Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Manhattan Phoenix’: How The Great Fire of 1835 Transformed New York

When a terrible fire swept through lower Manhattan on the late evening of December 16, 1835, and into the morning, many believed the city would never recover. As we’ve spoken about in our podcast on the subject, “the massive fire, among the worst in American history in terms of its economic impact, devastated the city … destroying… Read More

Hudson Valley Podcasts Writers and Artists

The Hudson River School: The Story of an American Art Revolution

PODCAST: Two landmarks to American art history sit on either side of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge over the Hudson River — the homes of visionary artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. Cole and Church were leaders of the Hudson River School, a collective of 19th century American painters captivated by natural beauty and… Read More

Hudson Valley Podcasts Politics and Protest

The Roosevelts of Hyde Park: American History on the Hudson

PODCAST Hyde Park, New York was the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. He was born here, he lived here throughout his life, and he’s buried here — alongside his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. But it was more than simply a home. The Hyde Park presence of the Roosevelts expands… Read More

Museums Women's History

The Origin of Met Gala and its Surprising Roots in the Lower East Side

The Met Gala is the most outrageously glamorous event in New York City, a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that also serves as a kickoff party for the museum’s annual costume exhibition. This year’s theme is “Gilded Glamour” so expect some genuine throwback costumery and lots of expensive baubles. (The Gilded Gentleman, sadly, will… Read More

Landmarks Podcasts

The Story of Grant’s Tomb: Upper Manhattan’s Magnificent Mausoleum

The fascinating story of Grant’s Tomb — and a quirky history that includes an ambitious architect, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, lots of ugly raspberry paint, and strange charges of animal sacrifice. The history of Grant’s Tomb plays an important role in the story of Riverside Park (released in 2018). Listen… Read More

Hudson Valley Podcasts

On the Trail of the Old Croton Aqueduct: Walking Along an Engineering Marvel

What 19th century American engineering landmark invites you through nature, past historic sites and into people’s backyards? Where can you experience the grandeur of the Hudson Valley in (mostly) secluded peace and tranquility — while learning something about Old New York? Welcome to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, 26.5 miles of dusty pathway through some… Read More

Hudson Valley

The Curious Names of Westchester County’s Villages and Towns

Westchester County contains some of the most interesting and historic sites in New York State — from Glen Island and Rye Playland along the Long Island Sound to the charming belt of villages nestled along the banks of the Hudson River. Until the late 19th century, Westchester was most often defined by its rural charms,… Read More

Revolutionary History

Theodore Burr built the first Hudson River bridge – in the same year his cousin shot Alexander Hamilton

People have schemed to put a bridge over the Hudson River for well over two hundred years.  That task would prove most difficult to those in Manhattan, given the distance between its shores and those of New Jersey. After several failed proposals, the two were linked with the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels (1910), the Holland Tunnel… Read More

On The Waterfront Podcasts

Road Trip to the Hudson Valley: A new three-part podcast series

Load up the cooler and crank up the tunes, because the Bowery Boys Podcast is heading back on the road! Presenting a NEW three part podcast series, exploring three historic places outside of New York City.  Last year we hit the expressway to visit three spots on Long Island — the Gold Coast, Jones Beach… Read More

American History

The doctor, the heiress and the accidental nanny: New York women who survived the Titanic

Over fifteen hundred people died the night the Titanic sank, April 14-15, 1912. The early reports from the New York newspapers, of course, spent their time mourning the city’s most connected figures to society. Even from some of the most obsessive sources on the Titanic, the details on the lives of dozens of men and… Read More

The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

A Sprig of Witch Hazel: Edith Wharton’s Secret Love Affair

THE GILDED GENTLEMAN PODCAST As writer Edith Wharton began to spend more and more time in Paris during the early years of the 1900s, she made the acquaintance of the American journalist Morton Fullerton. Their meeting grew into a passionate and complicated love affair combining joy and emotional pain. Still, the affair led Wharton to some of… Read More

Parks and Recreation Podcasts Staten Island History

Frederick Law Olmsted and the Plan for Central Park

PODCAST Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s preeminent landscape architect of the 19th century, designed dozens of parks, parkways and college campuses across the country. With Calvert Vaux, he created two of New York City’s greatest parks — Central Park and Prospect Park. Yet before Central Park, he had never worked on any significant landscape project and… Read More

Revolutionary History The First

The Unbelievable Life of Benjamin Franklin: A Podcast in Three Parts

Benjamin Franklin helped to create the modern world. His legacy is all around you — from the electricity which powers and illuminates our homes to the ideas that form our system of government. For the past three episodes of The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences (the Bowery Boys spin-off podcast from 2016-2018), Greg… Read More

Brooklyn History Parks and Recreation

The disappearance and mysterious death of Calvert Vaux

On November 19, 1895,  Calvert Vaux went for a morning walk from his son’s home in Brooklyn. He never returned. The 70 year old architect had helped to create the greatest parks in the cities of New York and Brooklyn. His landscape collaborations with Frederick Law Olmsted had given Manhattan its Central Park and Brooklyn… Read More

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… Read More