Categories
Parks and Recreation

Ten unusual views of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza

When park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux regrouped after the success of Central Park to design another great park for Brooklyn — encompassing Prospect Hill and the Revolutionary War site Battle Pass — they preserved a greater amount of natural topography than they had in Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean that Prospect Park […]

Categories
Parks and Recreation

PODCAST REWIND: A Short History of Prospect Park

PODCAST REWIND Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s biggest public space and home to the borough’s only natural forest, was a sequel for Olmsted and Vaux after their revolutionary creation Central Park. But can these two landscape architects still work together or will their egos get in the way? And what happens to their dream when McKim, Mead […]

Categories
Landmarks

It’s Open House New York 2015! Adventures await at these free sites

 Open House New York is the absolute best time of the year to wander the city and visit dozens of New York City’s greatest historical landmarks and architectural wonders.  Unfortunately, reservations for some of those places pretty much filled up within ten minutes. But never fear! This year, it seems that a great number of the most interesting […]

Categories
Brooklyn History Podcasts

Park Slope and the Story of Brownstone Brooklyn

PODCAST Park Slope — or simply the park slope, as they used to say — is best known for its spectacular Victorian-era mansions and brownstones, one of the most romantic neighborhoods in all of Brooklyn. It’s also a leading example of the gentrifying forces that are currently changing the make-up of the borough of Brooklyn to […]

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Parks and Recreation

Brooklyn’s Forgotten Lake: Pictures of Mount Prospect Reservoir

As you can see, the Bowery Boys: New York City  History blog has gone through some major changes this week.  We have a new URL (boweryboyshistory.com) and a dynamic new layout which will present articles, photographs and podcast audio is a more user-friendly way.  There’s still some backlogged clean up to do so thank you […]

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Podcasts

Bicycle Mania! The story of New York on two wheels, from velocipedes to ten-speeds — with women’s liberation in tow

  Alice Austen’s iconic photograph of a telegram bike messenger in 1896, a year where many New Yorkers were wild about bikes. Austen even rode one around with her camera.  PODCAST The bicycle has always seemed like a slightly awkward form of transportation in big cities, but in fact, it’s reliable, convenient, clean and — […]

Yosemite’s loss: Olmstead between the parks

Hopefully some of you are watching the Ken Burns multi-hour epic documentary The National Parks: America’s Great Idea, a fascinating but rather languid celebration of American preservation of its greatest natural treasures. I’m assuming that by Wednesday, Burns should get here to New York with discussion of two national monuments (the Statue of Liberty and […]

Prospect Park: suicide hot spot in the 19th century?

Cue the organ: Prospect Park can be a lonely place at times As I was doing my research for this week’s podcast, I happen to come across a alarming number of news articles reporting grim and often grisly suicides that occurred in Prospect Park during the late 19th century. What about Prospect Park made it […]

Prospect Park: Montgomery Clift’s final resting place

One curious fact we mentioned in our Prospect Park podcast is that classic film actor Montgomery Clift is actually buried here, in a quiet Quaker cemetery near the southwest entrance of the park. As far as I’m aware, entrance to the tombstones is locked, and its so cloistered away in the woods that it’s difficult […]

Categories
Podcasts

Prospect Park and the return of Olmsted and Vaux

Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s biggest public space and home to the borough’s only natural forest, was a sequel for Olmsted and Vaux after their revolutionary creation Central Park. But can these two landscape architects still work together or will their egos get in the way? And what happens to their dream when McKim, Mead and White […]

A nostalgic winter in Prospect Park

Above: Prospect Park becomes a winter wonderland back in January 7, 1886 The man’s name is George Winslow. The only thing I can find out about him is that he lived in Bay Ridge and was a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic. The photographer, Wallace G. Levison, also took some shots of his mother in the […]

A ride around New York’s remaining merry-go-rounds

Carousels aren’t really for kids anymore. Sure, you won’t see many adults truly captivated by the process of mounting a wooden animal and twirling in a circle. But well-preserved models of the famous amusements are nostalgia goldmines; tinkling calliope music and a few flashing light bulbs can sometimes capture a by-gone era more than a […]

New York’s best performances – Part 3

It’s funny that the decade in which New York is truly at its lowest — crime at its all time high, fiscal crisis, the city’s landmarks falling apart — also happens to be the best decade ever for films about New York. I’ve already listed Taxi Driver and Saturday Night Fever, but you could wax […]

The most famous tree in 1776

I often try and take my own pictures of various locales I speak about, however the battery of my camera died on me during my Prospect Park journey. The picture above of Lookout Hill and other amazing photography of New York landscapes by Dalton Rooney can be found here. —- What’s strange about talking about […]

New York salutes America’s favorite Frenchman

The Marquis de Lafayette might be a minor figure of the American Revolution for some people, but the French man takes center stage at the New York Historical Society with “French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s America.” (Pictured: the Marquis in Union Square) The show opened this Saturday with a host of costumed actors […]