Categories
Podcasts Revolutionary History

New York City during the Revolutionary War: Besieged and occupied by the British (1776-1783)

PODCAST What was life like in New York City from the summer of 1776 to the fall of 1783 — the years of British occupation during the Revolutionary War? New York plays a very intriguing role in the story of American independence. The city and the surrounding area were successfully taken by the British by […]

Categories
The First

This Morbid Invention: The Terrible Story of the First Electric Chair

THE FIRST PODCAST The story of how electricity became a tool of death for the state of New York and the strange circumstances behind the invention of the electric chair. The harnessing of electricity by the great inventors of the Gilded Age introduced the world to the miracle of light at all hours of the day. […]

Categories
On The Waterfront True Crime

The tale of Newgate, the New York state prison in the West Village

You may not be aware of the Weehawken Historic District, a collection of 14 buildings of unique architectural character in the far West Village.  It lies at the foot of Christopher Street and centers around the one-block-long Weehawken Street. You really should take a stroll down here. It will take you all of one minute; the street […]

The legend of bank robber ‘Red’ Leary, his wife Kate, and the greatest jail break in Lower East Side history

 ‘Red’ Leary was one of the famous bank robbers of the 1870s, assisting in heists all along the Northeast. Above is an illustration of a bank robbery in Montreal, Canada, displaying some of the tools found at the crime scene. They don’t talk about ‘Red’ Leary anymore down in the streets of the Lower East […]

Categories
Revolutionary History

From prison to post office: The odd fate of a Dutch church

Say a prayer for the Middle Dutch Church (pictured here from sometime before the war) as things are about to get very ugly.  One need only walk through the Limelight Marketplace — perhaps stopping to grab a slice of Grimaldi’s pizza or a champagne damask lace duvet at Brocade Home — to understand the strange […]

Roosevelt Island: New York’s former ‘city of asylums’

The original Smallpox Hospital, designed by James Renwick, still stands today thanks to diligent restoration. (Click pic for detailed view) PODCAST Listen to it for FREE on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or click this link to listen to the show or download it directly from our satellite site Looking north over Roosevelt Island, which cleanly […]

Mysteries of Roosevelt Island: Jailhouse jitters

We’ve got some more on that wacky, wonderful place called Roosevelt Island. We highlighted some of the spookier stuff last week. Read it all here. I mentioned earlier that Roosevelt Island was named for a Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial that was never built there. Perhaps the reason that doesn’t bother anybody is that’s a far […]