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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 […]

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Neighborhoods Podcasts Writers and Artists

Greenwich Village in the 1960s: A nostalgic stroll through an era of preservation and protest

This is the story of Greenwich Village as a character — an eccentric character maybe, but one that changed American life — and how the folky, activist spirit it fostered in arts, culture and the protest movement came back in the end to help itself. This April we’re marking the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Walt Whitman at 200: Celebrating his life and legacy in the cities of New York and Brooklyn

A very special episode of the Bowery Boys podcast, recorded live at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, celebrating the legacy of Walt Whitman, a writer with deep ties to New York and its 19th century sister-city Brooklyn. On May 31, 1819, the world will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Whitman, a journalist who revolutionized American […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Edgar Allan Poe in New York: Places where the master of gloom and horror made his mark

PODCAST Edgar Allan Poe was a wanderer — looking for work, for love, for meaning. That’s why so many American cities can lay claim to a small aspect of his legacy. Baltimore, Boston, Richmond and Philadelphia all have their own stories to tell about the great writer. In this show, we spotlight the imprint Poe […]

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Writers and Artists

A Tribute to Sam Shepard, Pioneer of New York’s Off-Broadway stage

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard,  who passed away today at age 73, is remembered for many classic film roles and triumphant plays which embodied a gritty American aesthetic. But he was also a pivotal contributor to the development of Off and Off-Off Broadway theater in New York City during the 1960s and […]