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Brooklyn History Podcasts

The History of DUMBO, the Brooklyn neighborhood built upon a legacy of coffee and cardboard boxes

PODCAST The history of Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood — from its industrial past to its hi-tech future. Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) is, we think, a rather drab name for a historically significant place in Brooklyn where some of the daily habits of everyday Americans were invented. This industrial area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges traces […]

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Those Were The Days

Housewives demand open markets! One century ago, New York radically changed how people bought groceries

Setting up a market under the Manhattan Bridge. (Courtesy MCNY. Note: This photo may be of an earlier market here, but this gives you an idea of where the 1914-15 markets would have been located.) Groceries are becoming more expensive as retailers mark up prices due to food shortages (or simple price gouging at perceived […]

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Those Were The Days

2012! Will this be the year New York gets moving sidewalks?

Have you ever walked down a New York sidewalk and thought, “I’m wasting so much energy creating my own forward motion. Why can’t the sidewalk do some of the work?” In one vision of the future, city sidewalks operated as a conveyor belt, whisking people to their destination in a steady stream of moving seats. […]

Critical mass: Montgomery Schuyler on the bridges

Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, well before the FDR Drive. New York Times architectural critic Montgomery Schuyler passed away in 1914, just as New York was entering a new era of the skyscraper. Schuyler was “a stanch advocate … who believed it was a legitimate development and architectural expression of the times.” An unfortunate loss, […]

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Podcasts

Manhattan Bridge: New York City’s dysfunctional classic

[from Flickr, taken by ajagendorf25] We love the Manhattan Bridge, but there’s no doubt it’s had a rocky history. For one hundred years, it’s withstood more than just comparisons to its far more iconic neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge. Built to relieve pressure on the East River’s best known bridge, the Manhattan Bridge went through two […]

Manhattan Bridge, 100 years ago

A view of a work in progress, January 1909 (Click for greater detail)