George W. Bush … on horseback!

Okay nobody may ever honor our current president with a lavish equestrian statue, unless it’s a joke and he’s wearing a cowboy hat. But military tradition and the neo-classical and Beaux-Arts predilictions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries slapped many commanders in chiefs onto a saddle for decoration. New York city has five… Read More

She doesn’t look a day over 120!

This Memorial Day the city is celebrating the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge. What are you doing to celebrate? Go here for a list of the official list of events in honor of Roebling’s baby. Or listen here to hear our podcast on the birth of the bridge.

Know Your Mayors: William Russell Grace

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. You can divide the mayors of New York into at least five different groups, with some obvious overlapping into one or more groupings: 1) Ladder… Read More

Barnum’s freaky link to Madison Square Garden

Barnum star Jumbo the Elephant is used in a truly horrific thread company advertisement, being dragged by gigantic spools through the streets of New York City! Oh, PETA, where were you in the 1870s? The Barnum American Museum, America’s surrealistic showcase of the moralistic, natural and bizarre, burned down to the ground in 1865. But… Read More


PODCAST: Barnum’s American Museum

You know PT Barnum from his circus, but he was bringing the freakshow to New York long before then. Come take a tour with us of the craziest museum to ever hit New York City. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE… Read More


The forgotten New York museum of Rubens Peale

What if your best known accomplishment in this world was the fact that you posed for a well-regarded American masterpiece by your more talented older brother? Welcome to the world of Rubens Peale! Philadelphians and American art lovers in general should be quite familiar with Rubens’ father Charles Wilson Peale, one of early America’s pre-eminent… Read More

Financial District’s little piece of heaven

Of all the people who lived in New York City during the Revolutionary War, of all the great Americans who helped shaped history here in the city, [cue deep-voiced announcer] only one can be called America’s first U.S.-born saint. Commuters who zip on and off the Staten Island ferry and tourists gallivanting through Battery Park… Read More

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