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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 Podcasts

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 Podcasts

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 […]

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Amusements and Thrills

From ‘Hot Circuits’ to ‘Arcade Classics’: A Museum’s Quest to Preserve Video Games

ARCADE CLASSICS, the latest show at the Museum of the Moving Image, pulling from the museum’s regular collection of video arcade games, is indeed an all-star line-up of classics. But without the fussiness of an actual arcade. (For one, the experience is at pleasant decibels.) The machines will mostly be familiar to anybody who identifies as Generation […]

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Amusements and Thrills

The Mystique of Josephine Baker, born 110 years ago today

Josephine Baker is a spellbinding icon. Her persona is magnetic, mysterious, intangible, taking inspiration from Sophie Tucker and Bessie Smith, the divas of the silent screen and the flappers of Harlem and Greenwich Village. And yet this most alluring figure of the Jazz Age was born 110 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri. Barely 15 years […]

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Amusements and Thrills

PODCAST REWIND: Return to Freedomland U.S.A.!

What is Freedomland U.S.A.? An unusual theme park in the Bronx, only in existence for less than five years, Freedomland has become the object of fascination for New York nostalgia lovers everywhere. Created by an outcast of Walt Disney’s inner circle, Freedomland practically defines 60s kitsch, with dozens of rides and amusements related to saccharine […]

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Amusements and Thrills

History in the Making (9/9): So Many Vices Edition

In this blog roundup, a Bowery Boys appearance in Vice, a threat to preservation, a classic restaurant closes, the story of two hotels with very different histories and more! In the photo above and below — From the Museum of the City of New York collection, some images of the so-called Prize Fighters Saloon (at […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Hey gang, let’s go down to the Recreation Pier!

The end of the 19th century saw many new ways to get people out of New York City’s over-crowded tenement districts, with trains to beach havens like Coney Island and Rockaway Beach and steamers making day-trips up the Hudson River and to spots in Long Island. For those who didn’t have the luxury of a free afternoon,  some […]

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Amusements and Thrills

The 1965 New York World’s Fair: Opening Day

The New York World’s Fair opened for its second and last season on April 21, 1965.  The grand opening the previous year had been rocky indeed — protests, rain, even a parking lot riot.  Thankfully the second season was met with beautiful weather and abundant crowds.  In order to jazz it up a bit — not […]

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Amusements and Thrills

The Monster Tree: A California Sequoia Visits New York City 1855

The mighty Sequoia tree,  principally existing today in northern California, embodied the breathtaking diversity of the North American continent when it was first discovered by European explorers in the 1830s.  The Native American tribes of the west coast revered them.  Early European explorers too marveled at this display of nature’s great flourish, spinning fantastic tales of ‘monster […]