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Podcasts Pop Culture

Super City: The Secret Origin of Comic Books

PODCAST  A history of the comic book industry in New York City, how the energy and diversity of the city influenced the burgeoning medium in the 1930s and 40s and how New York’s history reflects out from the origins of its most popular characters. In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and […]

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Pop Culture

The Bowery Boys at New York Comic Con: Talking the history of comics and the legacy of Jack Kirby

The Bowery Boys’ Greg Young, an aficionado of comic strip and comic book history, will be appearing at two events this week tied to New York Comic Con.  The first event on Monday is general admission in the East Village, so come on out to kick off the week. The second event is at NYCC […]

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Pop Culture

‘War Paint’ and ‘Indecent’: Two views of New York City history on Broadway

History has always been a critical component of theater, especially in musicals, where period sets and costumes assist in creating other worlds on stage quite unlike our normal one. But last year, with Hamilton: The Musical, the stage phenomenon which won the Tony Award for Best Musical (and a million other awards), history became a rock star. Or rather, […]

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Pop Culture

I Called Him Morgan: The Murder of a Jazz Star in wintry 1970s New York

It was during one of those terrible February nights — blizzard winds with the streets packed tight with snow — at a jazz club in the East Village named Slug’s Saloon, packed with people haloed in cigarette smoke, that a woman named Helen Morgan walked up to one of the performers, her common-law husband, a rising […]

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Pop Culture

Documentaries to see: The Witness, Tower, O.J. Made In America and more

A few weeks before they announce nominations for the Academy Awards, they release a ‘short list’ of films that are being considered for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Even if you don’t care about the Academy Awards — or the general self-congratulatory nature of Hollywood during this of year — the short list is an […]

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Pop Culture

Jackie and Loving: History on Film 2016

The end of the year usually means a higher quality selection at the movie theater– and more films based on historical events, a popular theme for those seeking glory on awards shows. It always seems each year’s batch accidentally gathers around a certain place or era.  Last year it was New York City history of the 1950s […]

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Pop Culture

Finding Magic In Old New York: The historic places of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

The article below contains spoilers involving locations used in the movie, but no specific plot spoilers that aren’t already revealed in the trailer. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, strictly a fantasy film of course, from the vivid mind of J.K. Rowling, is nonetheless the year’s best historical depiction of New York City.  This indulgence of […]

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Pop Culture

What ‘The Get Down’ Gets Right About the South Bronx in 1977

Photo-mechanical postcards were popular during the Gilded Age because they were photographs printed on thick card stock and enhanced with colored inks, turning reality into a Technicolor dreamscape well before the invention of color film. This also describes the film style of Baz Luhrmann, the Australian director known his flamboyant, indulgent visual technique, seen in Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+ […]

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Pop Culture

Florence Foster Jenkins: Six Historical Details From Meryl Streep’s Latest Film

NOTE: This discussion of the film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ includes minor location spoilers but no specific plot spoilers that not already in the movie trailer.  Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York music philanthropist and society maven of exceeding generosity, was actually a rather fine musician. Unfortunately, her ability to play the instrument in which she excelled […]

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Pop Culture

Ghostbusters 2: Twenty-five historical details from the supreme slimy sequel

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

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Pop Culture

Ghostbusters 2: Twenty-five historical details from the supreme slimy sequel

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

Categories
Pop Culture

A Bit Of Magic in Old New York

J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is a prequel of sorts to her wildly popular Harry Potter series. At least, it appears the movie is. The book itself was used within the Potter series as the main character’s textbook.  The new film version, arriving late this year, seems create a whole […]

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Pop Culture

HBO’s Vinyl: Getting Into The Groove

The music industry is the focus of Martin Scorsese’s new HBO show Vinyl just as the mob-run liquor business was the focus of his last show Boardwalk Empire, but in many ways, the two are pretty much the same. Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) runs his record label American Century Records out of the Brill Building […]

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Pop Culture

“I amuse you? I make you laugh?” Bowery Boys on GoodFellas Minute

If you’re a fan of classic movies, you should definitely check out the strange but marvelous podcast GoodFellas Minute, which specializes in analyzing the classic 1990 Martin Scorsese movie starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesce, Lorraine Bracco and Ray Liotta. As the title suggests, each episode of the podcast — featuring Ron Richards, Josh Flanagan, and […]

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Pop Culture

NYC history in pop culture: “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”

It was a pretty spectacular year for history lovers in pop culture this year as the year’s best film, television and theater all seemed to take inspiration from the New York City of old.  Here are ten moments that I particularly loved that expressed the unending bounty of ideas from the people, places and events […]