Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

That daredevil Steve Brodie! Did the former newsboy really jump off the Brooklyn Bridge?

PODCAST A tale of the ‘sporting life’ of the Bowery from the 1870s and 80s. A former newsboy named Steve Brodie grabs the country’s attention by leaping off the Brooklyn Bridge on July 23, 1886. Or did he? The story of Steve Brodie has all the ingredients of a Horatio Alger story. He worked the streets as a newsboy when he […]

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Frozen In Time: The Great Blizzard of 1888

PODCAST The story of the devastating snowstorm that changed New York City forever. This year marks the 130th anniversary of one of the worst storms to ever wreak havoc upon New York City, the now-legendary mix of wind and snow called the Great Blizzard of 1888. The battering snow-hurricane of 1888, with its freezing temperatures and crazy […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Haunted Landmarks of New York : Tourist Terrors in the Big Apple

PODCAST It’s the ninth annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast, our seasonal twist on history, focusing on famous tales of the weird and the disturbing at some of New York’s most recognizable locations. Don’t be frightened! We’re here to guide you through the back alleys … OF TERROR! In this installment, we take a look at […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Gotham Court and the Lower East Side neighborhood of Cherry Hill

Yesterday I went searching for remnants of the old Cherry Hill neighborhood. There are none, as far as I could tell. It’s not the first New York City neighborhood to entirely vanish in the rush of progress — is it, Robert Moses ? — however it may be the one that began with the most […]

Categories
Bridges

The story of ‘Painters On The Brooklyn Bridge’, a classic photograph taken 100 years ago this month

The photograph above (officially called “Brooklyn Bridge showing painters on suspenders”) is perhaps the best-known image taken by Eugene de Salignac, a city employee who took municipal photography of most major New York structures during the early 20th century. His work had never appeared in a gallery until 2007, almost 65 years after his death. […]

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Amusements and Thrills Bridges

The ten greatest fireworks displays in New York City history

Above: One of my favorite pictures of the Williamsburg Bridge, at its opening in 1903 Nothing befits a fireworks display quite like a skyline to frame it, and no city has a skyline quite like New York City.  And so, despite the obvious dangers of setting off thousands of pounds of explosives in a crowded, […]

Categories
On The Waterfront Podcasts

The history of the South Street Seaport: A robust story of economic power, historic preservation, rat fights and fish guts

The daily bustle at the Fulton Fish Market, 1936, photographed by Berenice Abbott (NYPL) PODCAST  The glory of early New York came from its role as one of the world’s great ports.  Today the South Street Seaport is a lasting tribute to that seafaring heritage, a historical district beneath the Brooklyn Bridge that contains some […]

Categories
Bridges

Over the river: Six New York bridges under construction

Manhattan Bridge, June 5, 1908 Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives Queensboro Bridge, August 8, 1907 Courtesy NYC Municipal Archives George Washington Bridge, 1927, Courtesy Life Brooklyn Bridge, late 1870s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 1960, photo by Matthew Proujansky Williamsburg Bridge, 1902, courtesy Shorpy

Categories
Museums

The New York Public Library’s old-timey 3D magic maker

Stop what you’re doing and go play around with the New York Public Library‘s addictive Stereograminator, which gives you their collection of stereograph photography and the ability to animate them, emulating the ‘3D effect’ audiences who first viewed them would have experienced. Go here for the fun. The originals are below:

Categories
Bowery Boys

The 2013 Podcast Awards nominations are open!

Street life at Oak Street and New Chambers Street, 1935. This is in today’s neighborhood of Two Bridges.  Neither of these streets exist today, swept away by grand housing projects.  Sepiatown has the approximate location of where this photograph was taken. (Pic by Berenice Abbott, courtesy NYPL) The nominations for the 2013 Podcast Awards are […]

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Frozen in time: The Blizzard of 1888 knocks New York City off its feet, creating the deadliest commute in history

PODCAST This year is the 125th anniversary of one of the worst storms to ever wreak havoc upon New York City, the now-legendary mix of wind and snow called the Great Blizzard of 1888. Its memory was again conjured up a few months ago as people struggled to compare Hurricane Sandy with some devastating event […]

Notes from the podcast: (#141) New York Beer History

Year-Round Brews: This calendar from 1895 celebrates the Harlem breweries of James Everard. An older Everard brewery building on W. 28th Street was converted into a Turkish bathhouse in 1888. It became the location of a variety of notorious activities during the 20th century. Everard’s breweries became the plaintiff in a Prohibition-era Supreme Court case regarding […]

Categories
Planes Trains and Automobiles

New York City from the sky: The first aerial photographs

Frozen flight: Frank Coffyn sails underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and above the East River during the dead of winter.  This month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of a spectacular series of flights over the skies of New York City. These weren’t the first flights over the city — those had occured in the fall of […]

The phantom of a great fire in Bryant Park

Were you in Bryant Park yesterday? Did you happen to imagine that you sniffed a very slight whiff of smoke? It was just a ghostly reminder of one of the most famous fires in all of New York history — the destruction of the legendary Crystal Palace exhibition hall, which sat here for five glorious […]

Defying gravity: New York’s most famous daredevils

Bird in the sky: The delicate Ms. Millman makes it look easyLast night on my walk home, I observed something you just don’t always see everyday — a renegade acrobat dangling from the top of the Williamsburg Bridge! The perilous pair, Seanna Sharpe and Savage Skinner, performed this foolhardy trapeze as traffic whizzed by below them, and […]