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Podcasts Preservation

What Gets Saved? An explainer podcast on preservation, landmarks and historic districts

EPISODE 309 They’re tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How is this even possible? New York City is so over. Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit […]

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Writers and Artists

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe was published 175 years ago today

“The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845, and would come to define the morbid brilliance of its author Edgar Allan Poe. Poe and his sickly young wife Virginia arrived in New York in 1844, lodging at a dairy farm at today’s West 84th Street, between Broadway and […]

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American History Podcasts

Andrew Carnegie and New York’s public libraries: How a Gilded Age gift transformed America

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie — one of the richest Americans to ever live — began giving his money away. The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries — railroads, bridge […]

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Landmarks

Seward Park Library: One of New York’s most beautiful branch libraries also had a rooftop view

Below is a picture, facing east, of Seward Park Library in the Lower East Side at 192 E. Broadway (picture taken in 1911). This spectacular branch library, funded by Andrew Carnegie, opened in November 1909, two years before the 42nd Street main branch opened.  All of the housing behind the library to the east has […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts The Jazz Age

The Holland Tunnel: How a Jazz Age engineering marvel forever changed New York and New Jersey

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think. Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for […]

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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 frolicking 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 […]