The Eiffel Tower of the East Village: R.I.P.

The East Village is loaded with great buildings, famous homes and pieces of New York’s history that reflect its ethnic diversity. But my favorite landmark has always been the Toy of Towers. The corner of Avenue B and Sixth Street has looked almost the same as it did when I moved to Manhattan in the… Read More


100 Years Ago Today

Members of the New York Fire Department, circa 1908 Back to normal blog posts starting tomorrow!

PODCAST: Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We don’t have a new podcast this week, so I thought I’d take an old one and pull a George Lucas on it, re-cutting it, improving the sound quality and taking out some of the dumb sound effects. I guess you’d say — it’s the Bowery Boys remastered! Here’s our ninth episode on old St… Read More

Spawn of the Statue of Liberty

You know an area of New York has achieved tourist saturation when the first ten people you see are all identically dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Performance artists regularly delight audiences near the city’s marquee tourist attractions — South Street Seaport, Central Park, Times Square. Most are truly worthy of the attention: the charismatic… Read More

Robert Moses’ ridiculously large parking lot

Photo:Claudio Papapietro for Starting Monday, May 12, New Yorkers will have another way to transport themselves between boroughs with a new ferry service shuttling between Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. You’re probably familiar with at least one of its three stops: Pier 11’s sleek Wall Street Ferry Terminal, just a few steps away from Staten… Read More

Grand Central Murder: Glamour on the third rail!

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. During research for our Grand… Read More


History in the making – 5/5

Sunday, May 4th is Keith Haring’s birthday! The new 2 Columbus Circle: about as ugly as the old one [Gothamist] Forgotten NY and few dozen friends hit Gravesend, Brooklyn. [Forgotten NY] Totally ridiculous 60s advertisements [Gawker] Say goodbye to the Hog Pit. Oink! [Flaming Pablum] And check out the new and improved Gowanus Lounge!


PODCAST: Grand Central

Join the Bowery Boys for a trip through the history of Grand Central — the depot, the station, and the terminal. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE Cornelius Vanderbilt, railroad baron and mastermind of the original Grand Central Depot Vanderbilt’s Grand… Read More

Metro Man: the future is history

We’re in the midst of the Transit Museum’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of Metro-North, that critical commuter train service for thousands of up-staters who work in the city. It’s worth a brief trip to the Transit’s Grand Central location to check out some of the artifacts, including what to me has to be the… Read More

Know Your Mayors: John F. Hylan

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. Fiorello Laguardia has his airport. James Duane has a drug store. Abram Hewitt is immortalized by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Robert Van Wyck has an expressway… Read More

When Jupiter aligned with Mars: Hair on Broadway

Forty years ago today, April 29, 1968, the musical Hair debuted on Broadway and basically changed New York’s theater industry — where shows come from, how they’re staged, what you can even doon stage. Here’s ten reasons why Broadway’s first rock musical is so important, and why today you should probably fish out your Fifth… Read More

Prisoners of the Lower East Side

Kurt Russell had it easy Despite being in sight of two boroughs and a very large airport, Rikers Island lulls us with psychological assurance of feeling remote and entirely sequestered from our regular world. But never fear, New Yorkers; there are prisons all over the damn city. Take the Bayview Correctional Facility, a former Seaman’s… Read More


History in the making – 4/26

Cheyenne Diner … saved! [Lost New York] When developers come calling, even the dead have to move. [Queenscrap] Sorry I missed this one — 81 years ago last week, Mae West was imprisoned on Blackwell’s Island for her ‘obscene’ play titled ‘Sex’ [Roosevelt Islander] Curtains close on the historic Provincetown Playhouse. Thanks NYU! [Curbed] Radical… Read More


PODCAST: Rikers Island

What do Salvador Dali, John Jacob Astor, Peter Stuyvesant, the Civil War, and a big pile of trash have to do with the world’s biggest penal colony? We connect the dots in this history of Rikers Island. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to… Read More

Wild Boys: New York’s Brother Islands

Above: North Brother island and its lighthouse The Brother Islands, two almost forgotten islands in the channel between Queens and the Bronx, have finally gotten some respect. Over the years North Brother, the big brother, has been used for a host of unusual purpose, home to the wounded, the drug addicted and the diseased. South,… Read More