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Bowery Boys Movie Club

‘Jay Myself’: A new documentary invites you into the most magical address on the Bowery

The allure surrounding the building at 190 Bowery has captivated me from the first moment I laid eye upon it, a century-old bank sealed off from the trendy streets surrounding it. Very few people ever saw the interior. Nobody could have imagined the strange treasures which collected on every floor, in every room, of the building. Jay […]

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

The Astor Place Riot of 1849: Bloodshed and Shakespeare splits New York at a busy crossroads

“By the pricking of my thumbs / something wicked this way comes” — Macbeth PODCAST In old New York, one hundred and seventy years ago, a theatrical rivalry between two leading actors of the day sparked a terrible night of violence — one of the most horrible moments in New York City history. England’s great […]

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts The Alienist

The Sinister Story of McGurk’s Suicide Hall: The Bowery’s Most Notorious Dive

PODCAST The unbelievable story of the most infamous dance hall in New York City. The old saloons and dance halls of the Bowery are familiar to anyone with a love of New York City history, their debauched and surly reputations appealing in a prurient way, a reminder of a time of great abandon. The Bowery […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Subway Tavern: ‘greasy’ church-operated bar alternative

  LOCATION: Subway Tavern Bleecker and Mulberry, Manhattan In operation 1904-05 The early planners of the New York City subway negotiated that very first route through some of the city’s mostly heavily populated areas, those obviously in need of rapid transit. The locations of the first underground stations were based on the amount of available […]

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Adventures In Old New York

The Story of Bayard’s Mount, Lower Manhattan’s Missing Mountain

Bayard’s Mount, one of the highest points in Manhattan, has been gone for more than two hundred years. Where other hills and high points have been incorporated into the modern topography New York, this old hill was wiped from the map. Bayard’s Mount used to sit at around where Mott and Grand Streets meet today, […]

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True Crime

A handy guide to the most loathsome saloons on the Bowery in 1903

Many of the bars and taverns found on the Bowery today are unfortunately clean, friendly and even trendy establishments, wonderful safe places to meet with friends and family. Not a ruffian or scoundrel in sight. Where’s the fun in that?! Of course, for most of its history, the Bowery was one of the most notorious places […]

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Preservation

Jane’s Walk 2015: Ten Recommended Free Tours (And Over 100 More!)

Above: This is the Bowery, 110 years ago.  One of the recommended Jane’s Walks highlights the rapid changes along this historic street. (Picture courtesy Shorpy)   There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans. — Jane […]

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Friday Night Fever

The Wildest Era In New York History: My New York Magazine Investigation

New York Magazine produces an annual buffet of New York City history each year called the Yesteryear Issue.  It’s probably the biggest celebration of the city’s past in print and usually corrals some of New York’s finest writers and celebrities.  Last year’s issue featured eight entertainers from New York’s past including Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan […]

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Neighborhoods Those Were The Days

When the Bowery Ballroom was a shoe store and other scenes from Delancey Street in the 1930s

The Tree-Mark Shoe Store at 6-8 Delancey Street. You may know this building today as the Bowery Ballroom, a music venue since 1997. (Wurts Brothers, date unknown, both courtesy NYPL) The interior of the shoe store, 1930 (Pic courtesy MCNY) This building has had a rocky history, according to historian Matthew Postal.  Using remnants of an old theater […]

Santa Claus: a Broadway concert saloon from the 1850s

A Broadway saloon in 1859 during a ‘Sunday sacred concert’, as in, not very sacred at all. The Santa Claus probably looked like this on a good night. [Courtesy NYPL] I’m doing some research on a couple upcoming entries for the How New York Saved Christmas feature which I started last year and came across […]

Before CBGB’s, parties at 315 Bowery were for the birds

Above: The first of hundreds of Bowery hotels — the old Gotham Inn in 1862. The inn, which dated from the 1790s, sat quite close to where 315 Bowery is today, just north of Houston Street. (Pic courtesy NYPL) The early history of buildings at 315 Bowery — the address that would later become the […]

Murder unearthed at a condemned Bowery building

Old Hester Street: Could that gentlemen be the murderer*? Grim news today from the Lower East Side: the residents of 128 Hester Street have been forced to evacuate their home due to the structure being declared ‘unsafe’ by the Department of Buildings. And boy, is it. The terribly dilapidated tenement suffered “cracks on the wall, […]

Bowery Boys Recommend: Belle of New York

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. Sometimes a movie can tell […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: The Bowery Files

The Bowery of 1923, its livelihood segregated from the street by elevated railways. This is our “potpourri” episode with a little bit of everything in it. We open up some of our favorite readers mail, we take you behind the scenes of how we put together an episode, and we describe three of our very […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: The Original Bowery Boys / B’hoys

For our very special 25th episode, we give you all sorts of Bowery boys — the cultural and fashion trend of the 1840s, the notorious enemy of the Five Points gangs, and that slapstick bunch of New York actors from the 1930s and 1940s. And of course, a little bit about us! Listen to it […]