PODCAST: The Fate of Five Points

Part two of our “Five Points” podcast. Join us as we explore the “wicked” neighborhood’s clean up, fall from grace, and eventual destruction. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE Sleeping quarters An Italian family newly arrived in New York. An Italian… Read More

Where New York’s Chinese food addiction begins

I know that the native cuisine of New York City is officially pizza or hot dogs, but on a daily basis, perhaps nothing is consumed more in this city than Chinese food. There are hundreds of Chinese restaurants in this city; I’ve got four within a block of my apartment. Its probably impossible to identify… Read More

The Roughs: New York’s mangy, murderous heritage

An excerpt from “Lights And Shadows of New York Life; or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City” by James D McCabe Jr, published in 1872, quantifying the gang element of New York under the quaint sobriquet ‘the Roughs’: “Another class of those who live in open defiance of the law consists of the… Read More


The Dead Rabbits — Were they ever alive?

The Bowery Boys-Dead Rabbits kerfluffle: it definitely happened, but not how you think it did In one of the sources we used for this week’s podcast — Tyler Anbinder’s wonderful and sober history on Five Points — the author throws out a theory that’s truly devastating for lovers of New York history, one that flies… Read More

Podcasts Uncategorized

The Story of Five Points: Wicked Slum

You’ve heard the legend of New York’s most notorious neighborhood. Now come with us as we hit the streets of Five Points and dig up some of the nitty, gritty details of its birth, its first residents and its most scandalous pastimes. One of the most famous images of Five Points, accentuating its bustle and… Read More

Charles Dickens’ guide to New York City low life

Dickens in 1850 What is this dismal-fronted pile of bastard Egyptian, like an enchanter’s palace in a melodrama! – a famous prison, called The Tombs. Shall we go in? And thus in this voice continues the eager, fey, often condescending but spectacularly written account of Charles Dickens’ New York excursion as captured in his “American… Read More

FOR RENT: Rustic luxury can be yours in Bottle Alley!

In this city of rising rent prices and fancy new condos, why not step back in time and live amidst the rustic charm of ole New York? Who needs Kohler fixtures and hardwood floors? That’s not what a real New Yorker would do! Address: 47 Baxter StreetLocation: The trendy and exciting Five Points neighborhoodFive Points… Read More


PODCAST: Collect Pond and Canal Street

Collect Pond (and what I assume to be Bunker Hill) as depicted in watercolors by artist Archibald Robertson in 1798 We celebrate a year of New York City history podcasting by re-visiting the topic of our very first show. Downtown Civic Center used to have a big ole pond in the middle of it which… Read More

Know Your Mayors: Fernando Wood

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. And now we come to one of New York’s most notorious, absolutely in the top 10% of the most corrupt mayors ever in our fair… Read More


PODCAST: The Original Bowery Boys / B’hoys

For our very special 25th episode, we give you all sorts of Bowery boys — the cultural and fashion trend of the 1840s, the notorious enemy of the Five Points gangs, and that slapstick bunch of New York actors from the 1930s and 1940s. And of course, a little bit about us! LISTEN HERE: The… Read More


To get you in the mood for the weekend, every Friday we’ll be celebrating ‘FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER’, featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse spaces of the mid-90s. Past entries can be found HERE. The Bridge Cafe, a quiet bar and brunch destination… Read More

Worth Square: Madison Square’s cemetery for one

As you can tell from this lithograph of the Worth Monument dedication in 1857, it predates most of the development that surrounds it today. (NYPL)  Few Americans have been so honored by their country that their remains have been buried in the middle of the most famous street in America in their own personal cemetery.… Read More