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Podcasts

1918: The Story of the Harlem Hellfighters

PODCAST (EPISODE 310): New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s first black regiment engaged in World War I.  The world knew them as the Harlem Hellfighters. On February 17, 1919, the Hellfighters – who had spent much of the year 1918 on the frontline – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support […]

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Brooklyn History Film History

Motherless Brooklyn: 10 things to know before checking out Edward Norton’s detective film

Motherless Brooklyn, a radical retro transformation of Jonathan Lethem’s book of the same name, refits the bright noir of the movie Chinatown into 1950s New York City. Edward Norton, who wrote and directed this adaptation, also stars as its central figure — Lionel Essrog or simply Brooklyn, a detective with Tourette syndrome and a photographic […]

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Film History

Celebrating New York City history at the Oscars: Julius Bar, Minetta Lane, Madison Square Garden

Films honored annually at the Academy Awards usually have a historical backdrop — lavish sets and period-accurate costumes plucked from the past. Most of the nominees for Best Picture this year take a time machine to a past generation. The Favourite peers at the backroom (and bedroom) intrigues of Queen Anne. Roma dives into Mexico City in the early 1970s; BlacKKKlansman visits […]

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Mysterious Stories Podcasts

House of Mystery: The Story of the Collyer Brothers

You better clean your room or you’ll end up like the Collyer Brothers. New York City, a city crammed of 8.6 million people. It’s filled with stories of people who just want to be left alone – recluses, hermits, cloistering themselves from the public eye, closing themselves off from scrutiny. But none attempted to seal […]

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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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Black History Podcasts Women's History

Madam C.J. Walker, Harlem’s self-made millionaire, and her daughter A’Lelia, patron of the Jazz Age

PODCAST The story of Harlem’s hair care queen and her daughter A’Lelia, a patron of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1867, Sarah Breedlove was born to parents who had once been enslaved on a Louisiana plantation. Less than fifty years later, Breedlove (as the hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker) would be the richest African-American woman […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘The Creative Destruction of New York City’: The Tools For Fighting Back Against Unwanted Change

Talk of hyper-gentrification, skyrocketing real estate and the ‘end of New York’ comes bundled with despair and helplessness. Walk down 59th Street and gaze as the super-talls blocking the sun, built for foreign investors who may never once step inside these luxury caverns. Or stroll along Smith Street in Cobble Hill, observing the rows of […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The New York Riots of 1964: Violent history with a haunting familiarity

One hot summer’s morning, in the neighborhood of Yorkville on the Upper East Side, high school student James Powell was shot and killed by police officer James Gilligan. Powell either attempted to stab the officer or else the unarmed boy was brutally set upon by a man with violent tendencies. Gilligan, a war veteran, was either […]

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American History

Hamilton Grange: New York’s Most Historic Mobile Home (NPS at 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, […]

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Friday Night Fever Podcasts

The tale of the Cotton Club: “The Aristocrat of Harlem”

PODCAST The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age. The Cotton Club, Harlem’s most prominent nightclub during the Prohibiton era, delivered some of the greatest music legends of the Jazz Age — Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Ethel Waters, the Nicolas Brothers.  Some of the most iconic songs in the American […]

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Friday Night Fever

The tale of the Cotton Club: “The Aristocrat of Harlem”

PODCAST The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age.   The Cotton Club, Harlem’s most prominent nightclub during the Prohibiton era, delivered some of the greatest music legends of the Jazz Age — Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Ethel Waters, the Nicolas Brothers.  Some of the most iconic songs […]

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The Knick

The Knick Season 2: A History Recap from the brothel to the freak show

Pictured above: Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) explore several experimental procedures in the second season of The Knick, some more successful than others. This post contains light spoilers of general themes from this season of The Knick although there are no specific plot twists discussed. You can use this as a primer for the second […]

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It's Showtime

Mr. Wonderful: A 90th birthday tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.

Frank Sinatra‘s 100th birthday is December 12 but you probably didn’t know that his fellow Rat Pack cool cat Sammy Davis Jr. was also born on the second week of December, 90 years ago today in Harlem.     Davis was born on December 8, 1925, at Harlem Hospital on Lenox Avenue and 135th Street and […]

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It's Showtime Podcasts

Billie Holiday’s New York: Here’s to Swing Street, Harlem’s 133rd Street and other landmarks of jazz

PODCAST Grab your fedora and take a trip with the Bowery Boys into the heart of New York City’s jazz scene — late nights, smoky bars, neon signs — through the eyes of one of the greatest American vocalists who ever lived here — Billie Holiday. Eleanora Fagan walked out of Pennsylvania Station in 1929 […]

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Holidays

On this Veteran’s Day, a salute to the Harlem Hellfighters!

The men of the 369th who were awarded France’s Criox de Guerre for distinguished acts of heroism:  Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s […]