Planes Trains and Automobiles

The First Subway: Alfred Ely Beach’s Marvelous Pneumatic Transit

Beach’s pneumatic subway — the first in the United States — opened 150 years ago today. To celebrate this anniversary, we are re-representing our 2016 show on the history of Alfred Ely Beach and his shortlived (but truly marvelous) invention. PODCAST The unbelievable story of Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit, a curious solution from 1870 […]


1918: The Story of the Harlem Hellfighters

PODCAST (EPISODE 310): New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s first black regiment engaged in World War I.  The world knew them as the Harlem Hellfighters. On February 17, 1919, the Hellfighters – who had spent much of the year 1918 on the frontline – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support […]

Revolutionary History

Love in the Revolutionary War: Washington’s unexpected visitors at the Blue Bell Tavern

Before it closed in 2011, the Coliseum Cinema in Washington Heights proclaimed itself to be the ‘New York City’s oldest operating movie theater’. When it was first constructed in 1920, its stage would have hosted vaudeville acts as well as silent motion pictures. But few films that ever premiered at the Coliseum would depict events […]

Film History

The Fantastic Mr. Fox: A legendary Brooklyn movie producer and his overwhelming media legacy

A ghost hangs over an American media empire. Over one hundred years ago, a Brooklyn-based movie impresario named William Fox helped shape the direction of the nascent motion picture industry, building a film-production empire in New Jersey and New York and operating a string of theaters that would introduce millions to the possibilities of moving […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Bridge: Join the Bowery Boys for a special book club event at the Van Alen Institute

Love graphic novels? Love the Brooklyn Bridge? Join Greg Young from the Bowery Boys podcast as he moderates this month’s Van Alen Book Club — hosted by the Van Alen Institute, on Friday, February 28. The book we’re discussing is The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York by Peter J. Tomasi, illustrated […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club

The Warriors: The Bowery Boys Movie Club takes the late-night subway to revisit this 1979 cult classic

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Warriors and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Warriors and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support […]

Book Review

Labyrinth of Ice: A historical tale of survival in the Polar North makes for a chilling winter’s read

Labyrinth of Ice: A historical tale of survival in the Polar North makes for a chilling winter’s read  February 6, 2020 Bowery Boys 421 Views 0 Comments Consider this one of the America’s strangest national landmarks — Fort Conger, a scientific research post originally built in 1881 by an American expedition in a remote and […]

Podcasts Preservation

What Gets Saved? An explainer podcast on preservation, landmarks and historic districts

EPISODE 309 They’re tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How is this even possible? New York City is so over. Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit […]

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 […]

American History Podcasts

Andrew Carnegie and New York’s public libraries: How a Gilded Age gift transformed America

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie — one of the richest Americans to ever live — began giving his money away. The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries — railroads, bridge […]


Seward Park Library: One of New York’s most beautiful branch libraries also had a rooftop view

Below is a picture, facing east, of Seward Park Library in the Lower East Side at 192 E. Broadway (picture taken in 1911). This spectacular branch library, funded by Andrew Carnegie, opened in November 1909, two years before the 42nd Street main branch opened.  All of the housing behind the library to the east has […]

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts The Jazz Age

The Holland Tunnel: How a Jazz Age engineering marvel forever changed New York and New Jersey

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think. Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for […]

Podcasts Roaring 20s

Celebrate the Roaring ’20s with these Bowery Boys podcasts

One hundred years ago, American rang in the 1920s in a most somber and sober way. The perception of the next several years becoming characterized in American culture as a gay and frollicking decade — a ‘Jazz Age’ — was far from the minds of Americans in 1920. From the New York Times (1/1/1920): “Hard […]

Bowery Boys Podcasts

Here are the top Bowery Boys podcast episodes of 2019. Thanks for making this our greatest year yet!

Wow it’s been a busy time on the podcast this year. Twenty-seven new episodes of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcasts in 2019 — along with seven episodes of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, four of The Takeout and other bonus audio for those who support us on Patreon. That’s a lot of talking! We visited the neighborhoods of Downtown […]

Food History Podcasts

Just Desserts: The origins of New York cheesecake, cannoli and other glorious sweet things

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren’t just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today. The origins of some of these […]