Categories
Health and Living

Hot as Hell: Surviving the deadly heat wave of July 1911

The New York Tribune of July 7, 1911, says it all: “Heat’s Scythe Mows Down 56 On Fifth Day.” The city was in the midst of a devastating heatwave gripping in the entire Northeast during the first two weeks of July 1911. There was little escape from the scorching temperatures among the cramped tenements. New… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue

The story of New York’s most prominent abortionist of the 19th century and the unique environment of morality and secrecy which accommodated her rise on the fringes of society. Ann Lohman aka Madame Restell was one of the most vilified women of the 19th century, an abortion practitioner that dodged the law to become one… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf Health and Living

‘The Doctors Blackwell’: The riveting biography of two medical mavens

In 1857 Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell threw open the doors to the New York Infirmary for Women and Children at 58 Bleecker Street, revolutionary as being the first hospital in the world to employ an all-female staff. We rightly see this today as a major stride in the rights of women as medical professionals and… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

The Ruins of Roosevelt Island: The macabre history of New York’s “city of asylums”

The Renwick Ruin, resembling an ancient castle lost to time, appears along the East River as a crumbling, medieval-like apparition, something not quite believable. Sitting between two new additions on Roosevelt Island — the campus of Cornell Tech and FDR Four Freedoms Park — these captivating ruins, enrobed in beautiful ivy, tell the story of… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Holidays

Toxic Turkey Day: New York City’s smoggy holiday crisis

On November 24, 1966, millions of spectators flooded Broadway in New York City to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. The iconic floats – Superman, Popeye, Smokey the Bear – were set against a grey sky that can only be described as noxious. A smog of pollutants was trapped over New York City,… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Mysterious Stories Podcasts

New York Underground: The Secret Stories of Cemeteries

PODCAST The following podcast may look like the history of New York City cemeteries — from the early churchyards of the Colonial era to the monument-filled rural cemeteries of Brooklyn and Queens. But it’s much more than that. This is a story about New York City itself, a tale of real estate, urban growth, class… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Know Your Mayors

Mayor Stephen Allen: A tragic end for New York’s sail-making leader

  We’re just a couple months away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history.… Read More

Categories
Brooklyn History Health and Living

The Brooklyn origin of Pfizer and the wild world of 19th century medicine

The origin of a true Brooklyn ‘start up’ — Charles Pfizer and Co, who went from developing intestinal worm medication in 1849 to being a leader in vaccine distribution in the 21st century. This is story of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals before the 1950s, a tale of German immigration and of early medical practices and concoctions that… Read More

Categories
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… Read More

Categories
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… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf Health and Living

‘Saving Stuyvesant Town’: The inside story of an historic real estate struggle

Even among New York’s many gigantic housing complexes, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village stands apart — and not just literally, walled off from the surrounding neighborhoods like a massive, post-war fortress. SAVING STUYVESANT TOWNHow One Community Defeated The Worst Real Estate Deal In HistoryDaniel R. GarodnickThree Hills/Cornell University Press With over 11,000 apartments geared… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Neighborhoods

Liz Christy and the Community Gardens of the East Village

The residents of the Lower East Side one century ago would probably have never have said to themselves, “What a grand place to plant flowers!” But it would be their very tenement lots that would later lead to the sprouting of so many East Village neighborhood gardens, some of the most wonderful community gardens in… Read More

Categories
Health and Living The Knick

The Knick is now on HBO Max: Our guide to this twisted medical series

The grim, bloody wonderful business known as The Knick — primarily set in a New York City hospital at the start of the 20th century — only got two seasons but they were great fun. This virtuoso dark drama, created by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, was directed by Steven Soderbergh in a shadowy and… Read More

Categories
Health and Living

The origin of snow removal for all New Yorkers, rich and poor

For more information on New York City’s history with snow removal, listen to our 2019 show on the history of the city’s Department of Sanitation. For some of New York City’s history, snowstorms have been completely paralyzing, and most residents had to clear their own streets, an impossibility in areas of a more rural character.… Read More

Categories
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… Read More