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The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

A Sprig of Witch Hazel: Edith Wharton’s Secret Love Affair

THE GILDED GENTLEMAN PODCAST As writer Edith Wharton began to spend more and more time in Paris during the early years of the 1900s, she made the acquaintance of the American journalist Morton Fullerton. Their meeting grew into a passionate and complicated love affair combining joy and emotional pain. Still, the affair led Wharton to some of […]

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts Writers and Artists

Architect of the Gilded Age: The Triumphant Tale of Richard Morris Hunt

Richard Morris Hunt was one of the most important architects in American history. His talent and vision brought respect to his profession in the mid 19th century and helped to craft the seductive style of the Gilded Age. So why are there so few examples of his extraordinary work still standing in New York City […]

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Podcasts The Jazz Age Writers and Artists

Dorothy Parker’s Last Party: A strange afterlife for the Jazz Age writer

PODCAST Dorothy Parker was not only the wittiest writer of the Jazz Age, she was also obsessively morbid. Her talents rose at a very receptive moment for such a sharp, dour outlook, after the first world war and right as the country went dry. Dorothy Parker’s greatest lines are as bracing and intoxicating as a […]

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Christmas Writers and Artists

Sacred Santa: How a self-proclaimed Messiah became a popular Santa Claus model

Early one spring day in 1922, while dutifully posing at the Art Students League on West 57th Street, Santa Claus had a fatal heart attack in front of a classroom of students. Above — He knows when you’ve been bad or good: A Christmas issue of Judge Magazine from 1919 by Guy Lowy, who studied at the […]

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Know Your Mayors Parks and Recreation Writers and Artists

Mayor Philip Hone, the party host who made Washington Square Park

We’re just a few weeks 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. This […]

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Know Your Mayors Writers and Artists

Mayor William Paulding, the very respectable brother

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. This […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Tragic Muse: The Life of Audrey Munson

PODCAST By the time Audrey Munson turned 25 years old, she had became a muse for some of the most famous artists in America, the busiest artist’s model of her day. She was such a fixture of the Greenwich Village art world in the early 20th century that she was called the Venus of Washington Square, although by 1913 […]

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Neighborhoods Writers and Artists

Greenwich Village, through the eyes of Jean Shepherd

Jean Shepherd was born 100 years ago today in Chicago, so I’m bumping up this older post in tribute to this wonderful New Yorker.  Jean Shepherd, probably best known today as the voice of ‘A Christmas Story‘, was a regular presence on New York radio in the 1950s and 60s thanks to his memorable program […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

‘Republic of Detours’: Paying great writers to discover New Deal America

For the hundreds of thousands of people employed by New Deal programs during the Great Depression, it was always infrastructure week. Even for those employed by the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project, aimed at giving paychecks to unemployed writers by creating meaningful employment that benefited the public good. But their objectives weren’t to build new infrastructure; […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Edith Wharton’s New York: An Insider’s View of the Gilded Age

PODCAST New York’s upper class families of the late 19th century lived lives of old-money pursuits and rigid, self-maintained social restrictions — from the opera boxes to the carriages, from the well-appointed parlors to the table settings. It was leisure without relaxation. EPISODE 357 In this show we examine the story of Edith Wharton — […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

American Daredevil: A New Book on Comic Book Anti-Fascist Lev Gleason

Comic books were invented in New York City during the 1930s, the product of a low-key publishing trade combining the popularity of newspaper comic strips with the gloss of the magazine revolution. That was also a decade of social activism — with the Great Depression at home and the rise of fascism in Europe — […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

A New Deal for the Arts: How the WPA funded an American creative revolution

PART TWO of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at how one aspect of FDR’s New Deal — the WPA’s Federal Project Number One — was used to put the country’s creative community back to work and lift the spirits of downtrodden Americans. EPISODE 338 Federal […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

The Tale of Charging Bull and Fearless Girl

EPISODE 319 In simpler times, thousands of tourists would flock to the northern tip of Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan to take a picture with a rather unconventional New Yorker — the bronze sculpture Charging Bull by Italian-American artist Arturo Di Modica. Bull is a product of the 1980s New York art scene, delivered as […]

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Writers and Artists

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe was published 175 years ago today

“The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845, and would come to define the morbid brilliance of its author Edgar Allan Poe. Poe and his sickly young wife Virginia arrived in New York in 1844, lodging at a dairy farm at today’s West 84th Street, between Broadway and […]

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Writers and Artists

6 facts about Herman Melville, born 200 years ago today in Manhattan

Herman Melville, one of America’s greatest writers of the 19th century, was born 200 years ago today.  Here are five New York-centric facts about Melville that you may not have known: 1)  Melville was born at 11:30 pm on August 1, 1819, at 6 Pearl Street. Today, across the street from that approximate location of the address sits a […]