The story of ‘Painters On The Brooklyn Bridge’

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.… Read More

Bowery Boys Movie Club Podcasts

The Muppets Take Manhattan: The Bowery Boys Movie Club in Jim Henson’s New York

It’s spring in New York City and time for some frivolity! So we’ve just released an unusually whimsical episode of Bowery Boys Movie Club to the general Bowery Boys Podcast audience, exploring the 1984 comedy treat The Muppets Take Manhattan. And that’s not all! Sticking to the theme of 1980s New York City, the latest episode of the Bowery… Read More

Landmarks Podcasts

The Empire State Building: Story of an Icon

PODCAST The history of the Empire State Building revealed! Start spreading the news …. the Bowery Boys are finally going to the Empire State Building! New York City’s defining architectural icon is greatly misunderstood by many New Yorkers who consider its appeal relegated to tourists and real estate titans. But this powerful and impressive symbol… Read More


The destruction of the Waldorf-Astoria in 1929 gave rise to an even grander New York icon

The original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the ultimate symbol of the Gilded Age, was demolished in the fall and early winter of 1929 to make way for a new building project. That the building project in question happened to be the Empire State Building does not make the loss of the Waldorf-Astoria any less regretful. The storied… Read More

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

The Hindenburg Over New York: The Airship Age Comes To An Abrupt End

PODCAST The era of the Zeppelin, how it shaped the New York skyline and the disastrous crash of the Hindenburg on an airfield in New Jersey. On the afternoon of May 6, 1937, New Yorkers looked overhead at an astonishing sight — the arrival of the Hindenburg, the largest airship in the world, drifting calmly across… Read More

Landmarks Podcasts

The Complicated History of the Waldorf-Astoria

PODCAST The surprisingly complex history of one of the world’s most famous hotels. You might think you know this tale, but do we have some surprises for you. The Waldorf-Astoria — or the Waldorf=Astoria or even the Waldorf Astoria — has been a premier name in hotel accommodations since the opening of the very first… Read More

Podcasts Skyscrapers

The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History

  PODCAST One World Trade Center was declared last year the tallest building in America, but it’s a very different structure from the other skyscrapers who have once held that title. In New York, owning the tallest building has often been like possessing a valuable trophy, a symbol of commercial and social superiority. In a… Read More

A giant Coke bottle atop the Empire State Building? Almost.

Did you see the spectacular debut of the Empire State Building‘s new LED lights last night, choreographed to the music of Alicia Keys, being simultaneously broadcast on four New York radio stations?    The allure of the Empire State Building as a glamorous light spectacle has been around almost since the mast — originally designed,… Read More

New York landmarks: No stranger to lightning

The city received a right, proper Transylvania-style thunderstorm this weekend, with more than a few bolts streaking overhead early Sunday morning. You might find this shocking: According to the National Weather Service, the Empire State Building is struck by lightning an average of 23 times a year, or slightly more than one might be comfortable… Read More

The Empire State Building: Still youthful at 80 years old

Almost finished: Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine (courtesy NYPL) The Empire State Building was officially opened in a grand ribbon cutting ceremony 80 years ago yesterday, essentially ending the quest for New York’s tallest building until the World Trade Center came along in 1972.

Today in history: crash at the Empire State Building!

Above: War-time Empire State Building, circa 1943. The upper floors would dim at night to conserve energy costs (Photo Andreas Feininger) Sixty-four years ago today, July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber on its way to Newark Airport accidentally meandered over the foggy city and smashed into the Empire State Building. Some rather startling details of… Read More

Empire State Building suicides: a morbid tradition

Yesterday the media reported the grim news that a woman committed suicide by leaping out a 39-story window of the Empire State Building. The woman was an employee in the building; however New York’s most recognizable symbol, and its 102 floors, has been the final destination for over 30 people since it opened its doors… Read More

Gimbels Bridge over troubled shoppers

The blocks just south of Herald Square are pretty grim. Malls full of chain stores, bland electronic store fronts and fast food restaurants disguise a once vibrant shopping outpost, as department-store competitors of Macy’s flocked to the neighborhood in the early part of the 20th century. One strange vestige of this retail nostalgia still exists,… Read More

Bowery Boys get older! Plus: 200 years of fire hydrants

Early engraving of some Bowery b’hoys lolling about a fire hydrant, up to no good Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our very first podcast. We just want to say thank you to everybody who has subscribed on iTunes and other podcast services. Our first year has been a huge success and we have… Read More

Dinosaurs of the New York skyline

The Empire State Building’s proposed airship dock, as depicted in the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Airships (or dirigibles or Zeppelins, take your pick) were frequent flyers at the start of the century, and naturally many found themselves near or over New York City. In fact this almost defunct form of air… Read More