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Podcasts The Jazz Age

Jimmy Walker, Mayor of the Jazz Age (NYC and the Roaring ’20s Part One)

PODCAST For the first part in our New York City in the Roaring Twenties summer mini-series, we’re hitting the town with “Beau James,” New York’s lively and fun-loving mayor Jimmy Walker. [geo_mashup_map] The 1920s were a transformational decade for New York, evolving from a Gilded Age capital to the ideal of the modern international city. Art […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Skyscrapers

Supreme City: The ascent of Midtown Manhattan in the 1920s

A view of Midtown Manhattan, looking southeast, by the Wurts Brothers (NYPL)Supreme CityHow Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern Americaby Donald L. MillerSimon & Schuster Supreme City, by Donald L. Miller, certainly one of the most entertaining books on New York City history I’ve read in the past couple years, is also one of […]

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Podcasts Pop Culture

New York City in the Golden Age of Television: Behind the scenes with nine classic TV shows filmed in the city

The Beatles in one of their many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. [source]PODCAST This is the second part of the Bowery Boys TV Mini-Series, covering the years of New York City television production from the late 1940s to the 1960s.  Some of the most classic television shows ever made — and many still around today […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘New York Neon’: A history of the city’s most mythical lights

A sizzling 52nd Street in July 1948 (courtesy LOC)BOWERY BOYS BOOK OF THE MONTH Each month I’ll pick a book — either brand new or old, fiction or non-fiction — that offers an intriguing take on New York City history, something that uses history in a way that’s uniquely unconventional or exposes a previously unseen […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

Motor hotels: Manhattan’s most luxurious parking garage “Your car never touched by human hands!”

If you don’t already check in to the marvelous Modern Mechanix blog from time to time, then you’re missing out on some retro-futuristic genius. The blog usually highlights visionary drawings from the Modern Mechanics archives. But in the case of one illustration from May 1929, one particular wacky, wondrous dream was actually carried out — […]

Bridge Whist Club: The worst booze your taxes can buy!

Just a barrel of laughs: Prohibition agents dump illegal containers of wine into the streets. FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, on occasional Fridays we’ll be featuring an historic New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of the old Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s. […]

The Trans-Lux experience: Madison Avenue’s ‘modern’ mini-movie house

I’m a sucker for severe electric-laden art-deco theaters like the Trans-Lux Modern Theater, once located on the corner of 58th Street and Madison Avenue. Most every midtown theater in the 1920s dabbled into electric signage to grab attention. But Trans-Lux worked in the opposite direction. To underscore the importance of illuminated billboards in New York, […]

Categories
Mysterious Stories

Supernatural Stories of New York: spooky seances, violent Jazz Age ghosts and an island of despair

PODCAST It’s our fourth annual Halloween history special, and we’ve got four bloodcurdling stories for the season. The first three are spooky ghost tales — a haunted boardinghouse on 14th street with violent, vain spirits; a short history of New York’s seance craze and a man tormented by the spirit of a dead painter; and […]