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Museums Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

A History of the New York City Subway — from A to Z (and 1 through 9)

The New York City subway system turns 120 years old later this year so we thought we’d honor the world’s longest subway system with a supersized overview history — from the first renegade ride in 1904 to the belated (but sorely welcomed) opening of one portion of the Second Avenue Subway in 2017. New Yorkers… Read More

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Black History Health and Living Museums

The Moores: A Black Family in 1860s New York

Tom visits the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side to walk through the reconstructed two-room apartment of an African-American couple, Joseph and Rachel Moore, who lived in 1870 on Laurens Street in today’s Soho neighborhood. Both Joseph and Rachel moved to New York when they were about 20 years old, in the late 1840s… Read More

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American History Museums Podcasts

Theodore Roosevelt’s Wild Kingdom: American conservation history with Ken Burns

Theodore Roosevelt was a New Yorker and a rugged outdoorsman, a politician and a naturalist, a conservationist and a hunter. His connection with the natural world begin at birth in his Manhattan brownstone home and end with his death in Sagamore Hill. He killed thousands of animals over his lifetime as a hunter-naturalist, most notably… Read More

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Museums Neighborhoods The Immigrant Experience

A Visit to the Ukrainian Museum in the East Village

There’s a small pocket of the East Village still referred to today as “Little Ukraine” (or Ukrainian Village), located at 6th and 7th Streets between First and Third Avenues. Once populated in the late 19th century with thousands of newly arrived Ukrainian immigrants, this area has grown notably smaller in recent years, more distinguished today… Read More

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Museums Podcasts Politics and Protest

The Guarded Smile: Mona Lisa at the Metropolitan Museum

The Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s stoic portrait and one of the most valuable paintings on earth, came to America during the winter of 1963, a single-picture loan that was both a special favor to Jackie Kennedy and a symbolic tool during tense conversations between the United States and France about nuclear arms. The first stop… Read More

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Museums Science Those Were The Days

Analog City: A new exhibition celebrates New York before everything went digital

Index cards. Levers and buttons. Wheels and wires and paper. Stone-gray mechanical boxes and intricate machines of gears and pulleys. It was these things — and probably a lot of coffee — that kept New York City operating before the advent of computers. From the subway to the Wall Street trading floor, life functioned in… Read More

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Museums Women's History

The Origin of Met Gala and its Surprising Roots in the Lower East Side

The Met Gala is the most outrageously glamorous event in New York City, a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that also serves as a kickoff party for the museum’s annual costume exhibition. This year’s theme is “Gilded Glamour” so expect some genuine throwback costumery and lots of expensive baubles. (The Gilded Gentleman, sadly, will… Read More

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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… Read More

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Museums

New York’s First Art Museum: The City Hall Rotunda

The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains a very unusual piece of art tied to the early history of City Hall. In fact, this piece is responsible for what is sometimes considered New York’s very first art museum — decades older than the Met itself. The strange oil painting is called Panoramic View of the Palace… Read More

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Museums Podcasts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 150 Years of History on Display

EPISODE 341 Celebrating the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 150th anniversary year of its founding — certainly one of the strangest years in its extraordinary existence.  The Met is really the king of New York attractions, with visitors heading up to Central Park and streaming through the doors by the millions to gasp at… Read More

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Brooklyn History Museums

The Bushwick Doll Factory: A tour of 538 Johnson, where Brooklyn’s industrial past and punk music collide

There is no place in New York City quite like the converted factory building at 538 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick*, Brooklyn. At the same time, it evokes in mysterious ways a compelling truth about this city — that every building has a story, if only it had a storyteller to share it. For 538 Johnson, that storyteller is Bryan Sears,… Read More

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Museums

Panoramas! The world’s first widescreen delights, on display at the New-York Historical society

Even in our Instagram age, it remains impossible to completely capture the experience of real life upon a fabricated image. With filters and captions, we can make places looks better than they are, but flat images rarely embody the lushcious expanse of reality. With their whimsical new exhibition Panoramas: The Big Picture, the New-York Historical Society reveals that the attempt… Read More

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Museums On The Waterfront

The South Street Seaport Museum, at 50 years old, has gotten some tattoos

The under appreciated South Street Seaport Museum has always had a daunting mission to fulfill — preserving a piece of New York City history on the edge of a volatile and ever-changing waterway. Established fifty years ago this year, the museum has been the guiding presence to this remaining vestige of New York’s 19th century waterfront.… Read More

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Museums

The Crystal Palace: A new gallery show brings its marvels to life

Bryant Park is a rather remarkable physical space. During the winter it becomes a skating rink and outdoor market, while in the summer, its lawn host hundreds of movie buffs every Monday for the park’s popular outdoor film festival. Its neighbor — the main branch of the New York Public Library — keeps millions of volumes… Read More

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Museums

City of Memory: The Metropolitan Museum’s intimate New York exhibit

Up in one of those difficult-to-find rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — so difficult that perhaps it simply vanishes after you leave it — is a series of 27 small oil paintings that one must view with a magnifying glass. The subjects of the paintings all reside in the same universe — a… Read More