Strange and Beautiful

No regular post today, just a shot I took of the East River a couple weeks ago when it was strangely overcast at around 3pm, and the suns reflection on the water turned it green, giving it an unnatural feel and the Brooklyn Bridge a toyish quality. (Click to make bigger)

The sexy secret underneath ‘Little Flatiron’

Some of the most interesting buildings in New Yorks are the triangular ones, those that sit at the intersection of diagonal streets that cut through the grid system. The Silas C. Herring Lock and Safe Company Building, more affectionately known as the L’il Flatiron Building or simply the Triangle Building, is probably the ‘cutest’ example… Read More

Cabaret license be damned: NYC’s politics of dancing

Above: Marilyn and Truman maintain their composure at the Peppermint Lounge, an early 60s dance hole that frequently scoffed at fire codes Time Out’s cover story last week features places and events where a New Yorker can still go and dance. Very nice try. Dancing in a public place can be akin to performing an… Read More

The Roaring Twenties: a boozy old Hollywood bio

BOWERY BOYS RECOMMEND is an occasional feature where we find an unusual movie or TV show that — whether by accident or design — uniquely captures an era of New York City better than any reference or history book. Other entrants in this particular film festival can be found HERE. New York during the Prohibition… Read More

July 4th: Independence Day (except for New York)

America declared its independence from Britain in 1776, only for New York City to become a British stronghold for years. New York’s true independence day is November 25, 1783, the day the Brits sailed out of New York harbor. In fact, on July 4, 1776, tensions were at their highest, but a major assault on… Read More

Coney Island’s famous assault on the stomach returns!

If human beings doing harm to their bodies by shoveling bread and meat down their throats disturb you, stay away from Coney Island and don’t turn on ESPN at noon on July 4th. Because the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eat Contest is back for its 93rd year. Ninety-three years. Most human beings don’t live that long… Read More


Summer Reading: Old New York style

There are dozens of classics written about the contemporary New York of their creation, including The Great Gatsby and Catcher In The Rye. And thousands of trashy Manhattan stories chronicling gossip girls, magazine editors and cosmopolitan swilling divorcees. But the New York historical novel has only really flourished in the past forty years or so… Read More


Mayors, gay pride and a podcast delay

This week’s show will be posted on here and up on iTunes tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, but it’s a good one! The show is about a former mayor of New York City. Check out our Know Your Mayors series for little tales on a few prior leaders of the city, the influential and ineffectual.… Read More

FOR RENT: Rustic luxury can be yours in Bottle Alley!

In this city of rising rent prices and fancy new condos, why not step back in time and live amidst the rustic charm of ole New York? Who needs Kohler fixtures and hardwood floors? That’s not what a real New Yorker would do! Address: 47 Baxter StreetLocation: The trendy and exciting Five Points neighborhoodFive Points… Read More

Know Your Mayors

Hey kids! Wanna be president? Don’t be New York mayor.

(This story was originally published in June 25, 2008) Yesterday was the opening of Campaigning For President at the Museum of the City of New York, a look at the city’s participation in some of the most famous and contentious presidential elections in history. The exhibit will focus on the city’s role in deciding the… Read More

Manhattan’s first taverns: Wooden Horse and City Tavern

New Amsterdam city hall, once one of Manhattan’s very first taverns McSorley’s Ale House certainly deserves to throw that Old in its title, happily swilling the devil’s juice for 154 years. But it’s positively a youngster compared to evidence of Manhattan’s first two taverns, opened in the days when New York was just barely even… Read More


PODCAST: McSorley’s Old Ale House

Grab yourself a couple mugs of dark ale and learn about the history of one of New York City’s oldest bars, serving everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Lennon — and eventually even women! Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE McSorley’s… Read More

All hail the Coney Island Mardi Gras parade!

Before there were Mermaids, there was Mardi Gras. Above: ghoulish revelers from the 1911 parade An even larger collection of freaks and aquatic oddities than Coney Island’s everyday normal assortment will come slithering down Surf Avenue this Saturday with the 26th annual Mermaid Parade. The parade is the heart of Coney’s modern freak-show aesthetic, Christmastime… Read More

Bowery Boys get older! Plus: 200 years of fire hydrants

Early engraving of some Bowery b’hoys lolling about a fire hydrant, up to no good Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our very first podcast. We just want to say thank you to everybody who has subscribed on iTunes and other podcast services. Our first year has been a huge success and we have… Read More

Scary sculpture babies: JOIN US on Governors Island

Governors Island has been open for a few weeks now and greeting people as they wander this historic military base are dozens of sculptures and installations, certainly the most comprehensive display of public art in the city outside a museum. The Sculptors Guild takes to the grounds of Nolan Park on its 70th anniversary with… Read More