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Podcasts Revolutionary History

New York City during the Revolutionary War: Besieged and occupied by the British (1776-1783)

PODCAST What was life like in New York City from the summer of 1776 to the fall of 1783 — the years of British occupation during the Revolutionary War? New York plays a very intriguing role in the story of American independence. The city and the surrounding area were successfully taken by the British by […]

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Neighborhoods

The Grand Tale of Orchard Street and Life on the Lower East Side

PODCAST  The Lower East Side is one of the most important neighborhoods in America with a rich history as dense as its former living quarters.  Thousands of immigrants experienced American life on these many crowded streets. In this podcast, we look at this extraordinary cultural phenomenon through the lens of one of those — Orchard Street. Its […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

New York City’s “stripped and abandoned” car crisis

The fate of an automobile at Breezy Point, 1973 (Courtesy US National Archives) The abandoned car, that most dramatic symbol of urban blight, is a sight that has pretty much vanished from most New York City streets. (Most, not all.)  In a city refitted for the automobile by the mid 20th century, people just began […]

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Gangs of New York

Who were the Short Tails? The crazy, violent habits of the real Lower East Side gang

One of the few photos ever taken of any New York street gang was this image shot in 1887 by Jacob Riis of the Short Tails  under a pier in Corlears Hook.  The Short Tails were a particularly nasty gang of criminals who terrorized the Lower East Side and the docks of Corlears Hook roughly […]

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Neighborhoods Those Were The Days

When the Bowery Ballroom was a shoe store and other scenes from Delancey Street in the 1930s

The Tree-Mark Shoe Store at 6-8 Delancey Street. You may know this building today as the Bowery Ballroom, a music venue since 1997. (Wurts Brothers, date unknown, both courtesy NYPL) The interior of the shoe store, 1930 (Pic courtesy MCNY) This building has had a rocky history, according to historian Matthew Postal.  Using remnants of an old theater […]