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Those Were The Days

Ladies, eliminate your “New Yorkese”: Prim and proper advice from a 1940s elocution teacher

Seventy-five years ago today (September 23 1939), this advertisement ran in the New Yorker:   Well, that simply won’t do!  So I decided to look into Miss Margaret McCoy and found an illuminating article from a 1942 column in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle — “Beauty and You” by Patricia Lindsay.  In this piece, McCoy provides […]

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Bowery Boys Uncategorized

Help us pick new topics for the Bowery Boys podcast!

Thanks for voting! The poll is now closed.  We’re off to turn your opinions into future Bowery Boys podcasts.  Top results: More neighborhood-centric history, true crime and law enforcement, and shows on early history.  Previously: We’ve got our podcasts planned out for the next few months, but we need your help in determining the types […]

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Those Were The Days

Before the flapper, the naughty ‘vamp’ scandalized New York

Above: Clara Bow, in It (1927), one of the roles that made her an major film star. Two iconic actresses of the early silent film industry share a birthday today — Theda Bara (born July 29, 1885) and Clara Bow (born in Brooklyn, July 29, 1905).  Bow became the screen’s leading flapper archetype of the […]

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Friday Night Fever

History in the Making – July 14, 2014: Red Hot Summer Edition

Party time at Leon and Eddie’s nightclub at 33 West 52nd Street, photo from July 1948.  That’s the proprietor himself — Eddie Davis.    The nightlife impresario Toots Shor got his start here as a bouncer. [Library of Congress] Demolition Is Hot Right Now: A disturbing report from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation of […]

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Health and Living

Above Delancey and Allen Streets: a roof garden for the blind and its unfortunate connection to the 1929 stock market crash

Above (and in the photographs below): Young and old alike enjoy the roof garden atop the Bank of the United States building, on the corner of Delancey and Allen Next to the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side on Delancey Street stands an elegant grey building incorporating regal Doric columns on its face. Echoing […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Uncategorized

Maya Angelou 1928-2014

A photo from her nightclub and theater years, G. Paul Bishop Jr. photographer ““I never agreed with Thomas Wolfe,” she remarked quietly. “I never thought you can’t go home again. I’ve been coming home to Harlem for 50 years.”— from a terrific story in the New York Times from 2007 about her ornately colorful Harlem […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

History in the making 2/18: Pennsylvania Station edition

Aging beauty: The entrance of Penn Station, photographed by James Burke in 1957 for Life Magazine. — Tonight on PBS’s American Experience: The Rise and Fall of Penn Station, the story of McKim, Mead and White’s Midtown masterpiece and how its tragic demolition in the 1960s forced New Yorkers to consider the importance of historic […]

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Health and Living Uncategorized

The origin of snow removal for all New Yorkers, rich and poor

A snow plow at Union Square, circa 1901-1905 (LOC) For some of New York City’s history, snowstorms have been completely paralyzing, and most residents had to clear their own streets, an impossibility in areas of a more rural character.  The notion that it was actually the city’s responsibility to remove snow is a product of […]

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Pop Culture Uncategorized

Pete Seeger 1919-2014

 Pete Seeger with Woody Guthrie, performing at the Music Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, 1950 (Photo courtesy NPR)  “I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody.” — Pete SeegerPete Seeger with the Weavers — Washington Square Blues   […]

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Christmas Neighborhoods Uncategorized

The lights of Madison Square: A Christmas tree at night

I’m not sure if the Madison Square annual Christmas tree was really the biggest in the entire world — as the 1913 Evening World at right suggests — but it was most certainly the largest in New York City. Its closest competitor in size would have been the City Hall Christmas tree. This unique tradition […]

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Pop Culture

Inside ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, a gauzy, surreal homage to 1960s New York bohemian life

Out in the cold: Llewyn Davis gets no respect. Pic courtesy CBS FilmsNOTE: This article contains minor spoilers for the film Inside Llewyn Davis, so proceed with caution if you have not yet seen the movie! The latest movie by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, meanders through a coolly tinted rendition of New […]

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Bowery Boys Uncategorized

New Bowery Boys podcast artwork. How do we look?

Our designer is the exceptionally talented Thomas Cabus.  You can take a look at some of his other work — including the design of the award-winning Circle of 6 app — at this link.

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Friday Night Fever

Remnants of the Bull’s Head Tavern: Could this be the greatest New York archaeological find of the year?

The former Atlantic Gardens, revealed during a demolition. Underneath it lies evidence of an even greater historical discovery. Courtesy Adam Woodward/Lower East Side History Project Big news on the urban archaeological front — remnants of the Colonial-era Bulls Head Tavern may have been discovered during an excavation for a new hotel.  The Bull’s Head was […]

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Museums Uncategorized

A message from the Library of Congress

Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government,the Library of Congress is closed to the public and researchers beginning October 1, 2013 until further notice. [site] The Library of Congress is my number one source of information for the Bowery Boys, through their newspaper archive and their amazing collection of photographs.  Due to the […]