Categories
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 […]

Categories
The Knick Wartime New York

Knickerbocker Hospital: An inspiration for Cinemax’s The Knick

Photographed dated 1886, the institution was called Manhattan Hospital then, changing its name to J. Hood Wright Memorial Hospital, then to Knickerbocker Hospital in 1913 (Picture courtesy the Museum of the City of New York) On Friday begins The Knick on Cinemax, a historical drama set in the turn-of-the-century Knickerbocker Hospital. . Last year, Tom […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories

Get Rich Magic: The astral adventures of Madame La Viesta and the Occult School of Science on Lexington Avenue

Above: Famed spiritualists gather in Chicago, 1906. The names weren’t listed, but perhaps Mme. La Viesta is pictured here? (Courtesy Chicago Daily News/Library of Congress)  The Gilded Age brought us human beings of impossibly vast wealth.  It also brought us a mainstream appreciation of spiritualism, an exploration of  magic and the afterlife as a way […]

Categories
It's Showtime

Harlem on a high note: The grand Harlem Opera House

A ton of people on-stage at the Harlem Opera House in 1907. During this period, it was owned by vaudeville impresario Keith Proctor and called Proctor’s Harlem Opera House. Pictures courtesy the Museum of the City of New York   The Hotel Theresa, subject of this week’s podcast, had a rather unusual neighbor in its early […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Ten pictures of the New York winter we haven’t had (yet)

 So far this has been pretty much been a low-accumulation winter in New York City, with only a half-inch of measured snow in Central Park so far this season. The worst snowfall was technically last fall,  with that sloppy Nor’easter which hit just a few days after Sandy. But many of New York City’s most […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Ten pictures of the New York winter we haven’t had (yet)

Above: Sledding in Brooklyn Heights, from the corner of Henry and Joralemon Streets, according to the caption, ca. 1872-1887.  (Photographed by George Bernard Brainerd, courtesy Brooklyn Museum) So far this has been pretty much been a low-accumulation winter in New York City, with only a half-inch of measured snow in Central Park so far this […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Ladies, it’s your day! A Leap Year tradition, New York style

 â€œWhen a woman has reached the age of thirty there is nothing left for her but to be good. I am going to make clothes for the poor. Hand me down that roll of flannel, Rachel: I mean to begin at once.”  “If it will be any comfort to you, my dear,” began Rachel, soothingly, […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Langston Hughes: A few Harlem stops on his birthday

Dapper gentlemen: At a 1924 celebration in Langston’s honor, at the home of Regina Andrews on 580 St. Nicholas Avenue. The author is to the far left, followed by future sociologists Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier; novelist and future doctor Rudolph Fisher; and Hubert T. Delany, who would become a New York justice […]

The other African Burial Ground, in trouble in East Harlem

What lies beneath: “Site of the first church burying ground of New Harlem. Viewed from 127th Street and Willis Avenue Viaduct” (From the book New Harlem Past and Present, 1903 via NYT) Elmendorf Reformed Church, which traces its lineage to New Amsterdam and the earliest days of the village of Haarlem, currently makes its home […]

The ‘Wall-Scribblings’: Egypt, Rome, Harlem 1991

Photos from East Harlem, May 21, 1991, photographs by Ted Thai (courtesy the LIFE archive) “Graffiti or Wall-scribblings. Despite his withering touch, Time, the destroying angel, has here and there permitted some of the most fragile and evanescent things to remain as silent memorials of long past generations. Not least among these relics of ancient […]

Jungle Alley and wild nights at Connie’s Inn

Connie’s during the day, with the Tree of Hope directly in front of it FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, every other Friday we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s. Past […]

Know Your Mayors: David Dinkins

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. As we cap a historical week for our nation, it seems appropriate to take a brief look at New York City’s own first African-American leader, […]

Still ‘Burning’ after all these years

Above: the phenomenal Willi Ninja BOWERY BOYS RECOMMEND is an occasional feature whereby we find an unusual movie or TV show that — whether by accident or design — uniquely captures an era of New York City better than any reference or history book. Other entrants in this particular film festival can be found HERE. […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: The Apollo Theater

Harlem’s jewel, the Apollo Theater, has more than lived up to its promise as a place “where stars are born and legends are made.” It’s been the cultural centerpiece of New York for more than seven decades, not bad for a former burlesque theater. And find out which icon made his name — and held […]