Categories
Landmarks

History in the Making 1/19: Happy birthday Edgar Edition

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on this day in 1809. There are several places you can visit to make a connection with the writer’s years in New York City, most notably the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage just off the Grand Concourse at Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx.  Poe may have worked on his poem ‘The […]

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Podcasts

At The Ready: The History of the New York City Fire Department

  The distinguished members of New York’s various volunteer fire brigades, posing for the photographer Matthew Brady in 1858PODCAST  The New York City Fire Department (or FDNY) protects the five boroughs from a host of disasters and mishaps — five-alarm blazes, a kitchen fire run amok, rescue operations and even those dastardly midtown elevators, always […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Ten cool facts about ice cream and New York City history PLUS: where was New York’s first frozen yogurt shop?

Lewis Wickes’ photograph of a few children enjoying a bit of ice cream on a hot day, 1910. (NYPL) 1. America’s first ice cream shop was located on Dock Street** (roughly today’s Pearl Street) in 1774.  The British confectioner Philip Lenzi advertised ice cream of “any sort”, along with a host of treats, including sugar […]

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Consolidation! The tale of five boroughs and one big city

PODCAST Our 150th episode! Here’s the story of how two very big cities and a whole bunch of small towns and villages — completely different in nature, from farmland to skyscraper — became the greatest city in the world. This is the tale of Greater New York, the forming of the five boroughs into one […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

The legend of Freedomland USA: Theme park memories from the kids who played there

America, as depicted by Freedomland USA pre-opening map — courtesy Viewliner Ltd. WOW. The response to our profile on NPR Morning Edition has been truly overwhelming. It’s been a very wild and exciting couple days. Thanks to everybody who has written us via email, Facebook and Twitter and welcome to our new listeners! One amusing […]

Happy 12/12/12! December 12, 1912, that is.

From the New York Evening World, December 12, 1912 Interesting that they had to interview a Chicago civil engineer for this, as the first point seems rather obvious, and the second point, rather random. Below: Twelve women from Morrisania, the Bronx, picture date unknown (NYPL) Gawker has a link to the New York Times’ take […]

Happy 12/12/12! December 12, 1912, that is.

From the New York Evening World, December 12, 1912 Interesting that they had to interview a Chicago civil engineer for this, as the first point seems rather obvious, and the second point, rather random. Below: Twelve women from Morrisania, the Bronx, picture date unknown (NYPL) Gawker has a link to the New York Times’ take […]

Categories
Podcasts

The Croton Aqueduct: How New York got its drinking water

Above: The Croton Reservoir in 1850, in what would soon become Central Park. (NYPL)PODCAST One of the great challenges faced by a growing, 19th-century New York City was the need for a viable, clean water supply. We take water for granted today. But before the 1830s, citizens relied on cisterns to collect rainwater, a series […]

Categories
Newspapers and Newsies

Hot off the press: the bicentennial of the Bronx Gutenberg

Hoe Avenue in the Bronx has nothing to do with farming, although it once indeed ran through a grand 19th century farm estate. The avenue’s namesake, Richard March Hoe, born 200 years ago today, brought about a revolution in the world of printing. Without his innovations, the phrase ‘hot off the press’ might never have […]

South Bronx and the days of new American aristocracy

What you think about when you think about the South Bronx: the Morrisania estate built by Gouverneur Morris. (NYPL) NAME THAT NEIGHBORHOOD Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with […]

Dancing queens: Scenes from Bronx Park

A zesty group of ladies enjoy the beauty of Bronx Park in 1911 as they perform a Polish dance known as the Krakoviak according to the photo caption. I don’t really have much else to say about this picture other than to say it really makes me wish it weren’t below 50 degrees right now. […]

The City Island Monorail, easily the worst ride in NYC

Taking their lives in their hands: riders of the City Island Monorail On Friday’s podcast, I briefly talked about the Pelham Park & City Island Railroad (or, in the parlance of the day, Monoroad), an actual monorail system, three miles in length, linking the small fishing community of City Island with the Bronx mainland. This […]

Categories
Podcasts

The Bronx Zoo: the tale of NYC’s biggest animal house

Postcard of the elephant house, now the central Zoo Center — and home today to a baby rhino below. (Courtesy NYPL) PODCAST New York City’s most exotic residents inhabit hundreds of leafy acres in the Bronx at the once-named New York Zoological Park. Sculpted out of the former DeLancey family estate and tucked next to […]

What’s in a name? In Kingsbridge’s case, a New York first

NAME THAT NEIGHBORHOOD Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this series can be found here. NEIGHBORHOOD: Kingsbridge, the Bronx DUMBO, for Down Under […]

100 Years Ago: Frankenstein monster stalks the Bronx

In 1910, DW Griffith made the first film ever made in Hollywood, CA, 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 Street, made […]