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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Landmarks of Coney Island: Spending the day with the amusement icons of the boardwalk

PODCAST The story of Coney Island’s illustrious past via the official and unofficial landmarks which survive to this day. The Coney Island Boardwalk — officially the Riegelmann Boardwalk — just became an official New York City scenic landmark, and to celebrate, the Bowery Boys are headed to Brooklyn’s amusement capital to toast its most famous and […]

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The First

The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (Special Preview of The First Podcast)

This is a special preview for the new Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences, brought to you by Bowery Boys host Greg Young. 01: The first Ferris Wheel was invented to become America’s Eiffel Tower, making its grand debut at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The wheel’s […]

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Amusements and Thrills

The Bronx World’s Fair of 1918: the failure which became a magical park

Nobody remembers the Bronx World’s Fair of 1918 or, more precisely, the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries. Nor should they really. Modest in scale and only partially completed, the exposition failed to bring the world marvels on the scale of the elevator (from the 1853 Crystal Palace exposition) or the television set (from the […]

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Amusements and Thrills

PODCAST REWIND: Return to Freedomland U.S.A.!

What is Freedomland U.S.A.? An unusual theme park in the Bronx, only in existence for less than five years, Freedomland has become the object of fascination for New York nostalgia lovers everywhere. Created by an outcast of Walt Disney’s inner circle, Freedomland practically defines 60s kitsch, with dozens of rides and amusements related to saccharine […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Stanley Kubrick’s photos of people in a haunted house 1946

Before he became an iconic filmmaker, the Bronx-born Stanley Kubrick was an ace photographer, wandering the city with his camera and beautifully capturing aspects of New York street life. In 1946 he became the youngest photographer ever employed by Look Magazine (located at Madison Avenue and 52nd Street), a Life Magazine look-alike that still managed millions […]

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Staten Island History

Forgotten paradise: Welcome to South Beach, Staten Island

South Beach, Staten Island, 1973, photographed by Arthur Tress As a resort and amusement mecca, the time of Staten Island’s South Beach has come and gone.  The waterfront community south of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge still has a classic old boardwalk, built in 1935 as New Deal project and appropriately called the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk. […]

Staten Island already had a gigantic Ferris wheel — in 1893!

In the spirit of P.T. Barnum, Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday announced plans to build the world’s largest Ferris wheel next to the ferry terminal on Staten Island. The amusement, called the New York Wheel, will stand 84 feet higher than a similar Ferris wheel in Singapore and also nods towards the London Eye, a ride […]

The Rockaways and Rockaway Beach: The strange fortunes of New York’s former resort oasis and amusement getaway

The entrance to Rockaways’ Playland in the 1960s, one of the more nostalgic reminders of an era in the Rockaways gone by. (Image courtesy the blog Sand In Your Shoes)PODCAST The Rockaways are a world unto its own, a former resort destination with miles of beach facing into the Atlantic Ocean, a collection of diverse […]