What a view! Library roof gardens in the Lower East Side

Click picture for greater detail Above is a picture, facing east, of Seward Park Library in the ‘lower’ Lower East Side at 192 E. Broadway (picture taken in 1911). This spectacular branch library, funded by Andrew Carnegie, opened in November 1909, two years before the 42nd Street main branch opened.  All of the housing behind […]

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Women's History

The 25 Most Influential Women in New York City History

ABOVE: These are the ladies who lunch in Prospect Park 1935 We talk about a lot of white men on the Bowery Boys podcast. When discussing the mainstream history of the city, it’s pretty unavoidable. Men had the money, the power, the influence. Not to mention most of the corruption, the crime, the scandal. So […]

Categories
Women's History

The 25 Most Influential Women in New York City history

ABOVE: These are the ladies who lunch in Prospect Park 1935 We talk about a lot of white men on the Bowery Boys podcast. When discussing the mainstream history of the city, it’s pretty unavoidable. Men had the money, the power, the influence. Not to mention most of the corruption, the crime, the scandal. So […]

Bloomberg’s Time Square plan: a blast from the past?

ABOVE: Park Avenue — before the cars came I’ve posted the extraordinary picture above of pre-1920s Park Avenue a couple times in the past, but I wanted to do so again in light of Michael Bloomberg’s recent proposal to turn Times Square and Herald Square into partial traffic-free plazas. His plan calls for “traffic lanes […]

Spring cleaning, Lower East Side style

One hundred and nine years ago, this could have been your bedroom. Members of the New York City Tenement House Department have the unfortunate task of inspecting this tenement living room. The Tenement House Department was created in 1900 by the state to monitor tenement construction and ostensibly improve living conditions in the most squallid […]

The original IMAX: Jacob Riis and his magic lantern

Above: a 1889 image of a typical magic lantern show, this particular one from London. At Riis’ shows, he would stand next to the images, providing thrilling narration Jacob Riis changed the world with “How The Other Half Lives.” By using the new technology of flash photography, Riis was able to capture the squalid conditions […]

Bowery Boys get older! Plus: 200 years of fire hydrants

Early engraving of some Bowery b’hoys lolling about a fire hydrant, up to no good Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our very first podcast. We just want to say thank you to everybody who has subscribed on iTunes and other podcast services. Our first year has been a huge success and we have […]

Prisoners of the Lower East Side

Kurt Russell had it easy Despite being in sight of two boroughs and a very large airport, Rikers Island lulls us with psychological assurance of feeling remote and entirely sequestered from our regular world. But never fear, New Yorkers; there are prisons all over the damn city. Take the Bayview Correctional Facility, a former Seaman’s […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: Katz’s Delicatessen

We stop for a nosh at three Jewish culinary stalwarts of the Lower East Side — Katz’s Delicatessen (a movie-friendly dining experience), Russ and Daughters (a tale of herrings and girl power) and the Yonah Schimmel Knishery (and its surprising connection to Coney Island). Listen to it here or download it from iTunes and other […]

The Pickle Civil War!

It’s odd to hear people speak passionately about pickles, as if they’re a lifestyle. But that’s how people talk about Guss Pickles, the self-proclaimed ‘largest pickle emporium in the world’ and an institution of the Lower East Side since 1910. But as you shall see, those calling themselves the ‘largest’ and that store currently sitting […]

Pictures from a perfect day

We think of the Lower East Side now as being a tolerant mix of different cultures — Jewish, Chinese, Hispanic, many others, including that ever popular pseudo distinction ‘the hipster’ — but a current photographic exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum proves that things were even more vastly divergent and varied. Rebecca Lepkoff was […]