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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal

PODCAST EPISODE #339: An interview with author Eric K. Washington, author of “Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal”.  The Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal were a workforce of hundreds of African-American men who were an essential part of the long-distance railroad experience. […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Why David Hosack, doctor of Alexander Hamilton, built America’s first public botanic garden

Congratulations to Victoria Johnson for being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her book American Eden, one of our favorite from 2018. Here’s our review from a few months ago: A secluded haven to an age of wonder once sat in mid-Manhattan at the start of the 19th century. “Few New Yorkers had ever seen anything like it,” […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Mysterious Stories

Spectropia, or How to Make Ghosts in Your Home

Above: The cover of the New York edition of Brown’s optical illusion book One of the hottest books in New York City in the fall of 1864 was an optical illusion collection that conjured ghosts through a simple trick of the eye. Spectropia, or surprising spectral illusions showing ghosts everywhere and of any colour was […]

REVIEW: The Almanac of New York

If you’re one of those history geeks that get a joyous chill from raw data, charts and lists, then the Almanac of New York, by Kenneth T. Jackson and Fred Kameny, will enthrall you for hours. It’s a strange collection of information on New Yorkers, outlining their livelihood, cultural predilections and electoral choices in a […]