Amusements and Thrills Sports Those Were The Days

The New York Game: Baseball in the Early Years

Baseball, as American as apple pie, really is “the New York game.” While its precursors come from many places – from Jamestown to Prague – the rules of American baseball and the modern ways of enjoying it were born from the urban experience and, in particular, the 19th-century New York region. The sport (in the… Read More

New York Islands Sports

The strange link between the New York Yankees and South Brother Island

This article is an excerpt of an entire mini-podcast on the history of South Brother Island, available to those who support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon (at the Five Points level and above). Join us on Patreon to listen today! This week’s latest podcast explores the dark and dramatic history of North Brother Island,… Read More

Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

Uncovering Hudson Yards: The hidden history beneath New York’s newest destination

PODCAST All the history that came before the development of Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s skyline-altering new project. Hudson Yards is America’s largest private real estate development, a gleaming collection of office towers and apartments overlooking a self-contained plaza with a shopping mall and a selfie-friendly, architectural curio known as The Vessel. By design, Hudson Yards feels international,… Read More


The Wise Guy of Baseball: Getting To Know Leo ‘The Lip’ Durocher

BOOK REVIEW The history of sports is often written around its most revered role models, as though the noble character of the greatest players comes from the purest devotion to their game. Leo Durocher, a sterling shortstop and manager for some of the greatest teams in baseball history, was no role model. In most ways, he was the… Read More

Bronx History Podcasts

A History of the Bronx Part Two: Building The Borough

PODCAST The story of how the Bronx became a part of New York City and the origin of some of the borough’s most famous landmarks. In the second part of the Bowery Boys’ Bronx Trilogy — recounting the entire history of New York City’s northernmost borough — we focus on the years between 1875 and… Read More


On The House: A history of New York City beer brewing

Behold the lager: A German variety of beer revolutionized American drinking, inspiring a new kind of drinking establishment (Courtesy the New-York Historical Society Inspired by ‘Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History‘, the terrific summer show at the New-York Historical Society, the latest Bowery Boys podcast explores the story of one of America’s greatest, most treasured… Read More


Boston vs. New York: You think this is just about sports? Origins of an epic rivalry, from Puritans to the Super Bowl

The Metropolitans vs. the Beaneaters, captioned: “Boston and New York players on opening day, 1886, at the Polo Grounds, 5th Ave. and 110th St., NYC. posed in front of stands; Boston player in back row on left has his middle finger raised in obscene gesture.”  LOC Eli Manning, Tom Brady — how heavy the burden… Read More

Cheers, College Point; A tribute to kooky Casey Stengel

I love this picture. There are so few century-old images of actual saloons that look like places you’d actually want to go into. This image, from 1905, of a handsome bar and its attentive staff was taken in College Point, Queens. Notice the beautiful cash register, the deer head overlooking any patrons and the food… Read More

Some wacky urban legends about New York City

In looking around for information on the blackout yesterday, I stumbled into one of my favorite sites Snopes, the debunking place for urban legend and Internet rumors. They have quite a selection of articles relating to New York City history, dispelling local myths and pointing out some of the city’s crazier moments. I put some… Read More

Hilltop Park: home base for NYC’s premier baseball team

A few hundred well-dressed men and a few women and children enter Hilltop Park, 1912 (See original photograph at Shorpy) This weekend marks the end of the regular season in Major League Baseball, as the New York Yankees head to the playoffs, and the New York Mets head to, well, I’m sure many very lovely,… Read More

George Steinbrenner: “Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa.”

Above: George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin And another from the former New York Yankees owner, who died of a heart attack today: “As I’ve always said, the way New Yorkers back us we have to produce for them.” Photo courtesy AP

Yet another page in New York Yankees history

History is always easy to follow with the New York Yankees, because they always repeat it. This is their 27th World Series win — a streak which began 86 years ago. They will of course receive a tickertape parade down the ‘Canyon of Heroes’, a tradition which has feted astronauts, foreign dignitaries and concert pianists.… Read More

Toots Shor’s and the art of celebrity male bonding

So make it one for my baby, And one more for the road FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, every other Friday we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s. Past entries… Read More

Yankee Stadium Opening Day: April 18, 1923

The first Yankee Stadium, all shiny and new in 1923 Today is opening day at the new high-tech Yankees Stadium as Derek Jeter and crew get used to that new stadium smell while fending off the Cleveland Indians. And legendary Yankees catcher and manager Yogi Berra, who turns 84 this year, will be there to… Read More

Hallelujah! Billy Sunday comes to town

ANATOMY OF A PHOTOGRAPH An occasional feature where we take a closer look at an old photo of New York City, to give the image some historical context and piece together the situations that led up to it. I ran the photograph above on Friday in reference to the early days of Pennsylvania Station. But… Read More