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Bowery Boys Movie Club Podcasts

Midnight Cowboy: I’m Walkin’ Here! Celebrating a gritty New York film classic

We’ve now made our Bowery Boys Movie Club episode on the film Midnight Cowboy available for everyone. Listen to it today wherever you get your podcasts. Midnight Cowboy, released one month before the Stonewall Riots, depicts several alternative scenes that were thriving in New York City in the late 1960s — from wild psychedelic parties to the sleazy movie theaters […]

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Bowery Boys Movie Club

On The Town: Three sailors on a New York escapade in the latest Bowery Boys Movie Club

Join the Bowery Boys Movie Club! Support us on Patreon at any level and get these Patreon-exclusive, full-length and ad-free podcast. Each month we talk about one classic (or cult-classic) film that says something interesting about New York City. In the new Bowery Boys Movie Club, Tom and Greg disembark at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and spend a breathless 24 […]

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Neighborhoods

The naming of Times Square: Becoming the Crossroads of the World — 115 years ago today!

On April 8, 1904, the former horse-and-carriage district known as Longacre Square was renamed for a tenant who had just moved to the neighborhood.The New York Times was building a new office tower on the slim odd-shaped block at 42nd Street between Broadway and 7th Avenue. Meanwhile, below ground, the city had built a pivotal new subterranean station for […]

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Holidays Podcasts

A New Year in Old New York: A history of celebration from Times Square to Chinatown

PODCAST The ultimate history of New Year’s celebrations in New York City. This is the story of the many ways in which New Yorkers have ushered in the coming year, a moment of rebirth, reconciliation, reverence and jubilation. In a mix of the old and new, we present a history of early New Year’s festivities, before […]

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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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The Deuce

Returning to Times Square in the 1970s with HBO and two James Francos

Will The Deuce succeed where Vinyl failed? I was disappointed that HBO’s luxury period series about the 1970s music industry quickly faded after only one season, but it appears the network is going back into New York City history with a hotter, sleazier concept. (And Vinyl was very, very sleazy.) The Deuce takes aim at […]

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American History

Election Night 1916: With a world war looming, America goes to the polls

One hundred years ago today, Americans went to the polls to vote for the President of the United States — between the Democrat and incumbent President Woodrow Wilson and the Republican Charles Evans Hughes. The election was held on November 7, 1916, and it’s interesting to peruse the details of the day itself and the headlines from the […]

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Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

Digital City: New York and the World of Video Games

PODCAST The history of video games and arcades in New York City. New York has an interesting, complex and downright weird relationship with the video game, from the digital sewers below Manhattan to the neon-lit arcades of Times Square.  It’s not all nostalgia and nerviness; video games in the Big Apple have helped create communities and […]

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Neighborhoods Preservation

Jane Jacobs, born 100 years ago today! Celebrate with a weekend walk.

Jane Butzner was born 100 years ago in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Jane Jacobs died on April 25, 2006, in Toronto, Canada. But for much of her life in between, she changed the way people thought about cities from her perch in North America’s largest — New York City. Jane Jacobs was a revolutionary thinker in an age where […]

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Holidays

Midnight in Times Square: The history of New Year’s Eve in New York City

PODCAST The tale of New York City’s biggest annual party from its inception on New Years Eve 1904 to the magnificent spectacle of the 21st century.  In this episode, we look back on the one day of the year that New Yorkers look forward.  New Years Eve is the one night that millions of people […]

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Pop Culture

History in the Making 11/18: Celebrated Jumping Frogs Edition

Hoppin’ History: Samuel Clemens broke through 150 years ago today.  The man who would become Mark Twain first published his now famous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (under its original title “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” 150 years ago today in the New York Saturday Press.  I speak about this […]

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Parks and Recreation Podcasts

Bryant Park: The Fall and Rise of Midtown’s Most Elegant Public Space

NEW PODCAST  In our last show, we left the space that would become Bryant Park as a disaster area; its former inhabitant, the old Crystal Palace, had tragically burned to the ground in 1858.  The area was called Reservoir Square for its proximity to the imposing Egyptian-like structure to its east, but it wouldn’t keep that name for […]

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Neighborhoods

The Neon Beautiful: Images of New York at Night 1946

“In New York the first lights start to come on at night long before the last light has gone out of the sky.”   In 1939, a young Paris-born photographer named Andreas Feininger moved from his home in Germany to the United States. He took a job at Life Magazine in 1943, a few years after […]

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Neighborhoods

The naming of Times Square — 110 years ago today!

Looking south towards the Times Building, 1904 and 2013: Top pic courtesy Library of Congress; Bottom pic courtesy nyclovesnyc From the New York Times, April 9, 1904: “Mayor [George B.] McClellan yesterday signed the resolution adopted by the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday last changing the name of Long Acre Square to that of Times Square. […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Charles Kellogg, the man who put out fires with his voice

New York has seen its share of bizarre entertainments, especially back in the days of vaudeville, when people would pay for almost anything that amused or titillated.  A few months ago, I wrote about the novelty star Don the Talking Dog, who allegedly spoke a handful of English and German words. But another vocally talented […]