Categories
The First

The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (Special Preview of The First Podcast)

This is a special preview for the new Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences, brought to you by Bowery Boys host Greg Young. 01: The first Ferris Wheel was invented to become America’s Eiffel Tower, making its grand debut at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The wheel’s […]

Categories
Christmas Pop Culture

The real ‘Miracle On 34th Street’: 21 great historical details from New York City’s most famous Christmas movie

The Bowery Boys Obsessive Guides look very, very closely at a classic movie filmed in New York City, finding buried history, additional context and a few secrets within various scenes and plot points. Filled with film spoilers so read this after you’ve seen the movie — or use it to follow along as you watch […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Inside Gimbels traverse, the secret perch near Herald Square

Looking up to the Gimbels traverse overhead on 32nd Street (Flickr/Docking Bay 93) One of our podcast listeners Alexander Rea sent over the following photographs of a tucked-away place in one of the busiest areas of New York City — the Gimbels traverse on W. 32nd Street, in the Herald Square shopping district. No doubt you’ve […]

Categories
Those Were The Days Wartime New York

The adventures of Tony Pizzo, the sailor handcuffed to a bike

It’s Fleet Week!  The streets of New York are filled with hundreds of Marines and sailors who arrived yesterday in New York Harbor.  I’m pretty sure, however, that none of them hit the streets handcuffed to a bicycle. That distinction goes to the enigmatic Tony Pizzo who, in 1919, rode his bicycle from Los Angeles […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Shower time: Drive-thru horse washes in Herald Square

I’m grateful to see horses getting a little love in the waning years of regular horse-drawn vehicles in New York. But never realized they had their own drive-thru horse wash! This 1912 horse recuperation station was made possible by William J. Gane, the proprietor of a few Herald Square moving picture houses and a ‘pioneer […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories

The owls are not what they seem: It appears the clock in Herald Square may not be a portal for the Illuminati after all

Pic courtesy Brecthbug/Flickr Bummer. I so wanted the spectacular owl-infested Herald Square clock, once perched atop the offices of the New York Herald across the street, to be a secret meeting portal for the Illuminati. I facetiously brought up the theory in our December podcast on the history of Herald Square.  Upon the door of […]

Four New York City landmarks turn 100 years old this year

1) Grand Central TerminalThe Grand Central Depot was first built at 42nd Street in 1871 as a hub for Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad operations. It was greatly expanded at the turn of the century. and by this time, the tracks headed north were electrified and buried, creating Park Avenue. The present terminal was conceived in 1903 […]

Four New York City landmarks turn 100 years old this year

1) Grand Central TerminalThe Grand Central Depot was first built at 42nd Street in 1871 as a hub for Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad operations. It was greatly expanded at the turn of the century. and by this time, the tracks headed north were electrified and buried, creating Park Avenue. The present terminal was conceived in 1903 […]

Eleven breathtaking views of the New York Herald Building, one of midtown Manhattan’s earliest tourist attractions

Click into the images within this post for a more closeup view! When the extravagant James Gordon Bennett Jr. decided to move the offices of the New York Herald from grimy, old Park Row to the frenzy of uptown Manhattan, he wanted something spectacular and eye-catching.  As we mentioned in our newest podcast on the […]

Eleven breathtaking views of the New York Herald Building, one of midtown Manhattan’s earliest tourist attractions

Click into the images within this post for a more closeup view! When the extravagant James Gordon Bennett Jr. decided to move the offices of the New York Herald from grimy, old Park Row to the frenzy of uptown Manhattan, he wanted something spectacular and eye-catching.  As we mentioned in our newest podcast on the […]

A whirlwind tour of Herald Square: More than just Macy’s, the intersection of publishing, theater and debauchery

Herald Square at night, 1910, with the flurry of shoppers, the churn of printing presses, the clanking and soot exhaust of the elevated train, the rush of the streetcar. The theaters, the drinking, the dancing. (Courtesy the blog Ajax All Purpose Blog) PODCAST Welcome to the secret history of Herald Square, New York City’s second […]

A whirlwind tour of Herald Square: More than just Macy’s, the intersection of publishing, theater and debauchery

Herald Square at night, 1910, with the flurry of shoppers, the churn of printing presses, the clanking and soot exhaust of the elevated train, the rush of the streetcar. The theaters, the drinking, the dancing. (Courtesy the blog Ajax All Purpose Blog) PODCAST Welcome to the secret history of Herald Square, New York City’s second […]

Categories
Christmas

Christmas in the afternoon: A tour around Greeley Square

I’m not 100% sure on the date of this photo, but I’ll place it in the late 1940s, as Life photographer Nina Leen did a great many photoshoots for the magazine in this period. The statue of Horace Greeley sits astride the big Christmas tree as perfect afternoon light casts shadows upon the corner of 33rd and […]

Will an aquarium come to midtown Manhattan– again?

From a pack of old, aquatic themed ‘cigarette cards’, naturally [NYPL]Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that a Canadian developer may bring a luxury, multi-floor aquarium to a new skyscraper in Times Square. The proposed aquatic amusement, to feature “sharks, rays, penguins, otters” and a pirate museum, would liven up the freshly built, so-called 11 […]

100 Years Ago: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden opens

Photo by Louis Buhle (1915), courtesy of the BBG The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is celebrating its 100th anniversay this year. Like Flushing Meadow-Corona Park in Queens, the Garden was created out of an ash dump, landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers (later of Fort Tryon fame), “for the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge and love […]