Categories
American History Bronx History

The United States Capitol Dome was built in the Bronx

In the fall of 1783 Lewis Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, helpfully suggested in a letter to the Continental Congress that his own bucolic estate Morrisania (in today’s area of the South Bronx) would make a fine home for the new capital of the United States. That didn’t happen, of course, but the Bronx […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills Film History

Come to the Airdome! Over 100 years of outdoor movies in NYC

It may be some time before we all get to truly enjoy the inside of a movie theater again. Hopefully soon! But outdoor movies — in particular, drive-in movies — have had a bit of a renaissance, a socially distanced way to enjoy blockbusters on a big screen. Mommy Poppins has a great round-up of […]

Categories
Film History

New York City stories: Great documentaries about the Apollo Theater, Statue of Liberty and the Bronx

One positive side of the near-infinite television choices we now face in 2019 — more documentaries than ever! And in the past two weeks, HBO Documentaries and PBS’ Independent Lens have given us films that are firmly rooted in New York City history and culture. The Apollo Premieres tonight on HBO Few building embody American […]

Categories
Bronx History

Robert E. Lee in the Hall of Fame? There were concerns even back in 1900

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the busts of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, located on the campus of Bronx Community College, would be permanently evicted, following the removal and dismantling of several sculptural depictions of the Confederate generals across the country in recent days. There are many great Americans, many of them […]

Categories
Bridges

Visit the glorious High Bridge, New York’s tribute to the ancient world

The thirst for water has transformed New York. The Dutch were sold on the island’s placement in the harbor at the mouth of the mighty Hudson River, making it a convenient waypoint for explorers and traders. Soon its ports had built the foundation for New York’s—and later America’s—financial sector. The city’s most influential nineteenth-century businessman, […]

Categories
Bronx History Podcasts

Bronx Trilogy: The Bronx Was Burning (1955 to today)

PODCAST The trials and tribulations experienced by the Bronx through the mid and late 20th century. In the third and final part of our Bronx history series, we tackle the most difficult period in the life of this borough — the late 20th century and the days and nights of urban blight. The focus of […]

Categories
Bronx History

Morrisania: The South Bronx and the old days of American aristocracy

Was there an estate in New York ever as beautiful as Morrisania, nearly 2,000 acres that hugged the Harlem River until it opened out into the turbulent East River as it coursed past small islands and flowed into the Long Island Sound? A property that varied from western hills looking over the river to the […]

Categories
Bronx History Podcasts

A History of the Bronx Part Two: Building The Borough

PODCAST The story of how the Bronx became a part of New York City and the origin of some of the borough’s most famous landmarks. In the second part of the Bowery Boys’ Bronx Trilogy — recounting the entire history of New York City’s northernmost borough — we focus on the years between 1875 and […]

Categories
It's Showtime

An ode to the early Bronx film industry

In 1910, D.W. Griffith made one of first films ever produced in Hollywood, CA, appropriately called In Old California. Before then, film production companies were scattered throughout the United States, with two of the most successful based here in New York City. The American Vitagraph Company, originally located at the Morse Building on 140 Nassau […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Bronx History

Kingsbridge, the Bronx neighborhood with royal connections

DUMBO, for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass — a stretch to create an geographic acronym if there ever was one — is not the only neighborhood named by a bridge which passes by, through, or over it. It might be obvious but the neighborhood of Kingsbridge in the Bronx is named for an actual bridge, and the King’s […]

Categories
Bronx History

Seven places to experience early Bronx history today and this weekend

We’ve received such an overwhelming positive response to our Bronx history podcast — and we’re just at Part One. You may know a few things about 20th century Bronx history, but it’s so important to familiarize yourself with the early stories as well. Almost all of these stories figure into the creation of the modern Bronx and […]

Categories
Bronx History Podcasts

Bronx Trilogy: The Bronx Is Born — Before It Was A Borough 1638-1874

PODCAST A history of the land which would become the Bronx, from the first European settlement to its debut in 1874 as New York’s Annexed District. The story of the borough of the Bronx is so large, so spectacular, that we had to spread it out over three separate podcasts! In Part One — The […]

Categories
Bronx History

September Is The Bronx Month

Get ready to learn a whole lot more about the only borough with the good sense to actually be attached to the mainland. The Bronx is perhaps New York City’s most misunderstood borough and the one with the longest relationship with the city. It became a part of New York long before Brooklyn, Queens or […]

Categories
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 […]