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Film History Science

The original IMAX: Jacob Riis and his magic lantern

Jacob Riis changed the world with “How The Other Half Lives.” By using the new technology of flash photography, Riis was able to capture the squalid conditions of Manhattan tenements in a way no mere paragraph, drawing or sermon could. The startling photographs contained in this book did not originate there, however. Riis debuted them… Read More

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It's Showtime Podcasts

West Side Story: The Making of Lincoln Center

PODCAST Steven Spielberg’s new version of West Side Story is here — and it’s fantastic — so we’re re-visiting our 2016 show on the history of Lincoln Center, with a new show introduction discussing the film and the passing of musical icon Stephen Sondheim. Warm up the orchestra, lace up your dance slippers, and bring… Read More

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Bowery Boys Movie Club Podcasts

Ghostbusters: The Bowery Boys Movie Club explores New York’s slimiest supernatural comedy

EPISODE 344 We’ve now made our Bowery Boys Movie Club episode on the film Ghostbusters available for everyone. Listen to it today wherever you get your podcasts. This episode is brought to you by those who support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon. Join us there to get additional episodes of the new Patreon-only Bowery Boys Movie Club —… Read More

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Neighborhoods Parks and Recreation

Nostalgia for Astoria Pool, an early Robert Moses project with a high diving, Olympic-sized history

Astoria Pool is the largest venue for swimmers in New York, outside of the Hudson and East Rivers and, of course, the ocean. Its location in Astoria Park is certainly theatrical, parallel with the river and in sight of two spectacular bridges (the Robert F. Kennedy and the Hell Gate) that sail over to Randall’s Island.… Read More

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Parks and Recreation Podcasts

Robert Moses and the Art of the New Deal

PART ONE of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at the impact New Deal funding had in shaping the city’s infrastructure — from bridges and tunnels to neighborhood parks — how New York City uniquely benefited from this government program. EPISODE 337 New York City during… Read More

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Brooklyn History Film History

Motherless Brooklyn: 10 things to know before checking out Edward Norton’s detective film

Motherless Brooklyn, a radical retro transformation of Jonathan Lethem’s book of the same name, refits the bright noir of the movie Chinatown into 1950s New York City. Edward Norton, who wrote and directed this adaptation, also stars as its central figure — Lionel Essrog or simply Brooklyn, a detective with Tourette syndrome and a photographic… Read More

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Film History

The World of Today: How the New York World’s Fair connects to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The New York World’s Fair of 1939-40, held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, was an extravagant wonderland of ideas, filled with technological wonder and futuristic imagination. It was fun for all ages — if you could afford it. Children were a key audience, of course, and the fair was advertised to them in a variety… Read More

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Podcasts Queens History

The World of Tomorrow: Visiting the World’s Fair of 1939-40, the kitschy futurescape of Queens

PODCAST Visiting the first World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the unimaginable playground of the future, planted inescapably within the reality of the day. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the fourth largest park in New York City and the pride of northern Queens, has twice been the doorway to the future. Two world’s fairs have… Read More

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Queens History Revolutionary History

George Washington’s inauguration and the 1939 World’s Fair

Today (April 30th) is the 230th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, sworn in atFederal Hallas the first President of the United States.  It is also the 80th anniversary of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  That was not an accident. The monumental events of America’s founding would be immortalized by the fair in some rather unusual… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Sports

Opening Day at Shea Stadium: A nostalgic trip to the New York Mets’ beloved old home

Shea Stadium has been gone ten years now. With mourning fans looking on, the final section of seats were torn out on the morning of February 18, 2009. Awaiting fans a short distance away was the sparkling new Citi Field which would open for business with a thrilling game between the San Diego Padres and the field’s home… Read More

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Neighborhoods Robert Moses

‘Citizen Jane’: A new film explores the legacies of Moses and Jacobs

FILM REVIEW The story of Robert Moses versus Jane Jacobs has grown to such an epic scale by this point that it scarcely represents reality anymore. Their legacies have taken on super heroic form — the Avengers of New York City history, if you will — representing the basic evils of corrupt government and the essential good of… Read More

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Museums

Here’s how to view the new display ‘New York 1942’ at Gracie Mansion

Seventy-five years ago, in 1942, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses convinced Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to move his family from their home in East Harlem (Fifth Avenue and 109th Street) to an old mansion in Carl Schurz Park. It was the former home to merchant Archibald Gracie, built in 1799, to look out at the ships… Read More

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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

Categories
It's Showtime

Joseph Papp vs. Robert Moses: The saga of Shakespeare in the Park

PODCAST The fascinating story of the Public Theater and Joseph Papp’s efforts to bring Shakespeare to the people. (Episode #85) What started in a tiny East Village basement grew to become one of New York’s most enduring summer traditions, Shakespeare in the Park, featuring world class actors performing the greatest dramas of the age. But… Read More

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… Read More