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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Separate’: The origins of a catastrophic and disgraceful Supreme Court decision

The 1896 landmark Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson embedded and legitimized the practice of “separate but equal” into American life in the 20th century. The decision built racism into the fiber of everyday activities — schooling, housing, medical care, public transportation — and elevated personal prejudices into the realm of legality. It raised white and […]

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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, […]

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The First

The Lost Highway: The Tale of the Lincoln Highway, America’s First Cross Country Road

THE FIRST PODCAST  In 1900, there were about 8,000 registered automobiles in the United States. They were a genuine novelty. Those that attempted to go on ‘road trips’ met with a frustrating reality — there were no drivable roads, no unified road maps, no nation-wide infrastructure of gas stations or amenities. The first automobiles to […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

PODCAST REWIND: Remembering the original Pennsylvania Station

PODCAST The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Mead and White. It’s a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Find out why the original Penn Station was built to look so classical, why it was then torn […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The numbing horror of the New Haven line

The train gang: Grand Central Terminal, 1961, photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt (LIFE images) WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the […]