Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

The Notorious Madame Restell: The Abortionist of Fifth Avenue

The story of New York’s most prominent abortionist of the 19th century and the unique environment of morality and secrecy which accommodated her rise on the fringes of society. Ann Lohman aka Madame Restell was one of the most vilified women of the 19th century, an abortion practitioner that dodged the law to become one… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

Electric New York: Illuminating the shadows, re-visualizing the night

This classic episode of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast (originally released in December of 2021) is featured in this week’s episode of the History Channel podcast HISTORY This Week. Since 2011 the Bowery Boys Podcast has revisited a few of the themes featured in this show. After listening to this episode, give… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Landmarks

The Fifth Avenue Hotel: Opulence, glamour and power on Madison Square

The double-breasted, cigar-chewing gentlemen who gathered in the sumptuous rooms of the Fifth Avenue Hotel were occasional connoisseurs of New York City history, and in particular, these amateur historians spoke of the very street corner where their hotel stood. Before Madison Square, when the area was a barren parade ground, one Corporal Thompson opened a roadhouse… Read More

Categories
Those Were The Days Women's History

The New York Monkey Fad of 1907

In an absolutely inhumane and totally unwise moment in New York City history, wild and exotic animals were once considered pets, roaming around the city streets with their owners. The wealthiest classes collected all sorts of unusual beasts for their amusement during the 19th century.  So many in fact that the Central Park Zoo — or… Read More

Categories
Long Island Podcasts

Long Island Gothic: A Journey to Grey Gardens

PODCAST The historical backstory of one of the most famous documentaries ever made – Grey Gardens. The classic film Grey Gardens, made by brother directing team Albert and David Maysles, looks at the lives of two former society women leading a life of seclusion in a rundown old mansion in the Hamptons. Those of you who have seen the… Read More

Categories
Holidays Those Were The Days

Bowlers and Bonnets: A History of the New York Easter Parade

For almost 150 years, budding fashionistas have been prancing up and down Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday, displaying elaborate bonnets, hairdos and colorful outfits. Given that modern holiday celebrations are often relatively new (for instance, trick-or-treating has only been a common activity on Halloween since the 1950s), this decorative practice located at this particular spot… Read More

Categories
Neighborhoods

A look back at Lord & Taylor’s splashy move to Fifth Avenue in 1914

UPDATE FOR 2020: It was announced today that Lord & Taylor, America’s first department store, has announced it will go out of business after 193 years. It began in 1826 as women’s clothing store in Lower Manhattan. In tribute, we are bumping up this article from 1914, framed around its 1914 move to the Fifth… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Politics and Protest

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

Listen to our podcast on the history of the Silent Parade of 1917 here: “To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue yesterday in a parade of ‘silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression’ inflicted upon them in this country, and in other parts of the… Read More

Categories
Holidays

Easter in Old New York: The Fifth Avenue Fashion Stroll

In the picture above: People in Sunday finery stroll past the New York Public Library building. The library had not even been open two years by the time this picture was taken in March 23, 1913. New York City’s time-honored Easter custom — the Sunday morning Fifth Avenue Easter bonnet stroll — once turned the… Read More

Categories
American History True Crime

Insanity: 160 years ago today, Congressman Daniel Sickles shot and killed the son of Francis Scott Key

On the 160th anniversary of the killing of Phillip Barton Key, I’m reposting this article from 2014 which originally ran on the 100th anniversary of Daniel Sickle’s death. We don’t have large, parade-like funeral processions marching up the avenues as they once did during the Gilded Age and in the early years of the 20th… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

The Fall of the Fifth Avenue Mansions

PODCAST The story of how Fifth Avenue, once the ritziest residential address in America, became an upscale retail strip and the home of some of New York’s finest cultural institutions. LISTEN HERE: In this episode, the symbols of the Gilded Age are dismantled. During the late 19th century, New York’s most esteemed families built extravagant mansions… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

The Fall of the Fifth Avenue Mansions: Where to find the remnants of an opulent past

PODCAST The story of how Fifth Avenue, once the ritziest residential address in America, became an upscale retail strip and the home of some of New York’s finest cultural institutions. LISTEN HERE: In this episode, the symbols of the Gilded Age are dismantled. During the late 19th century, New York’s most esteemed families built extravagant… Read More

Categories
Gilded Age New York Podcasts

The Rise of the Fifth Avenue Mansions: Revisiting Forgotten Architecture of New York’s Gilded Age

PODCAST At the heart of New York’s Gilded Age — the late 19th century era of unprecedented American wealth and excess — were families with the names Astor, Waldorf, Schermerhorn and Vanderbilt, alongside power players like A.T. Stewart, Jay Gould and William “Boss” Tweed. They would all make their homes — and in the case… Read More

Categories
Pop Culture

‘War Paint’ and ‘Indecent’: Two views of New York City history on Broadway

History has always been a critical component of theater, especially in musicals, where period sets and costumes assist in creating other worlds on stage quite unlike our normal one. But last year, with Hamilton: The Musical, the stage phenomenon which won the Tony Award for Best Musical (and a million other awards), history became a rock star. Or rather,… Read More

Categories
Health and Living Podcasts

The Beauty Bosses of Fifth Avenue: Elizabeth Arden & Helena Rubinstein

PODCAST Fifth Avenue’s role in the ‘revolution’ of beauty, as led by Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, New York’s boldest businesswomen of the Jazz Age. The Midtown Manhattan stretch of Fifth Avenue, once known for its ensemble of extravagant mansions owned by the Gilded Age’s wealthiest families, went through an astonishing makeover one hundred years… Read More