Categories
Parks and Recreation Religious History

The Convent of Central Park and a famous Revolutionary War site

Pictured above is a remarkable structure that once dominated the scenery on the northern side of Central Park. This was the Academy of Saint Vincent on a hill that bore its name. Located on the northern portion of the park, next to the charming Harlem Meer (and nearest 103rd Street), the Academy sat nestled amid a collection […]

Categories
Podcasts Religious History The Immigrant Experience

The Temple on Fifth Avenue: A Story of Jewish New York and Congregation Emanu-El

Temple Emanu-El, home to New York’s first Reform Jewish congregation and the largest synagogue in the city, sits on the spot of Mrs. Caroline Astor‘s former Gilded Age mansion. Out with the old, in with the new. The synagogue shimmers with Jazz Age style from vibrant stained-glass windows to its Art Deco tiles and mosaics. […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts Religious History

How Chelsea Became a Neighborhood: From Orchards to Nightclubs

PODCAST What does the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea mean to you? Religion and architecture? Art galleries and gay bars? Shopping and brunch after a stroll on the High Line? Tens of thousands of people, of course, call it home. But before it was a neighborhood, it was the Colonial-era estate — the home of a […]

Categories
Know Your Mayors Queens History Religious History

Mayor Walter Bowne and his very exceptional family story

New York City has a new mayor — Eric Adams! So we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors, becoming 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. This longtime feature of this […]

Categories
Friday Night Fever Podcasts Religious History

Nights of Vice: The Midnight Adventures of Doctor Parkhurst

PODCAST Welcome to your tour of New York City nightlife in the 1890s, to a fantasia of debauchery, to a “saturnalia of crime,” your journey to a life of amoral delights! Courtesy a private detective, a blond-headed naif nicknamed “Sunbeam” and — a prominent Presbyterian minister. In this episode, we’re going to Sin City, the […]

Categories
Podcasts Religious History

The secrets of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the unfinished beauty of Morningside Heights

PODCAST The history of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a tour of its unique artistic treasures The Bowery Boys have finally made it to one of the most enigmatic and miraculous houses of worship in America – the Cathedral of St John the Divine. This Episcopal cathedral has a story like no other and […]

Categories
Religious History

The Lower East Side lost a unique relic, a ruin of historical significance

Last night a haunting and inconceivable ruin of the Lower East Side was mysteriously destroyed in a massive fire. The abandoned shell of the old synagogue Beth Hamedrash Hagodol has been a feature of life of Norfolk Street, stubbornly nestled next to apartment buildings, a vestige of the past clinging to the present without care […]

Categories
Religious History

Happy Pope Day! A history of the holiest of New York tourists

Pope Francis arrives in New York City today — part of his first-ever trip to the United States — and the city is rolling out the red carpet. In fact, all available carpets are being rolled out and even some throw rugs. New York loves Popes. (Not always of course.) Only the Marquis de Lafayette […]

Categories
Religious History

Day of Atonement indeed: The Yom Kippur riot of 1898

When I hear of riots on the Lower East Side during the late 19th century, my mind goes to disgruntled newsies or agitated garment workers, rising up for fair wages and employment. Or maybe a vicious street gang like the Whyos primed to wreck havoc. I don’t immediately think of the orthodox Jewish community. But […]