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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Film History

Does Pauline Kael like it? A new documentary looks at the New Yorker film critic’s tenacious career

Could you imagine Pauline Kael‘s opinions of Netflix and Amazon growing influence over the motion picture industry? What would she say about watching The Irishman — made by one of her favorite film directors — on an iPhone? Would she be a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? (I think we can predict that answer.) […]

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Holidays Neighborhoods Podcasts

The history of the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights: An electric holiday tradition illuminates Brooklyn

PODCAST: The history of the Dyker Heights Christmas lighting extravaganza, Brooklyn’s fabulous and flashy celebration of the holiday season. EPISODE 305 There’s a special kind of magic to Christmas in New York City. From that colossal Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to the fanciful holiday displays in department store windows. But in the past three […]

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Film History

“Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?”: Reliving six New York City movie scenes from 2019

Is it just me or was there more New York City than ever before in TV shows and movies in 2019? Granted, there is simply more of everything — more TV shows than ever, on a growing number of streaming platforms. And generally speaking there were a lot of films released in 2019 — even […]

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Christmas

The wildest Rockefeller Center Christmas display ever also caused an equally insane traffic jam

For the 1949 season, the caretakers of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree decided to go fantastically over the top. Just a few years earlier, New Yorkers were served up a plainly adorned tree with no electric lights, a reminder of the war in Europe and a nod to energy preservation.   But the war was […]

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Podcasts Uncategorized

The Miracle on Eldridge Street, restoring a landmark of American Jewish history

EPISODE 304: The Miracle on Eldridge Street The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the most beautifully restored places in the United States, a testament to the value of preserving history when it seems all is lost to ruin. Today the Museum at Eldridge Street maintains the synagogue, built in 1887 as one of the first houses of worship […]

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Book Review

The story of the Bowery Mission: A new book finds shelter in New York’s once-gritty neighborhood

The most enduring landmark on the Bowery isn’t a tavern or a bawdy theater, a restaurant or even an old punk club. It’s the Bowery Mission, a rescue mission and shelter which has cared for thousands since it opened its doors 140 years ago this month — on November 7, 1879. Despite moving to a […]

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Podcasts

Building Stuyvesant Town, the housing solution that became an emblem of the Jim Crow North

EPISODE 303: Building Stuyvesant Town, A Mid-Century Controversy The residential complexes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, built in the late 1940s, incorporating thousands of apartments within a manicured “campus” on the east side, seemed to provide the perfect solution for New York City’s 20th-century housing woes. For Robert Moses, it provided a reason to […]

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Brooklyn History Film History

Motherless Brooklyn: 10 things to know before checking out Edward Norton’s detective film

Motherless Brooklyn, a radical retro transformation of Jonathan Lethem’s book of the same name, refits the bright noir of the movie Chinatown into 1950s New York City. Edward Norton, who wrote and directed this adaptation, also stars as its central figure — Lionel Essrog or simply Brooklyn, a detective with Tourette syndrome and a photographic […]

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Know Your Mayors

A short history of New York City mayors who ran for President of the United States

Last week former mayor Michael Bloomberg very unofficially — and somewhat belatedly — entered the 2020 presidential race by filing paperwork for next year’s Alabama primary. This over a month after current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio entered and dropped out of the race this year, never catching fire with the Democratic electorate. […]

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Film History

New York City stories: Great documentaries about the Apollo Theater, Statue of Liberty and the Bronx

One positive side of the near-infinite television choices we now face in 2019 — more documentaries than ever! And in the past two weeks, HBO Documentaries and PBS’ Independent Lens have given us films that are firmly rooted in New York City history and culture. The Apollo Premieres tonight on HBO Few building embody American […]

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Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

Once Upon A Time In Five Points: The Bowery Boys Movie Club revisits Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”

As a celebration of filmmaker Martin Scorsese (whose film The Irishman opens this month), we’ve just released an episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club to the general Bowery Boys: New York City History audience. This is an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. For current patrons, we’ve also just released a […]

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Film History

The Current War: The new film about Edison and Westinghouse is a sublime jolt for history lovers

The Current War, an epic detailing the battle for electrical power in the 19th century, was supposed hit theaters in the fall of 2017. But its distributor was the Harvey Weinstein Company and its release date was delayed by more important matters. Flash forward to the fall of 2019 and The Current War has finally […]