Magic New York: Martinka & Company casts a spell

Did you know it was National Magic Week? Please cast thoughts of David Blaine hanging upside-down from your mind and return to the mystical days of illusionists in thick capes, beautiful assistants that vanish in mid-air and, almost forgotten, the rustic old-time magic store, with shelves of mysterious accessories for the amateur conjurer. New York… Read More


Open House New York: Ten must-see sites

Above: a Victorian home in Richmond Hill, Queens If you’re reading this blog, you will obviously find something exciting to do this weekend during the 6th Annual Open House New York, a veritable cornucopia of history and architectural activities relating to the city’s great history. Classic buildings, unique examples of architecture, rarely opened landmarks, neighborhood… Read More

Soylent Green: New Yorkers taste the best!

BOWERY BOYS RECOMMEND is an occasional feature where we find an unusual movie or TV show that — whether by accident or design — uniquely captures an era of New York City better than any reference or history book. Other entrants in this particular film festival can be found HERE. Thirty-five years ago, the future… Read More


History in the making – 6/14

Street art in Gowanus After checking out our podcast on Canal Street, stop by Forgotten New York for their beautifully photographed walking tour of the Manhattan Bridge area [Forgotten New York] Better hurry out to Coney Island; the pier and boardwalk may be closed as early as the end of the month. [Kinetic Carnival] It’s… Read More

Prisoners of the Lower East Side

Kurt Russell had it easy Despite being in sight of two boroughs and a very large airport, Rikers Island lulls us with psychological assurance of feeling remote and entirely sequestered from our regular world. But never fear, New Yorkers; there are prisons all over the damn city. Take the Bayview Correctional Facility, a former Seaman’s… Read More

Booze and death in Gramercy Park

Ian Schrager’s refreshed and modernized Gramercy Park Hotel might seem a respite from the shock and scandals of his early years. But as far as I know, nobody ever jumped to their death from the roof of Studio 54. It happened in June 2002. The legendary Hotel had been controlled by the Weissberg family for… Read More

The boat that keeps on sinking

The Carpathia docks off of Pier 54, emptied of its cargo of Titanic survivors Ninety-six years ago today, the RMS Titanic sank in the icy waters south of Newfoundland, killing 1,517 people, including three of New York City’s most prominent and richest citizens, sending a shock wave through high society and the mercantile elite. William… Read More


PODCAST: The Museum of Modern Art

Above: Guests admire a strange piece by Martin Puryear The biggest surprise behind the revolutionary creation of the Museum of Modern Art is that the characters who put it together were almost as colorful as the modern art they championed. Tag along as we peek behind the canvas of New York’s oldest temple of avant… Read More


History in the making – 12/8

Above: At the Helmsley Building, downtown Manhattan Hollywood hits the Chelsea Hotel [Hotel Chelsea Blog] The thankful return of the former East Village institution 2nd Avenue Deli [Eater] The forboding home of ‘Mamie’ Fish, successor to THE Mrs. Astor [Lost City] The latest on Officers Row, Brooklyn Naval Yard’s in-danger historic section of 19th Century… Read More


To get you in the mood for the weekend, every Friday we’ll be celebrating ‘FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER’, featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse spaces of the mid-90s. Past entries can be found HERE. Most New York nightclubs rarely see get past one… Read More


History in the making – 10/20

New York gets another Robert Indiana sculpture, which stands at Park Avenue and 57th Street. See our past article on Indiana’s other works in the city. The ghost of Sid Vicious walks the halls of the Chelsea Hotel, according to Dee Dee Ramone. [Chelsea Blog] Some excellent shots of Coney Island, one hundred years ago.… Read More


A few strikes at New York’s bowling palaces

As often happens in the blogosphere, seemingly unimportant events get parceled about with declarations that don’t really mean much. For instance, the announcement yesterday that a new bowling alley was opening in Brooklyn — the first to open there in nearly 50 years! — disguises the fact that there are already a few bowling alleys… Read More

‘Moon’ Struck

There are very few ‘real’ diners left in Manhattan. My personal favorites still in existance are the Pearl Street Diner in the financial district, the Square Diner in tribeca (order the onion rings, trust me on this), and the far less endangered Empire Diner up in Chelsea But mention of the words ‘Manhattan’ and ‘diner’… Read More