Categories
Food History

Kings of New York Pizza: The tale of many Rays, a few Patsys, and one Lombardi

PODCAST REWIND  New Yorkers are serious about their pizza, and it all started with a tiny grocery store in today’s Little Italy and a group of young men who became the masters of pizza making. In this podcast, you’ll find out all about the city’s oldest and most revered pizzerias — Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, John’s, Grimaldi’s […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Columbus Discovers Columbus Circle

There are a great many statues in New York City of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, a rather controversial figure today who many consider to be a sadist and a bumbling idiot who destroyed indigenous cultures in the name of European glory.  He was obviously more celebrated at the end of the 19th century when colonization and violent conquest were still […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Finding Pietro

One of you may be related to Pietro, the boy in the picture. He was one of thousands of Italian immigrants who arrived in New York in the 1870s-80s.  He seems to have been intelligent and even exceptional, weathering a set of truly dreary circumstances that would have defeated most men. Pietro was not yet 13 years old […]

Categories
It's Showtime Podcasts

Rudolph Valentino, the seductive, tragic idol of the Jazz Age

  PODCAST  Rudolph Valentino was an star from the early years of Hollywood, but his elegant, randy years in New York City should not be forgotten.  They helped make him a premier dancer and a glamorous actor. And on August 23, 1926, this is where the silent film icon died.   Valentino arrived in Ellis Island in 1913, one of […]

Theodore Roosevelt and the Case of the Master Mind! Is it the Black Hand or something even stranger?

Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, in a rare shot with his pince-nez lowered. Checking the mailbox was a frightening experience for some New Yorkers almost a century ago. Some found extortion notes — threatening letters, demanding large sums of money or else — courtesy Italian gangsters collectively referred to in the press as The Black Hand. […]

Theodore Roosevelt and the Case of the Master Mind! Is it the Black Hand or something even stranger?

Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, in a rare shot with his pince-nez lowered. Checking the mailbox was a frightening experience for some New Yorkers almost a century ago. Some found extortion notes — threatening letters, demanding large sums of money or else — courtesy Italian gangsters collectively referred to in the press as The Black Hand. […]

Categories
Parks and Recreation

That time Christopher Columbus annoyed Robert Moses

Christopher Columbus is among the most honored figures in New York statuary, appearing abundantly throughout the five boroughs — standing prominently, nestled in parks and squares, peering from building features. I’ve located a seemingly complete list of New York Columbus monuments, strangely enough, on a German website, inclusive even of Chris’s appearance of 8th Avenue subway […]