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History in the Making: The Long, Forgotten Trail Edition

Abandoned railroad tracks dart along the cobblestones of the Brooklyn waterfront. Walker Evans 1960 (Courtesy LIFE images) Mad Men starts on Sunday, speeding the story up to Thanksgiving 1964. What was going on in the city then? [City Room] You think it’s hot down in the subway today? Imagine what it was like several decades… Read More

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Xenon and the strange journey of a Broadway theater: Noel Coward, Fellini, porn, disco, ‘Cabaret’, Dame Edna

You know it’s a good night at Xenon when you’re drunk on the dance floor, and all of a sudden, the actress Valerie Perrine and the Village People appear (source) FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, on occasional Fridays we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from… Read More

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Before South Street Seaport: The lovely mess on the waterfront

Manhattan waterfront property, from Thomas Edison, circa May 1903: an uninterrupted swell of piers, tugs and steamships jutting into the water, the skyline obscured at camera angle by towers of masts. This short film starts immediately north of the Battery Maritime Building (next to the Whitehall Ferry Terminal) and scans the entire waterfront up to… Read More

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Here comes the Puerto Rican Day Parade!

A very different Puerto Rican Day parade, in 1966 The Puerto Rican Day Parade returns to Manhattan boulevards this Sunday, so I thought I would reprint my old article from 2008 to celebrate: Manhattan’s largest parade happens this Sunday, June 13th: the annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade, an event that yearly brings national pride,… Read More

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History in the Making: Fleet Week Edition

Above: New York’s westside, 1945, by Andreas Feininger (Courtesy Google Life images) No, that’s not a touring revival of ‘On The Town.’ Those are actual sailors. [Fleet Week schedule] It’s the 60th anniversary of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Enjoy one of Robert Moses’s more controversial creations and be thankful it’s not a Brooklyn-Battery bridge. [Gothamist] Were… Read More

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Mark Twain and the long century without him

Above: Mark Twain at Delmonico’s Restaurant One hundred years ago today, Mark Twain died of a heart attack in Connecticut, famously the day after Hailey’s Comet whisked by the earth. Although obviously more known for his reminiscences of Missouri and his later life in Hartford, Conn., New York City figured significantly in his career. Twain… Read More

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Bowery Boys Podcasts: The Map

A new podcast is on the way and will hopefully be ready by Friday (still navigating through some of our technical difficulties at the moment). In the meantime, check this out! One of our fans on Facebook, Moses Pounds, created a Google map marking all the locations we’ve spoken about in prior podcasts. Much appreciation… Read More

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Fifty years ago: high school dropouts roam Manhattan!

“A view of a boy hanging out in a tenement and shabby residential street sections.” From a classic Paul Schutzer photo series on high school dropouts, taken April 1960. Check out the whole series of images here here. And if you want to venture into the artice itself, part two can be found here. High… Read More

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Triangle Factory Fire: 99 years later

Above: the mangled remains of a flimsy fire escape which sent many Triangle Factory workers to their death A tragic marker in New York City history: the devastating fire that swept through the upper floors of the Asch Building in 1911, through the sweatshops of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146 people. Today, March 25th,… Read More

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A History of New York City in 100 Buildings (Nos. 51-100)

THE FINAL PART UPDATED BELOW – THE FUTURE CITYSee map below for all the locations mentioned in this story I’m splitting the second half of this series off into a separate posting for easier navigation. Please see the post below this one for the introduction and entries 1 through 50. ————————————————————————-PART SIX: SUBWAY CITY 51… Read More

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A History of New York City … in 100 Buildings (Nos. 1-50)

PART FIVE UPDATED BELOW – CONSOLIDATED CITYSee map below for all the locations mentioned in this story One of the truly great podcast pleasures of the past two months has been the BBC’s A History of the World In 100 Objects, a daily chronological journey through human history via carefully selected items from the British… Read More

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Bowery Boys Greatest Hits: Spooky Stories!

Our annual October ghost stories podcasts are quite popular, probably because they cross over into a whole fanbase of ghost enthusiasts who aren’t particularly interested in New York. But hey, more the merrier! Here’s the second installment from 2008 and our second most popular podcast episode ever — Spooky Stories of Old New York. Featuring:… Read More

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Yes, there really was a FIFTH Madison Square Garden

A packed house at MSGBowl on June 21, 1932, turning out for a prizefight between Max Schmeling and Jack Sharkey Picture courtesy Awesome Stories There was so much to speak about during the Madison Square Garden podcast that we didn’t have time to mention that, for a brief time, the borough of Queens once had… Read More

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History in the Making: STALLED! Edition

The above picture is from North Truro, Cape Cod, not New York City. But it’s dated exactly one hundred years ago to the day and depicts a poor train having a really, really bad day. Caption: Stalled! Snow Storm Jan 15, 1910 [source: Outer Cape Art] New full-length podcasts begin next week. Enjoy your weekend!… Read More

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The Bowery Boys 2009: A Year of Podcasts In Review

Here’s the whole menu of our 2009 podcasts. As always, you can download them all for free from iTunes and or your favorite podcast aggregator. The original blog page for each is listed below, along with a link to download directly from our satellite site. WEBSTER HALLBlog page: Webster Hall, more than a dance hallDownload… Read More