Categories
Health and Living

Quarantine on the Lower East Side: A frightening tale from 1892

The neighborhood converging at the intersections of Essex Street, Rutgers Street, Canal Street and East Broadway on the Lower East Side — officially called Straus Square** — somehow seems exactly as it might have looked 125 years ago. Anchored by Seward Park and its beautiful Carnegie library, it retains some of its turn-of-the-century character, while […]

Categories
Food History Podcasts

Just Desserts: The origins of New York cheesecake, cannoli and other glorious sweet things

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren’t just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today. The origins of some of these […]

Categories
Health and Living The Alienist

Scenes from New York’s public baths: How tenement dwellers got clean and cool (The Alienist)

HISTORY BEHIND THE SCENE What’s the real story behind that historical scene from your favorite TV show or feature film? A semi-regular feature on the Bowery Boys blog, we will be reviving this series as we follow along with TNT’s limited series The Alienist. Look for other articles here about other historically themed television shows (Mad Men, The […]

Categories
Podcasts

Tales of a Tenement: Three Families Under One Roof

In today’s show, we’ll continue to explore housing in New York, but move far from the mansions of Fifth Avenue to the tenements of the Lower East Side in the 20th Century. Specifically, we’ll be visiting one building, 103 Orchard Street, which is today part of the Tenement Museum. ___________________________________________________________________________ The Bowery Boys: New York […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Two terrific, original NYC films, now streaming for free

Looking for something to watch this week or over the July 4th holiday? Two excellent films about New York City history and culture are now available for streaming for FREE and we are happy to recommend both to you:   Off Track Betty, a short dramatic film by Clayton Dean Smith, is a tribute (and […]

Categories
Religious History

The Lower East Side lost a unique relic, a ruin of historical significance

Last night a haunting and inconceivable ruin of the Lower East Side was mysteriously destroyed in a massive fire. The abandoned shell of the old synagogue Beth Hamedrash Hagodol has been a feature of life of Norfolk Street, stubbornly nestled next to apartment buildings, a vestige of the past clinging to the present without care […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

A Culinary Tour of the Lower East Side

PODCAST A flavorful walk through the Lower East Side, exploring the neighborhood’s most famous foods. Join Tom as he experience the tastes of another era by visiting some of the oldest culinary institutions of the Lower East Side. From McSorley’s to Katz’s, Russ & Daughters and Economy Candy — when did these shops open, who did […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Where They Lived: Remembering the victims of The Triangle Factory Fire

On this day in 1911, late in the afternoon, fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, located on the upper floors of a ten-story building near Washington Square Park. Due to odious practices by the factory’s supervisors, the doorways were blocked and the fire escapes were in poor shape. Hundreds of employees, mostly young immigrant women, […]

Categories
Amusements and Thrills

Hey gang, let’s go down to the Recreation Pier!

The end of the 19th century saw many new ways to get people out of New York City’s over-crowded tenement districts, with trains to beach havens like Coney Island and Rockaway Beach and steamers making day-trips up the Hudson River and to spots in Long Island. For those who didn’t have the luxury of a free afternoon,  some […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

The Grand Tale of Orchard Street and Life on the Lower East Side

PODCAST  The Lower East Side is one of the most important neighborhoods in America with a rich history as dense as its former living quarters.  Thousands of immigrants experienced American life on these many crowded streets. In this podcast, we look at this extraordinary cultural phenomenon through the lens of one of those — Orchard Street. Its […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Joyful mourning: The Lower East Side honors a forgotten star

An extraordinary photograph of Yiddish theater stars!  Front row: Jacob Adler, Sigmund Feinman, Sigmund Mogulesko, Rudolph Marx;  Back row: Mr. Krastoshinsky and David Kessler For a passionate sub-set of New Yorkers, Mogulesko was everything. The Romanian-born theater star Sigmund (also written as Zigmund or Zelig) Mogulesko came to America in 1886 already a star of Europe’s […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Dollhouses, skully and puddles: Lower East Side children, actually having fun

Girls with a pretty amazing dollhouse at Seward Park playground.  Photo labeled August 1913 I’ll be traveling for the next few days so I’ll be posting here a bit less than normal. Next week I’ll re-post some interesting stories from the back catalog. Enjoy your weekend! I recently discovered this first image in a collection […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Five items from the Village Voice, 50 years ago this week

Washington Square North, looking west, 1950, photo by Walter Sanders, Life Magazine The entire back catalog of the Village Voice, New York’s original alternative weekly, is available online through Google News.  The early issues are especially full of character, a scrappy counter-culture organ which provides an interesting window into downtown Manhattan.  Here are some highlights […]

Categories
Health and Living

The world in glasses: Theodore Roosevelt, fictional athletes, glamorous secretaries, even the Bowery Boys!

If glasses are fashionable today, you can thank President Theodore Roosevelt, whose stylish C-bridge pince-nez diminished the reputation as mere apparel for the weak. — The Bowery Boys are featured this week on the official blog of Warby Parker, the fashionable eyewear company specialize in vintage-style prescription frames and sunglasses.  Thanks to Dixie Roberts for […]

Categories
The Knick

The Lower East Side went back in time this week

Was this photograph taken yesterday on the set of Steven Soderbergh’s new mini-series The Knick, or was it taken back in the 1910s?  The answer is at the bottom of this blog post! This week, a little stage magic is manifesting in the Lower East Side. The Broome Street of 2013 has been turned briefly into […]