Hands across New York

I snapped this picture of the giant hand of Madame Tussaud on 42nd Street this weekend, a golden appendage which ominously dangles above her popular wax museum. The massive amputation of a French woman reminded me of a similar disembodiment that occurred over 130 years ago. In 1876, in an effort to raise funds for… Read More


Ellis Island: When the world came to New York City

For millions of Americans, Ellis Island is the symbol of introduction, the immigrant depot that processed their ancestors and offered an opening into a new American life. But for some, it would truly be an ‘Island of Tears’, a place where they would be excluded from that life. How did an island with such humble… Read More

Lady Liberty loves her lucky charms

The Statue of Liberty, circa 1930, with its lawn decorated in some rather unusual symbols. Have you got your tickets to visit Lady Liberty’s crown yet?

Know Your Mayors: William Russell Grace

Our modest little series about some of the greatest, notorious, most important, even most useless, mayors of New York City. Other entrants in our mayoral survey can be found here. You can divide the mayors of New York into at least five different groups, with some obvious overlapping into one or more groupings: 1) Ladder… Read More

Spawn of the Statue of Liberty

You know an area of New York has achieved tourist saturation when the first ten people you see are all identically dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Performance artists regularly delight audiences near the city’s marquee tourist attractions — South Street Seaport, Central Park, Times Square. Most are truly worthy of the attention: the charismatic… Read More


PODCAST: Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church

We’ve never done such a saucy show — full of sex, lies, and petticoats. Meet Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn Heights’ most notorious resident, and find out about the fascinating and provocative history of the church that turned him into a national celebrity. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you… Read More

The History of (Destroying) New York City

I apologize for the second post in a row about films, but I had to ask the question, when did destroying New York become hot again? This Friday is the opening of I Am Legend, an adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic thriller about the last non-zombiefied human being alive. In this case, he resides in… Read More


PODCAST: The Statue of Liberty

Her torch may shine bright, but what story is she hiding under that copper-toned skin? The Bowery Boys bring you the story of the dinner party that created an American icon.   Her official name is the Statue of Liberty Enlightening The World. You can find a full survey of her measures here. Two facts… Read More

Ms. Liberty: Album model?

We cant help but be impressed by the striking new album cover for the Smashing Pumpkins’ new release Zeitgeist. In fact, it’s the best thing about the whole album. So we decided to investigate whether the Statue of Liberty has graced the cover of other albums. Like Billy Corgan and crew, the Dead Kennedys use… Read More