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Podcasts Roaring 20s

Celebrate the Roaring ’20s with these Bowery Boys podcasts

One hundred years ago, American rang in the 1920s in a most somber and sober way. The perception of the next several years becoming characterized in American culture as a gay and frollicking decade — a ‘Jazz Age’ — was far from the minds of Americans in 1920. From the New York Times (1/1/1920): “Hard […]

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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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Those Were The Days

New York City in the Jazz Age! Presenting Our Podcast Summer Series

The Bowery Boys are heading to the speakeasy and kicking back with some bathtub gin this August — with a brand new summer series focusing on New York City in the Jazz Age. The 1920s were a transformational decade for New York, evolving from a Gilded Age capital to the ideal of the modern international […]

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Holidays

Midnight in Times Square: The history of New Year’s Eve in New York City

PODCAST The tale of New York City’s biggest annual party from its inception on New Years Eve 1904 to the magnificent spectacle of the 21st century.  In this episode, we look back on the one day of the year that New Yorkers look forward.  New Years Eve is the one night that millions of people […]

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Neighborhoods

Hell’s Kitchen: New York’s Wild West

PODCAST Hell’s Kitchen, on the far west side of Midtown Manhattan, is a neighborhood of many secrets. The unique history of this working class district veers into many tales of New York’s criminal underworld and violent riots which have shaken the streets for over 150 years. This sprawling tenement area was home to some of the most notorious slums in […]

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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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Friday Night Fever

Recalling the opening of Roseland Ballroom at the start of Prohibition, the ‘phantasmal’ atmosphere, the private dancer

The Roseland Ballroom closes its doors next month on April 7th after a round of Lady Gaga concerts.  The storied big band venue — the ‘world’s foremost ballroom cafe’ — originally opened on December 31, 1919 at 1658 Broadway (at 50th/51st Street).  In the 1950s, it moved to its present location on 52nd Street, a […]

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True Crime

PBS’s ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’: Jazz Age murder mysteries and the beleaguered forensics team who solved them

Charles Norris and the toxicology laboratory at Bellevue Hospital [source]The Poisoner’s HandbookPBS: American ExperiencePremieres January 7, 20148pm EST / 7pm CST“In 1922 101 New Yorkers hanged themselves.  Four hundred forty-four died in car accidents.  Twenty were crushed in elevators.  There were 237 fatal shootings and 34 stabbings.  And that year, nine hundred and ninety-seven New Yorkers died […]

Times Squared: Lovingly nitpicking ‘The Great Gatsby’ trailer

The recent trailer to Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, aka ‘Moulin Rouge in Manhattan’, seems to have left everyone in a state of awe (and horror) in its vivid, hyper-electro-glossy depiction of Prohibition-era New York. And it left many feeling slight panic, even apoplexy, especially considering the entire spectacle will be rendered in 3D when […]

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On The Waterfront

The South Street kidnappings: During Prohibition, did ‘shanghai gangs’ really lurk in the shadow of the ports?

The old port at night was no place to be. Weathered taverns and boardinghouses sit next to uninhabited warehouses, separated by dimly lit South Street from the shadow of rocking masts and creaking piers that sank into the black water of the East River. A lonely sailor, soused from the wares of the cheapest Water […]

The cat’s meow: NYC in the 1920s, through a gauzy haze

Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring 20sBy David WallaceLyons Press REVIEW ‘Capital of the World’ is a delicious but high-calorie Whitman’s sampler of New York City delights during the 1920s. It is no surprise to find that it is authored by journalist David Wallace, whose publishing career is […]

Dinner at Sardi’s: New York celebrity history, wall to wall

PODCAST The famous faces on the walls of Sardi’s Restaurant represent the entertainment elite of the 20th Century, and all of them made this place on West 44th Street their unofficial home. Known for its kooky caricatures and its Broadway opening-night traditions, Sardi’s fed the stars of the golden age and became a hotspot for producers, […]

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. […]

Welcome to The Pansy Club: leave your wig at the door

Above: Karyl Norman welcomes you to the Pansy Club!FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, on occasional Fridays 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 can be found here. LOCATION: […]

The Roaring Twenties: a boozy old Hollywood bio

BOWERY BOYS RECOMMEND is an occasional feature where we find an unusual movie or TV show that — whether by accident or design — uniquely captures an era of New York City better than any reference or history book. Other entrants in this particular film festival can be found HERE. New York during the Prohibition […]