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Landmarks

The Plaza Hotel: From the Champagne Porch to the Black and White Ball

PODCAST REWIND  The Plaza Hotel has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City, a romantic throwback to the last days of the Gilded Age. It epitomized the changes that were arriving on Fifth Avenue, steering away from the private mansions of the moneyed class and towards a certain kind of communal living […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Great Gatsby’s New York City, in ten different scenes, from the Queensboro Bridge to the Plaza Hotel

BOWERY BOYS BOOK OF THE MONTH Each month I’ll pick a book — either brand new or old, fiction or non-fiction — that offers an intriguing take on New York City history, something that uses history in a way that’s uniquely unconventional or exposes a previously unseen corner of our city’s complicated past.  Then over the […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Great Gatsby’s New York City, in ten different scenes, from the Queensboro Bridge to the Plaza Hotel

BOWERY BOYS BOOK OF THE MONTH The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald I re-read The Great Gatsby a few weeks ago on purpose, not because I had a school assignment. Unlike my first experience with Gatsby at age 14, I actually read it, without the signposts of a Cliff’s Notes to tell me what […]

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Landmarks

The many mysterious and tragic events that befell the Woolworths after constructing the Woolworth Building

The dramatic Woolworth mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery  With completion of the Woolworth Building in 1913, the leader of the five-and-dime retail craze Frank W. Woolworth had his grand declaration of success in New York, widely feted and proclaimed.  His hundreds of stores would go on to define the shopping experience around the world over the […]

History in the Making: Ain’t It Strange Edition

The National Book Award for Non-Fiction was awarded last night to a book loaded with gritty New York History — ‘Just Kids’, the lovely memoir by Patti Smith about her friendship with Robert Maplethorpe. If you’re a fanatic of Manhattan in the ’70s, it’s simply a must-read, from meandering along St. Mark’s Place to hanging […]

Stopping time: Enrico Caruso’s Plaza tantrum

Caruso, wearing the big white turban, during the 1916-17 performance at the Met The Plaza Hotel might have been built on the fortunes of a barbed-wire magnate, but its continued existence throughout the years partially stems from its popularity amongst the bold-print set. Celebrities, however, come with a drawback. Along with their famous name and […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: The Plaza Hotel

It got off to a rocky start, but the Plaza Hotel has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. We take a look at its kooky history, from its days as an upper class ‘transient hotel’ to a party place for celebrities. Starring: Henry Hardenberg, Eloise, Truman Capote and of course […]

Paris Theatre: an art house as classic as its films

The Paris Theatre, as eccentric as any film its ever played, has the benefit of having the Plaza Hotel and Central Park to ensure it never goes out of style. But the history of this romantic and occasionally radical movie house, now in its 60th year of screening art house and foreign features, is as […]

Wild girls, rock music and the Plaza Hotel!

(picture courtesy the NY Post) Scandalous, I know, but I was out of town on Monday and missed the 100th anniversary party for The Plaza Hotel, the famous French Renaissance playground-lodge for the rich, very rich and famous. It seems wrong not to have had at least one Bowery Boy there. Oh well. The Plaza […]