Categories
Pop Culture

Florence Foster Jenkins: Six Historical Details From Meryl Streep’s Latest Film

NOTE: This discussion of the film ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ includes minor location spoilers but no specific plot spoilers that not already in the movie trailer.  Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York music philanthropist and society maven of exceeding generosity, was actually a rather fine musician. Unfortunately, her ability to play the instrument in which she excelled […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

The Mystique of Josephine Baker, born 110 years ago today

Josephine Baker is a spellbinding icon. Her persona is magnetic, mysterious, intangible, taking inspiration from Sophie Tucker and Bessie Smith, the divas of the silent screen and the flappers of Harlem and Greenwich Village. And yet this most alluring figure of the Jazz Age was born 110 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri. Barely 15 years […]

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It's Showtime Podcasts

Billie Holiday’s New York: Here’s to Swing Street, Harlem’s 133rd Street and other landmarks of jazz

  PODCAST Grab your fedora and take a trip with the Bowery Boys into the heart of New York City’s jazz scene — late nights, smoky bars, neon signs — through the eyes of one of the greatest American vocalists who ever lived here — Billie Holiday. Eleanora Fagan walked out of Pennsylvania Station in […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories

Ghost Bluster: Arthur Conan Doyle and his wacky ectoplasm

A flyer for one of the author’s many Carnegie Hall lectures. (Courtesy Carnegie Hall archives) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made a startling announcement in April 1922. Known for his beliefs in communicating with the afterlife, the famed creator of Sherlock Holmes announced an extraordinary discovery — the existence of ectoplasm, the ghostly goo that emits […]

Categories
Pop Culture

On Nina Simone’s birthday, a look at her breakout Town Hall performance from September 1959

Nina Simone was born on this date in 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina.  She came to New York as a student of the Julliard School, but her unique blend of genres came from her experiences in the nightclubs and cabarets of Harlem and Greenwich Village.  She wowed audiences with a memorable New York debut at the Village […]

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

Mysteries and Magicians of New York: Whimsical spirits, scary legends, strange magic and the original ghost busters

A session with a ouija board, a haunting illustration from a piece of 1901 sheet music ‘There’s A Charm About The Old Love Still’. (NYPL) PODCAST Our sixth annual ghost story podcast takes a little twist this time around. Oh sure, we have two of New York’s most FAMOUS horror stories in our first part, […]

Categories
American History

Fiasco! New York’s first Republican presidential primary

One hundred years ago yesterday, New York hosted its first-ever Republican presidential primary. Not only was it an organizational failure of epic proportions, but the results handed a stunning and rare defeat to one of New York’s most iconic politicians. Making the 1912 primary a unique contest was that it was between two presidents — the […]

Bringing news of King Tut (and his curse) to New York

Howard Carter with his very favorite king (courtesy Life Images) Years after the Steve Martin novelty hit, King Tut mania returns to New York City. The heavily hyped Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs finally opened last week at the Discovery Times Square Exposition, promising rooms of priceless artifacts from the tomb of […]

Podcast Rewind: Keeping in tune at Carnegie Hall

1960, Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt Since we’re in the musical spirit around here, I just put up a new ‘illustrated’ version of our August ’08 Carnegie Hall podcast in our archive feed. You can get it by clicking the iTunes link below or going directly to our feed page. Our archive shows are enhanced with […]

Categories
It's Showtime Podcasts

PODCAST: The Glory of Carnegie Hall

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Well, we can at least show you the way through its tumultuous history, from a fortunate meeting on a Norwegian cruise ship, passed a symphonic rivalry, and into the 20th Century with some of the biggest names in classical and popular music. Listen to it for free on […]

Andrew Carnegie: Forced — forced — to live in luxury!

Being rich is a side effect of making money. That may sound like an absurd statement, but not when describing Andrew Carnegie, second richest man who ever walked the planet. The trappings of the Gilded Age never quite suited the wealthy steel magnate, who nevertheless owned one of the finest homes in New York City. […]