Mysterious Stories Podcasts

The Bowery Boys Halloween Specials: The Complete Haunted Collection

This year we have a special treat for you. Through the month of October, we’ll release a new Halloween-themed podcast every Friday — escapism, spookiness and fun, all taken from the shadows of New York City history. To prepare yourself, here is the complete collection of Bowery Boys Halloween specials — fifteen shows filled with […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Health and Living

‘The House on Henry Street’: A new book on the mothers of modern activism

If you’re looking to read something about the possibility of doing absolute good in the world, then a story about the Henry Street Settlement is a good place to start. The Lower East Side settlement house, founded by Lillian Wald in 1893, became not only a salvation to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in […]


New York’s First Art Museum: The City Hall Rotunda

The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains a very unusual piece of art tied to the early history of City Hall. In fact, this piece is responsible for what is sometimes considered New York’s very first art museum — decades older than the Met itself. The strange oil painting is called Panoramic View of the Palace […]

Museums Podcasts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 150 Years of History on Display

EPISODE 341 Celebrating the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 150th anniversary year of its founding — certainly one of the strangest years in its extraordinary existence.  The Met is really the king of New York attractions, with visitors heading up to Central Park and streaming through the doors by the millions to gasp at […]

Mysterious Stories Podcasts

The Mystery of the Central Park Obelisk

PODCAST Cleopatra’s Needle is the name given to the ancient Egyptian obelisk that sits in Central Park, right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   This is the bizarre tale of how it arrived in New York and the unusual forces that went behind its transportation from Alexandra to a hill in the city’s most […]

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

American Daredevil: A New Book on Comic Book Anti-Fascist Lev Gleason

Comic books were invented in New York City during the 1930s, the product of a low-key publishing trade combining the popularity of newspaper comic strips with the gloss of the magazine revolution. That was also a decade of social activism — with the Great Depression at home and the rise of fascism in Europe — […]

Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Real Life Adventures of Tom Thumb

PODCAST The tale of one of the 19th century’s most unusual superstars, a man who spent his entire life in the media spotlight — thanks to promoter and friend P.T. Barnum and to his highly publicized ‘wedding of the century’ to Lavinia Warren at Grace Church. EPISODE #339 Charles Stratton, who would become world famous […]

Podcasts Revolutionary History

Fraunces Tavern: Raise your glass to the Revolution!

PODCAST Fraunces Tavern is one of America’s most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of taverns on the New York way of life during the Colonial era. This revered building at the corner of Pearl and Broad Street was the location of George Washington‘s farewell address to […]

American History

Remembering the Wall Street bombing of 1920

On a usual day, lunchtime down on Wall Street today is chaotic mess of brokers and bankers on cell phones, tour groups, messengers on bikes, police officers, construction workers, people delivering lunch and perhaps a stray older lady walking her dog. One hundred years ago today, in 1920, it would have practically been the same, sans […]

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal

PODCAST EPISODE #339: An interview with author Eric K. Washington, author of “Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal”.  The Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal were a workforce of hundreds of African-American men who were an essential part of the long-distance railroad experience. […]

American History Bronx History

The United States Capitol Dome was built in the Bronx

In the fall of 1783 Lewis Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, helpfully suggested in a letter to the Continental Congress that his own bucolic estate Morrisania (in today’s area of the South Bronx) would make a fine home for the new capital of the United States. That didn’t happen, of course, but the Bronx […]

Podcasts Science

Dinosaurs and Diamonds: Stories from the American Museum of Natural History

PODCAST Ancient space rocks, dinosaur fossils, anthropological artifacts and biological specimens are housed in New York’s world famous natural history complex on the Upper West Side — the American Museum of Natural History! Throughout the 19th century, New Yorkers tried to establish a legitimate natural history venue in the city, including an aborted plan for a […]

Parks and Recreation

Where was Manhattan Square? The Gilded Age remaking of a neglected park

Theodore Roosevelt Park (77th and 81st Streets, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue), which contains the beloved American Museum of Natural History, is the oldest developed section of the Upper West Side, purchased by the city in 1839 as a possible strolling park to be called Manhattan Square. Central Park was but a gleam in the eye back in […]

Podcasts Writers and Artists

A New Deal for the Arts: How the WPA funded an American creative revolution

PART TWO of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at how one aspect of FDR’s New Deal — the WPA’s Federal Project Number One — was used to put the country’s creative community back to work and lift the spirits of downtrodden Americans. EPISODE 338 Federal […]


A look back at Lord & Taylor’s splashy move to Fifth Avenue in 1914

UPDATE FOR 2020: It was announced today that Lord & Taylor, America’s first department store, has announced it will go out of business after 193 years. It began in 1826 as women’s clothing store in Lower Manhattan. In tribute, we are bumping up this article from 1914, framed around its 1914 move to the Fifth […]