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Those Were The Days

The first-ever film of a New York City blizzard

What storm is this? The horrific blizzard that hit New York on February 17, 1902.  It would be considered the worst snowstorm to hit the metropolitan area since the Great Blizzard of 1888. (Read all about it here.)  I assume we’re actually in the aftermath of the blizzard here, as the snow shovels are out, and […]

New York transit system stymied by women’s skirt styles

A lady in a relatively normal skirt boards a Broadway streetcar in July 1913. Now imagine trying this in a hobble skirt! (Courtesy Library of Congress) A serious cry (mostly from men) rang out through the city one hundred years ago about the ever-expanding transit system and the scandalous style of women’s skirts. Were frocks […]

The History of New York Public Transportation: Recap

Just because it’s underground, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up. It is train travel, after all. (June 1959, photographer Stan Wayman, courtesy Life Google images) Thanks for listening in on our several-part series of podcasts on the history of New York City public transportation. We’re moving on to other topics — although I’m not quite […]

Union Square and the demise of ‘Dead Man’s Curve’

The photo above shows the southwest corner of Union Square in the year 1906. For many years prior, this corner was the scene of several brutal accidents between cable cars and pedestrians. When the Metropolitan Traction Company (now doing business as the powerful New York City Railway Company) ripped out the cable lines and replaced […]

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Podcasts

Cable cars, trolleys and monorails: Moving around on New York’s forgotten transit options

ABOVE: The Boynton Bicycle Railway, combining the best of the locomotive and the spinning wheel. This narrow little hot wheel took riders on a short ride through Coney Island. For the third part of our Bowery Boys On The Go summer series, looking back at the history of New York City public transportation, it’s a […]

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Podcasts

New York City’s Elevated Railroads: Journey to a spectacular world of steam trains along the avenues

Above: The Third Avenue Line as it looked running along the Bowery, changing the nature of New York street life, even as its innovations helped expand the city. PODCAST Before there were subways, New York City transported travelers up and down the length of Manhattan by elevated railroad, an almost unreal spectacle to consider today. […]