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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Tragic Muse: The Life of Audrey Munson

PODCAST By the time Audrey Munson turned 25 years old, she had became a muse for some of the most famous artists in America, the busiest artist’s model of her day. She was such a fixture of the Greenwich Village art world in the early 20th century that she was called the Venus of Washington Square, although by 1913 […]

Categories
Brooklyn History Health and Living

The Brooklyn origin of Pfizer and the wild world of 19th century medicine

The origin of a true Brooklyn ‘start up’ — Charles Pfizer and Co, who went from developing intestinal worm medication in 1849 to being a leader in vaccine distribution in the 21st century. This is story of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals before the 1950s, a tale of German immigration and of early medical practices and concoctions that […]

Categories
Landmarks Music History

Making Music History at the Hotel Pennsylvania

The following article is an excerpt from a new Bowery Boys mini-podcast — following up on this week’s episode on the Hotel Pennsylvania — which has been made available to those who support the show (at the Five Points level and above) on Patreon. In the latest episode of the Bowery Boys podcast on the […]

Categories
Know Your Mayors Politics and Protest Queens History

Mayor Cadwallader D. Colden: Leading the city over 200 years ago

We’re just months away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This longtime feature […]

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Music History Podcasts Preservation

Last Dance at the Hotel Pennsylvania

PODCAST When it opened in 1919, the Hotel Pennsylvania was the largest hotel in the world. Over a hundred years later, its fate remains uncertain. Is it too big to save? After the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its colossal Pennsylvania Station in 1910, the railroad quickly realized it would need a companion hotel equal to the station’s exquisite […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Events

The Bowery Boys Podcast returns to Joe’s Pub — for one night only

We’re coming back to the live stage — at last! Following a sold-out run in 2018 and 2019, we’re bringing a new edition of our live Ghost Stories of Old New York show back to Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater — for one night only. But that night happens to be the best night — Halloween. If you like our […]

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

The Man Who Saved the Horses: Henry Bergh’s Fight for Animal Rights

PODCAST “Men will be just to men when they are kind to animals.” – Henry Bergh Today’s show is all about animals in 19th-century New York City. Of course, animals were an incredibly common sight on the streets, market halls, and factories during the Gilded Age, and many of us probably have a quaint image […]

Categories
Those Were The Days Women's History

The New York Monkey Fad of 1907

In an absolutely inhumane and totally unwise moment in New York City history, wild and exotic animals were once considered pets, roaming around the city streets with their owners. The wealthiest classes collected all sorts of unusual beasts for their amusement during the 19th century.  So many in fact that the Central Park Zoo — or […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Writers and Artists

Greenwich Village, through the eyes of Jean Shepherd

Jean Shepherd was born 100 years ago today in Chicago, so I’m bumping up this older post in tribute to this wonderful New Yorker.  Jean Shepherd, probably best known today as the voice of ‘A Christmas Story‘, was a regular presence on New York radio in the 1950s and 60s thanks to his memorable program […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

‘Republic of Detours’: Paying great writers to discover New Deal America

For the hundreds of thousands of people employed by New Deal programs during the Great Depression, it was always infrastructure week. Even for those employed by the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project, aimed at giving paychecks to unemployed writers by creating meaningful employment that benefited the public good. But their objectives weren’t to build new infrastructure; […]

Categories
Gangs of New York

William Poole, aka Bill the Butcher, was born 200 years ago

William Poole, born 200 years ago today in New Jersey, was one of the most infamous villains in New York City history. As a young man, he operated as a butcher at Washington Market (in the area of today’s Tribeca neighborhood) and that legitimate occupation lent him his nickname earned by his more disreputable activities […]

Categories
Parks and Recreation Sports

New York City loves the Olympics — despite never hosting them

OLYMPICS ROUNDUP Starting today Tokyo, the biggest city in the world, will host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad aka the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (in 2021). The Japanese city first hosted the games back in 1964. New York City, the biggest city in the United States, has never hosted the Olympics Games. The city did aim […]

Categories
Know Your Mayors Politics and Protest

Meet The Mayors Who First Invited Tammany Hall to City Hall

We’re just months away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This longtime feature […]

Categories
Food History Podcasts Those Were The Days

The Ice Craze: Triumphs and Scandals of the 19th Century Ice Trade

New York City on ice — a tribute to the forgotten industry which kept the city cool in the age before refrigeration and air conditioning. Believe it or not, ice used to be big business. In 1806 a Boston entrepreneur named Frederic Tudor cut blocks of ice from a pond on his family farm and […]

Categories
Health and Living Newspapers and Newsies

The hottest day in New York City history

These days of low-to-mid 90s F, high humidity temperatures got you down? Why that’s nothing! The hottest day in New York City history was eighty-five years ago last week — on July 9, 1936, when temperatures reached an agonizing 106 degrees, measured from the Central Park weather observatory. This broke the record set on August […]