Categories
Politics and Protest

Duck and Panic: Six 1950s New York atomic panic (and anti-communist) videos

The early 1950s provided residents of New York with ample reasons for doom and gloom, thanks to fears of an atomic attack. America paid the price for using the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, helping to end World War II, by living with the anxiety of an atomic horror on its own shores for the […]

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It's Showtime

What’s Your Favorite New York Film? PLUS: Music Row, Gowanus Ghosts

It’s great fun to watch an outdoor movie in one of New York City’s many parks; it’s a tradition that been in the city for well over one hundred years.  But the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment wants to go bigger than that by having the entire city watch the same movie. The winning film […]

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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 […]

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Pop Culture

Ghostbusters 2: Twenty-five historical details from the supreme slimy sequel

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

Categories
Pop Culture

Ghostbusters 2: Twenty-five historical details from the supreme slimy sequel

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

Categories
Pop Culture

“I amuse you? I make you laugh?” Bowery Boys on GoodFellas Minute

If you’re a fan of classic movies, you should definitely check out the strange but marvelous podcast GoodFellas Minute, which specializes in analyzing the classic 1990 Martin Scorsese movie starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesce, Lorraine Bracco and Ray Liotta. As the title suggests, each episode of the podcast — featuring Ron Richards, Josh Flanagan, and […]

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Pop Culture

Upcoming history: New York City in new films and miniseries

Tired of superhero movies? An abundance of new period films and television mini-series are on the horizon, presenting unique aspects of New York City history (and the surrounding metropolitan area, as in the first example below).  Which ones are you excited for?   SHOW ME A HERO HBO, six-part mini-series, Sunday, August 16 From the […]

Categories
Christmas Pop Culture

The real ‘Miracle On 34th Street’: 21 great historical details from New York City’s most famous Christmas movie

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

Categories
It's Showtime Podcasts

Rudolph Valentino, the seductive, tragic idol of the Jazz Age

  PODCAST  Rudolph Valentino was an star from the early years of Hollywood, but his elegant, randy years in New York City should not be forgotten.  They helped make him a premier dancer and a glamorous actor. And on August 23, 1926, this is where the silent film icon died.   Valentino arrived in Ellis Island in 1913, one of […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills Bridges

How the cliffhanger was born 100 years ago

What does the George Washington Bridge have to do with The Perils of Pauline, the classic film serial which debuted 100 years ago this week?  They’re both cliffhangers of the literal sort — and almost the same cliffs, it turns out. Many consider the Pauline film series to be the first “movie blockbuster,” filled with […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

The first-ever film of a New York City blizzard

What storm is this? The horrific blizzard that hit New York on February 17, 1902.  It would be considered the worst snowstorm to hit the metropolitan area since the Great Blizzard of 1888. (Read all about it here.)  I assume we’re actually in the aftermath of the blizzard here, as the snow shovels are out, and […]

Categories
Pop Culture

The first Sherlock Holmes film ever was made in Union Square. And the second? In Flatbush, Brooklyn

Above: While Sherlock Holmes made his film debut in 1900, he hit the stage a bit earlier.  William Gillette was the most acclaimed Sherlock of the day, touring the United States in a play he co-wrote with the detective’s creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  After a tryout in Buffalo, the play made its debut at […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Preservation

The neon bible: A chat with ‘New York Neon’ author Thomas E. Rinaldi about the city’s most stylish signs

Bond Clothing Store sign was a mainstay of Times Square in the 1940s and 50s. For more on Bond’s unusual transition after that, read my article from 2007 on Bond International Casino. Picture courtesy Life Magazine, Lisa Larsen photographerNew York Neon is the Bowery Boys Book of the Month for July, a superb review of the […]

Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

The startling history of Bellevue Hospital, beyond the horror stories, the last resort for the New York unwanted

Bellevue from the waterfront, 1879.  Proximity to the shoreline — which once gave the original mansion here that ‘belle vue’ — was key in the early years of Bellevue, as sometimes it was the fastest way to get to the hospital when roads were less than ideal. (Courtesy NYC HHC) PODCAST Bellevue Hospital, you might […]

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Pop Culture

The Broadway Melody: New York’s first Oscar victory and an ironic success for the Astor Theatre in Times Square

The second film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture was hardly a movie at all. ‘The Broadway Melody’, a frothy Hollywood revue about the mounting of an frothy Broadway revue, was a total celebration of every strength and weakness of the early Broadway stage, and a hopeful sign that the New York […]