The grand opening of the World Trade Center on April 4, 1973; Richard Nixon, labor strikes and “General Motors Gothic”

For our 350th episode, we looked at the history of the construction of the World Trade Center. After reading this article, listen to the show for a deeper dive into the story: Let me take you back to a simpler time, back to a time where it might have been okay to hate the actual World… Read More

Landmarks Politics and Protest Preservation

Federal Hall: Now and Always An American National Treasure

Federal Hall National Memorial, currently administered by the National Park Service, has always been a popular landmark with tourists thanks to its position on one of the most photographed intersections in New York. Who can resist that noble statue of George Washington silently meditating on the financial juggernaut of Wall Street? In 2015 Federal Hall… Read More

Bowery Boys Movie Club Film History

The French Connection: Bowery Boys Movie Club

The new episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club explores the new film The French Connection, the gritty action classic employing an astonishing array of on-location shots — from Midtown Manhattan to the streets of Brooklyn. It’s an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. The French Connection, directed by William Friedkin and… Read More

Film History Landmarks

The World Trade Center in its greatest film roles

How do you feel when you see the World Trade Center pop up in a movie from the 1970s and 80s? Sadness? Nostalgia? Or, with so many years gone by, do they just seem unusual to you? Fortunately researcher and movie lover Donna Grunewald had documented every reference you need to revisit all those emotions.… Read More

Neighborhoods Podcasts

A Trip to Little Syria: A New York Immigrant Story

Just south of the World Trade Center district sits the location of a forgotten Manhattan immigrant community. Curious outsiders called it Little Syria although the residents themselves would have known it as the Syrian Colony. Starting in the 1880s people from the Middle East began arriving at New York’s immigrant processing station — immigrants from… Read More

Podcasts Skyscrapers

The World Trade Center in the 1970s

PODCAST The World Trade Center opened its distinctive towers during one of New York City’s most difficult decades, a beacon of modernity in a city beleaguered by debt and urban decay. Welcome to the 1970s. EPISODE 350 This year, believe it or not, marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers on… Read More

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… Read More

Pop Culture

Upcoming history: New York City in new films and miniseries

Tired of superhero movies? An abundance of new period films and television mini-series are on the horizon, presenting unique aspects of New York City history (and the surrounding metropolitan area, as in the first example below).  Which ones are you excited for?   SHOW ME A HERO HBO, six-part mini-series, Sunday, August 16 From the… Read More

American History

Blackout! One ugly night in 1977

REVIEW The evening of July 13, 1977, will be remembered as one of the worst in New York City history, a catastrophic electrical blackout that plunged an already-weakened city into terrifying anarchy. Meanwhile, up on the top floors of the World Trade Center, they were having a party. The thrilling new documentary Blackout — making its… Read More

Pop Culture

‘The Walk’: The World Trade Center in 3D?

Robert Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director of Forrest Gump, is turning the best documentary of 2008 Man on Wire — about Philippe Petit’s unbelievable tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 — into a feature length film. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  In 3-D. And, apparently, on IMAX. So what do you think?… Read More

A strange, new skyline: World Trade Center 1971

Two beautiful and unique 1971 photographs by Life Magazine’s Henry Groskinsky showing the nearly completed World Trade Center.  These are fascinating not only for the appearance of the towers as they prepare to lord over the ’70s skyline, but also to note what’s notably not there yet — the entire Battery Park City area. At this point… Read More

Picture 1: Flickr/eralsotoPicture 2: Flickr/ Madison GuyPicture 3:

Defying gravity: New York’s most famous daredevils

Bird in the sky: The delicate Ms. Millman makes it look easyLast night on my walk home, I observed something you just don’t always see everyday — a renegade acrobat dangling from the top of the Williamsburg Bridge! The perilous pair, Seanna Sharpe and Savage Skinner, performed this foolhardy trapeze as traffic whizzed by below them, and… Read More

Tribute to a scrappy typewriter tower in lower Manhattan (yes, typewriters, remember those?)

I found this advertisement in an issue of the New York Tribune from one hundred years ago: Although the famous Underwood Typewriter Company had principal manufacturing plants in Hartford, it was a New York company through and through. Its founder John Thomas Underwood became so wealthy that he built a stately home in the neighborhood of Clinton… Read More

Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Swanky steaks and a market soiree

A postcard from Jim Downey’s showing a plethora of theatrical faces who frequented the place. Every Monday I’ll try and check in with the Mad Men episode from the night before and focus in on one or two historical references made on the show. Spoilers aplenty, so read no further if you don’t want to… Read More