New York’s best film performances – Part One

After spending quite an amount of time in the Revolution, then taking you to church, I’m taking it easy on you (and me, for that matter) and focusing on New York in the movies. New York City is without a doubt the most photographed and filmed city in the world. Even when filmmakers shoot in… Read More

Who watches the Watchtower?

Brooklyn Heights remains today a neighborhood underscored with the industry of religion. However, unlike its halcyon days of the 1800’s, when the Congregationalist churches of Henry Ward Beecher and Richard Salter Storrs Jr. became centerpieces of society, the 20th century brought in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose ownership and development of prime Heights real estate has… Read More


PODCAST: Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church

We’ve never done such a saucy show — full of sex, lies, and petticoats. Meet Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn Heights’ most notorious resident, and find out about the fascinating and provocative history of the church that turned him into a national celebrity. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you… Read More

Know Your Mayors: William Jay Gaynor

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. Walk from Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge, take the first ramp off the bridge, turn right to Cadman Plaza, and you will run smack dab… Read More

Who is Agent 355?

We can’t leave the world of Revolutionary War New York behind without finally exploring one of its captivating mysteries — the identity of agent 355. The Culper Ring was George Washington‘s clandestine spy network that operated in the streets of British occupied New York. As we mentioned in last week’s podcast, operatives would communicate with… Read More

R.I.P. St. Saviour’s?

St. Saviour’s Church, an historic cathedral in Maspeth, Queens, is being torn down by the city, but not without a fight. The website Queens Crap has been doing an excellent job detailing the futile efforts of preservationists, their battles with the city and, this week, the recent dramas as the city prepares to demolish it.… Read More


PODCAST: Life in British New York: 1776-1783

Join us as we stroll through the streets of revolutionary New York, examining what it would have been like to be a New Yorker under British rule. Listen to it HERE: New York as it looked during British occupation (i.e. before various lower Manhattan landfills!) The HMS Jersey, docked right off the show of Brooklyn,… Read More


Name That Neighborhood: Fort Greene

Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (Soho, Dumbo). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this series can be found here. The Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene gathers some of the borough’s… Read More

One-eyed Willie takes the stage

Even though the British kept the burnt, chaotic city of New York as their military base during the Revolutionary War, life did manage to go on for some residents. In fact the population of New York began to swell, as those still loyal to the British — for practical as well as philosophical reasons —… Read More

The most famous tree in 1776

I often try and take my own pictures of various locales I speak about, however the battery of my camera died on me during my Prospect Park journey. The picture above of Lookout Hill and other amazing photography of New York landscapes by Dalton Rooney can be found here. —- What’s strange about talking about… Read More

Maps to an American catastrophe

Definitely something you’ll need to click into to see all the rich detail, but below is a copy of a British map run in the London Gazette, outlining the trek of the British soldiers in New York and Brooklyn (then entirely called Long Island). Although quite distorted, it references some of the main points in… Read More


History in the making – 2/23

Jack Straw and Condi Rice (as played by the Bowery Boys) sit debating at the U.N. Security Council We’d like to thank Caroline Jeanjot and Dan Schreiber for giving the two of us a smashing behind the scenes tour of the United Nations building last week. We had an absolutely fantastic time. There are regular… Read More

Podcasts Revolutionary History

PODCAST: The British Invasion: New York 1776

It’s 1776 and revolution is in the air. Join the Bowery Boys as we tackle the British invasion and takeover of New York City. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE Worked-up New Yorkers, rushing down to Bowling Green to rip down… Read More


Name That Neighborhood: Murray Hill

Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Murray Hill is one of Manhattan’s quieter neighborhoods, extending on the east side from 42nd street to 34th street —… Read More

Revolutionary History

What’s your favorite Nathan Hale death spot?

Nathan Hale was a 21 year old Connecticut native who volunteered for George Washington’s Continental Army and stayed behind in New York after the Army’s retreat in September 1776 in order to gain intelligence from the British. Hale was unfortunately caught — in Flushing Bay, Queens — brought to Manhattan and hanged, though not before… Read More