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Parks and Recreation

Washington Square Park Audio History Tour: An exclusive for our Patreon supporters

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village Historic District, enjoy this Patreon exclusive — a self-guided audio walking tour of Washington Square Park, narrated by Greg Young. This is a new 2019 edition of an audio tour Greg released many years back and this new version is only available here on Patreon. This tour presents over 200 years […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts Writers and Artists

Greenwich Village in the 1960s: A nostalgic stroll through an era of preservation and protest

This is the story of Greenwich Village as a character — an eccentric character maybe, but one that changed American life — and how the folky, activist spirit it fostered in arts, culture and the protest movement came back in the end to help itself. This April we’re marking the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich Village […]

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It's Showtime Podcasts

Absolutely Flawless: A History of Drag in New York

PODCAST The story of New York City’s most colorful profession. Television audiences are currently obsessed with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and FX’s Pose, presenting different angles on the profession and art of drag. New York City has been crucial to its current moment in pop culture and people have been performing and enjoy drag performers for well […]

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Podcasts

Before Harlem: The Stories of New York’s Forgotten Black Communities

PODCAST The history of African-American settlements and neighborhoods which once existed in New York City Today we sometimes define New York City’s African-American culture by place – Harlem, of course, and also Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, neighborhoods that developed for groups of black residents in the 20th century. [geo_mashup_map] But by no means were these […]

Categories
Adventures In Old New York

Cheers to the Free and Independent Republic of Greenwich Village!

There’s a spiral staircase inside the western half of the Washington Square Arch, which grants access to the rooftop and fabulous views straight up Fifth Avenue. Public entrance is prohibited, of course, although that didn’t stop six fearless malcontents (including the artists Marcel Duchamp and John Sloan) from breaking in to declare a bohemian revolution late […]

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Gilded Age New York

The Spark: Nikola Tesla in New York

PODCAST The strange and wonderful life of Nikola Tesla in New York City. The Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla was among the Gilded Age’s brightest minds, a visionary thinker and inventor who gave the world innovations in electricity, radio and wireless communication. So why has Tesla garnered the mantle of cult status among many? Part of that […]

Categories
On The Waterfront True Crime

The tale of Newgate, the New York state prison in the West Village

You may not be aware of the Weehawken Historic District, a collection of 14 buildings of unique architectural character in the far West Village.  It lies at the foot of Christopher Street and centers around the one-block-long Weehawken Street. You really should take a stroll down here. It will take you all of one minute; the street […]

Greenwich Village, through the eyes of Jean Shepherd: A beatnik city of “secret treasures and hidden gardens”

 Jean Shepherd, probably best known today as the voice of ‘A Christmas Story‘, was a regular presence on New York radio in the 1950s and 60s thanks to his memorable program for the AM station WOR. Although you might associate his voice with nostalgic tales from suburban Indiana, he was very much a Village raconteur […]

New York University: A noble idea takes root in the Village, a school for the metropolis, but not without growing pains

Hogwarts of Washington Square: The beautiful and supremely ostentatious University Hall at the northeast corner of the park, circa 1850. [NYPL] PODCAST They once called it the University of the City of New York, an innovative, non-denominational school located in a intellectual castle on the northeast corner of the Washington military parade ground. Today it’s […]

The Bowery Boys Washington Square Park Audio Tour: a stroll through New York history, now on sale everywhere!

Today marks a big new step in the evolution of The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast and website as I present our first item ever for sale — a special one-hour audio history tour of Washington Square Park. In this one-hour tour, I present over 200 years of history relating to one of […]

Don’t douse the glim! Four infamous dancehalls and dives which made the notorious reputation of Bleecker Street

“There are no lower outcasts in New York than the women who nightly creep out of the darkness and swarm the pavement of Bleecker Street…” L. Hereward, Eclectic Magazine, 1893 Sure, the Bowery was a rough and rowdy avenue, but one looking for more alternative adventures in the late 19th century might have found themselves […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Executive (and bohemian) dining

A square meal: The Tower Suite’s packed dining room   WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the 1960s and can be […]

Categories
Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: New York becomes an LSD playground

A mind-twisting exhibit at the Riverside Museum, formerly at 310 Riverside Drive/103rd Street, makes it on the cover of a national magazine. But not everybody would enjoy the trip.WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the […]

Who are the Spring Street Fencibles?

Spring Street and Broadway in 1785, 30 years before the events of the article below. Illustration courtesy NYPL digital images While researching the Gracie Mansion podcast, I found mention of a street gang by the name of the Spring Street Fencibles, or simply, the Spring Streeters. Obviously, the streets of New York have been crawling […]

Forty Years Ago: Village townhouse explodes!

Forty years ago, March 6, 1970, a townhouse at 18 West 11th Street harboring members of the Weather Underground exploded from the accidental detonation of bombing materials being used by radical organization. Read more about it here. Super strange fact: At the time of the bombing, Dustin Hoffman lived right next door.