Take a trip with us down the grittiest streets in Times Square — the faded marquees of the grindhouses, the neon-lit prurient delights of Eighth Avenue at night. LISTEN TO OUR LATEST EPISODE HERE:  DOWNLOAD Times Square in […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts The Deuce

Times Square in the 1970s: Grindhouses, peep shows and XXX neon nostalgia

PODCAST 42nd Street After Hours. Cinema and sleaze. Nostalgia and fantasy. The story of a real and imagined New York. Take a trip with us down the grittiest streets in Times Square — the faded marquees of the grindhouses, the neon-lit prurient delights of Eighth Avenue at night. LISTEN TO OUR LATEST EPISODE HERE: [geo_mashup_map] […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Subway Tavern: ‘greasy’ church-operated bar alternative

  LOCATION: Subway Tavern Bleecker and Mulberry, Manhattan In operation 1904-05 The early planners of the New York City subway negotiated that very first route through some of the city’s mostly heavily populated areas, those obviously in need of rapid transit. The locations of the first underground stations were based on the amount of available […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

Barnum and the Greatest Show on Earth: NYC and the American Circus

PODCAST The story of Phineas Taylor “P. T.” Barnum and his world-famous circus extravaganza. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages — the Bowery Boys present to you the tale of P. T. Barnum and his “Greatest Show on Earth,” the world’s most famous circus! [geo_mashup_map] You can’t even bring up the discussion of circuses without […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Diva in Danger: A Manhattan movie studio burns 100 years ago today

Over one hundred years ago, the New York City area (its five boroughs, along with areas in New Jersey and Westchester County) was the undisputed center of the American film industry. The invention of the movie camera and celluloid film processing — revolutionized by Thomas Edison and many others — seamlessly collided with the city’s thriving […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball: The Absurd Story of a Marvelous Party

PODCAST Your ticket to Truman Capote’s celebrity-filled party at the Plaza. Truman Capote is a true New York character, a Southern boy who wielded his immense writing talents to secure a place within Manhattan high society. Elegant, witty, compact, gay — Capote was a fixture of swanky nightclubs and arm candy to wealthy, well-connected women. […]

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Amusements and Thrills

The Bronx World’s Fair of 1918: the failure which became a magical park

Nobody remembers the Bronx World’s Fair of 1918 or, more precisely, the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries. Nor should they really. Modest in scale and only partially completed, the exposition failed to bring the world marvels on the scale of the elevator (from the 1853 Crystal Palace exposition) or the television set (from the […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games

PODCAST The history of video games and arcades in New York City. New York has an interesting, complex and downright weird relationship with the video game, from the digital sewers below Manhattan to the neon-lit arcades of Times Square.  It’s not all nostalgia and nerviness; video games in the Big Apple have helped create communities and […]