Podcasts Wartime New York

The War on Newspaper Row: Pulitzer, Hearst and the Sinking of the USS Maine

EPISODE 336 The newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — the New York World and the New York Journal — were locked in a fierce competition for readers in the mid 1890s. New Yorkers loved it. The paper’s frantic, sensational style was so shocking that it became known as ‘yellow journalism’. So what […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf True Crime

‘The Vapors’: How an Arkansas spa town became a New York gangster paradise

Owney Madden was one of New York’s most infamous gangsters, a bootlegger and murderer who seemed to cross paths with every major cultural marker of the Roaring 20s. He opened the Cotton Club (with Jack Johnson), dated Mae West, and operated a liquor smuggling racket that catered to the city’s busiest speakeasies. In essence Madden […]

Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Pulitzer vs. Hearst: The Rise of Yellow Journalism in Gilded Age New York

PODCAST (EPISODE 335) In the 1890s, powerful New York publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst engaged in an all-out battle for daily readers of their respective newspapers, developing a flamboyant, sensational style of coverage today referred to as ‘yellow journalism’. This battle between the New York World and the New York Journal would determine […]

Parks and Recreation

Ten unusual views of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza

When park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux regrouped after the success of Central Park to design another great park for Brooklyn — encompassing Prospect Hill and the Revolutionary War site Battle Pass — they preserved a greater amount of natural topography than they had in Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean that Prospect Park […]

Podcasts Politics and Protest

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

Listen to our podcast on the history of the Silent Parade of 1917 here: To get this episode, simply stream on Stitcher or your favorite podcast player Or listen to it straight from here: THE SILENT PARADE OF 1917: BLACK UNITY IN A TIME OF CRISIS “To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

Seven New York City Documentaries to Watch This Week

Looking for a good documentary on New York City history — particularly the 1970s and 80s? Try out one of these recent releases, now available for streaming at home: FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS. THE MAFIA The FBI takes down the Five Families — New York’s major organized crime syndicates — in this extremely attractive […]

New Amsterdam Podcasts

Land of the Lenape: A Violent Tale of Conquest and Betrayal

PODCAST The story of the Lenape, the native people of New York Harbor region, and their experiences with the first European arrivals — the explorers, the fur traders, the residents of New Amsterdam. Before New York, before New Amsterdam — there was Lenapehoking, the land of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of the places we […]

Amusements and Thrills Film History

Come to the Airdome! Over 100 years of outdoor movies in NYC

It may be some time before we all get to truly enjoy the inside of a movie theater again. Hopefully soon! But outdoor movies — in particular, drive-in movies — have had a bit of a renaissance, a socially distanced way to enjoy blockbusters on a big screen. Mommy Poppins has a great round-up of […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf It's Showtime

‘Lady Romeo’: The unconventional life of actress Charlotte Cushman

Without moving images or sound recordings to guide us, it can be hard to imagine the lives and careers of famous theater actors from the 19th century. And yet the American theater produced a list of wildly famous performers whose names were repeated in households that often had no possibility of ever seeing a major […]

Amusements and Thrills Health and Living

The Bowery Boys New York City swimsuit edition, 1880-1920

 The notion of organized ‘ocean bathing’ — actually going into the water for health, relaxation and enjoyment — was really a 19th century invention, first popularized in the United States during the 1830s at the Marine Pavilion on the Rockaway Peninsula. For propriety’s sake, people would enter a bathing hut hitched to a horse and […]

Adventures In Old New York

The Great Fire of July 19, 1845: Lower Manhattan in Flames

The devastating results of the monstrous Great Fire of 1835 helped change the course of Manhattan — hastening the residential migration up the island, rewriting the architectural nature of downtown and essentially erasing the past. There would never be another fire of such intensity and magnitude. But New York didn’t suddenly become fire-proof. In fact, […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Brooklyn History

Do The Right Thing: Brooklyn heats up in the new Bowery Boys Movie Club

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film Do The Right Thing and its rich historical context. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. FIGHT THE POWER! In 1989, director Spike Lee electrified film audiences with Do The Right Thing,documenting a day in the life of one block […]

Bowery Boys Movie Club Podcasts

Midnight Cowboy: I’m Walkin’ Here! Celebrating a gritty New York film classic

We’ve now made our Bowery Boys Movie Club episode on the film Midnight Cowboy available for everyone. Listen to it today wherever you get your podcasts. Midnight Cowboy, released one month before the Stonewall Riots, depicts several alternative scenes that were thriving in New York City in the late 1960s — from wild psychedelic parties to the sleazy movie theaters […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Politics and Protest

‘Begin Again’: What James Baldwin can teach us about 2020

There were five, maybe six moments, during the reading of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons For Our Own where I experienced something that few books had ever made me feel — that the pages were being written as I turned them. The sentiments so immediate and revealing of this moment — […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Landmarks

‘Walking Broadway’: A splendid guide for a summer stroll through Manhattan

Manhattan’s 13-mile stretch of Broadway — as you’ve heard us say many times — has an extraordinary history. Thanks to its unique path up the length of the island, it crosses through a wide variety of fascinating neighborhoods and historical eras. And as it turns out — it also makes for a beautiful stroll. WALKING […]