Categories
Bowery Boys Movie Club

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

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the film The Muppets Take Manhattan and its rich historical details. An exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. TOGETHER AGAIN! In 1984, Jim Henson brought his world-famous Muppets to New York for a wacky musical comedy that satirized the gritty, jaded environment […]

Categories
Landmarks

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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Bridges

The story of ‘Painters On The Brooklyn Bridge’, a classic photograph taken 100 years ago this month

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. […]

Categories
Podcasts Skyscrapers

The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History

Postcard from the past: When the Singer Building was the world’s tallest (NYPL)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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Who let the dogs in?

Here’s a look at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from exactly 100 years ago. The Saint Bernard pictured is named Uncle Sam. For a look even further back, here’s a New York Times article from 1904 regarding a Bronx Kennel Club dog show. It too features Uncle Sam (most likely the same dog). Despite […]

The History of (Destroying) New York City

I apologize for the second post in a row about films, but I had to ask the question, when did destroying New York become hot again? This Friday is the opening of I Am Legend, an adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic thriller about the last non-zombiefied human being alive. In this case, he resides in […]