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Bowery Boys Movie Club

‘Jay Myself’: A new documentary invites you into the most magical address on the Bowery

The allure surrounding the building at 190 Bowery has captivated me from the first moment I laid eye upon it, a century-old bank sealed off from the trendy streets surrounding it. Very few people ever saw the interior. Nobody could have imagined the strange treasures which collected on every floor, in every room, of the building. Jay […]

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Film History

Celebrating New York City history at the Oscars: Julius Bar, Minetta Lane, Madison Square Garden

Films honored annually at the Academy Awards usually have a historical backdrop — lavish sets and period-accurate costumes plucked from the past. Most of the nominees for Best Picture this year take a time machine to a past generation. The Favourite peers at the backroom (and bedroom) intrigues of Queen Anne. Roma dives into Mexico City in the early 1970s; BlacKKKlansman visits […]

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Landmarks

In ‘The Post’, Katharine Graham returns to the scene of the party — the Plaza Hotel

Journalism history is on full, optimistic display in the Academy Award Best Picture nominee The Post, starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. In this fast-paced drama, Graham heads a newsroom (headed by Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks) in possession of the Pentagon Papers, damning reports exposing the U.S. government’s clandestine decision-making […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Before seeing ‘The Greatest Showman’, listen to these three Bowery Boys podcasts

The latest, lavish movie musical arrives this week to movie theaters and it’s the story of P. T. Barnum! The Greatest Showman (opening Wednesday, Dec. 20) featuring Hugh Jackman as the title impresario, certainly a role he was born for. The film will recount Barnum’s life and his most audacious projects including such pivotal characters […]

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Pop Culture

Jackie and Loving: History on Film 2016

The end of the year usually means a higher quality selection at the movie theater– and more films based on historical events, a popular theme for those seeking glory on awards shows. It always seems each year’s batch accidentally gathers around a certain place or era.  Last year it was New York City history of the 1950s […]

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Pop Culture

Finding Magic In Old New York: The historic places of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

The article below contains spoilers involving locations used in the movie, but no specific plot spoilers that aren’t already revealed in the trailer. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, strictly a fantasy film of course, from the vivid mind of J.K. Rowling, is nonetheless the year’s best historical depiction of New York City.  This indulgence of […]

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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 […]

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Pop Culture

NYC history in pop culture: “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”

It was a pretty spectacular year for history lovers in pop culture this year as the year’s best film, television and theater all seemed to take inspiration from the New York City of old.  Here are ten moments that I particularly loved that expressed the unending bounty of ideas from the people, places and events […]

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Pop Culture

The history of NYC in eight pop culture moments from 2014

In our 2014 Year In Review podcast, we didn’t have much time to talk about notable pop cultural events that depicted New York City history.  But here’s a recap a few films and television shows which used the city’s history in their narratives. I’ve arranged them in the chronological order in which they’ve been set: […]

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A Most Violent Year Pop Culture

More signs of ‘A Most Violent Year’: New movie tie-in column

Looking over the East River at Brooklyn and Queens, 1981, where much of the film’s action takes place.  (Photo courtesy GeorgeLouis at English Wikipedia) A few weeks ago I posted the trailer to the new film by JC Chandor called A Most Violent Year, set in New York City in 1981. As support for the […]