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New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people knows its familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it? The Bowery Boys, Greg Young and Tom Meyers, have lived in New York for the last fifteen years and have been curious about the city since the day they arrived. Join them for a fun take on history, a "romp down the back alleys of New York City." Every other week, they look into another fascinating aspect of the Big Apple -- the people, the places, its beginnings and effects on American culture.

New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people knows its familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it? The Bowery Boys, Greg Young and Tom Meyers, have lived in New York for the last fifteen years and have been curious about the city since the day they arrived. Join them for a fun take on history, a "romp down the back alleys of New York City." Every other week, they look into another fascinating aspect of the Big Apple -- the people, the places, its beginnings and effects on American culture.
More Information

Location:

New York, NY

Description:

New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people knows its familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it? The Bowery Boys, Greg Young and Tom Meyers, have lived in New York for the last fifteen years and have been curious about the city since the day they arrived. Join them for a fun take on history, a "romp down the back alleys of New York City." Every other week, they look into another fascinating aspect of the Big Apple -- the people, the places, its beginnings and effects on American culture.

Language:

English


Episodes

#251 McGurk's Suicide Hall: The Bowery's Most Notorious Dive

1/18/2018
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The old saloons and dance halls of the Bowery are familiar to anyone with a love of New York City history, their debauched and surly reputations appealing in a prurient way, a reminder of a time of great abandon. The Bowery bars and lounges of today often try to emulate the past in demeanor and decor. (Although nobody was drinking expensive bespoke cocktails back in the day.) But the dance hall at 295 Bowery, the loathsome establishment owned by John McGurk, was not a place to admire. It...

Duration: 00:53:45


#250 The Empire State Building: Story of an Icon

1/11/2018
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Start spreading the news .... the Bowery Boys are finally going to the Empire State Building! New York City's defining architectural icon is greatly misunderstood by many New Yorkers who consider its appeal relegated to tourists and real estate titans. But this powerful and impressive symbol to American construction has a great many secrets among its 102 (or is that 103?) floors. The Empire State Building project was announced in 1929 by former New York governor Al Smith. The group of...

Duration: 01:05:19


#249 Madam C.J. Walker: Harlem's Hair Care Millionaire

1/4/2018
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In 1867, Sarah Breedlove was born to parents who had once been enslaved on a Louisiana plantation. Less than fifty years later, Breedlove (as the hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker) would be the richest African-American woman in the United States, a successful business owner and one of black America's great philanthropists. At her side was daughter Lelia (later A'lelia) Walker, guiding her mother's company to great success despite extraordinary obstacles. The Walkers moved to Harlem in the...

Duration: 00:50:03


#248 Sitting Down with Roz Chast of the New Yorker

12/22/2017
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This week, we celebrate the end of the year by sitting down with Roz Chast, who has been contributing cartoons to the New Yorker Magazine since 1978. Chast is out with a new book, "Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York", which is a guidebook to living in -- and loving -- New York. We discuss her childhood in Brooklyn, life on the Upper West Side in the '70s and '80s, her favorite diner (which is still open!), working at the New Yorker, and much more.

Duration: 01:00:17


#247 Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Golden Age of Broadway

12/14/2017
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Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are two of the greatest entertainers in New York City history. They have entertained millions of people with their unique and influential take on the Broadway musical -- serious, sincere, graceful and poignant. In this episode, we tell the story of this remarkable duo -- from their early years with other creators (Hammerstein with Jerome Kern, Rodgers with Lorenz Hart) to a run-down of all their shows. And almost all of it -- from the plains of...

Duration: 00:59:36


#246 Tales from a Tenement: Three Families on the Lower East Side

12/7/2017
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In today’s show, we’ll continue to explore housing in New York, but move far from the mansions of Fifth Avenue to the tenements of the Lower East Side in the 20th Century. Specifically, we’ll be visiting one building, 103 Orchard Street, which is today part of the Tenement Museum. When we step inside 103 Orchard, we’ll be meeting three families who lived there after World War II: the Epsteins, the Saez-Velez family, and the Wong family. We’ll be getting to know them by walking through...

Duration: 00:59:16


#245 The Fall of the Fifth Avenue Mansions

11/30/2017
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In this episode, the symbols of the Gilded Age are dismantled. During the late 19th century, New York's most esteemed families built extravagant mansions along Fifth Avenue, turning it into one of the most desired residential streets in the United States. The 'well-connected' families, along with the nouveau riche, planted their homes here, even as the realities of the city encroached around them. By 1925 most of the mansions below 59th Street were gone, victims of changing tastes and...

Duration: 00:50:45


#244 The Rise of the Fifth Avenue Mansions

11/23/2017
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At the heart of New York’s Gilded Age – the late 19th century era of unprecedented American wealth and excess – were families with the names Vanderbilt, Belmont and Astor, alongside power players like A.T. Stewart, Jay Gould and William ‘Boss’ Tweed. They would all make their homes – and in the case of the Vanderbilts, their great many homes – on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. The image of Fifth Avenue as a luxury retail destination today grew from the street’s aristocratic reputation in the...

Duration: 00:52:52


#243 New York In Neon: Signs of the City

11/16/2017
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A neon sign blazing on a rainy New York City street evokes the romance of another era, welcoming or mysterious -- depending on how many film noirs you've seen. In 2017, a neon sign says more about a business than the message that its letters spell out. It’s an endangered form of craftsmanship although the production of neon is making a hopeful comeback. In this show Greg briefly take a look at the classic signage in New York City, the kinds of signs you might have seen in New York d...

Duration: 00:59:02


#242 New York and the Dawn of Photography

11/9/2017
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We’re taking you back to a world that seems especially foreign today – a world with no selfie sticks, no tens of billions of photographs taken every day from digital screens, a world where the photograph was a rare, special and beautiful thing. New York City plays a very interesting role in the development of photography. While the medium was not invented here, many of its earliest American practitioners were trained here. In particular, the students of Samuel Morse (better known for the...

Duration: 00:59:00


#241 Edgar Allan Poe in New York

10/26/2017
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Edgar Allan Poe was a wanderer -- looking for work, for love, for meaning. That's why so many American cities can lay claim to a small aspect of his legacy. Baltimore, Boston, Richmond and Philadelphia all have their own stories to tell about the great writer. In this show, we spotlight the imprint Poe made upon New York City. Poe was in New York both on the year of his birth (as the child of two stage actor) and the year of his death (fleeing his longtime home in Fordham). Throughout out...

Duration: 01:04:25


#240 The Ghosts of Greenwich Village

10/19/2017
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For this year's annual Bowery Boys Halloween ghost story podcast, we cautiously approach the dark secrets of Greenwich Village, best known for bohemians, shady and winding streets and a deep unexpected history. You will never look at its parks and townhouses again after this show! The stories featured this year: -- The hidden history of Washington Square Park with the oldest tree in New York -- nicknamed the Hangman's Elm -- and some truly grave secrets beneath its lovely walkways --...

Duration: 00:54:52


#239 Murder at Manhattan Well

10/12/2017
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There once was a well just north of Collect Pond (New York’s fetid source of drinking water in the late 18th century) in a marshy place called Lispenard’s Meadow, in the area of today’s SoHo. One cold day in December – in the year 1799 -- a boy came across a lady’s article of clothing here matching that in the possession of a missing woman named Elma Sands. Upon looking into the old, boarded-up well, investigators discovered a horrifying sight – the lifeless body of Ms. Sands, which had...

Duration: 00:51:16


#238 Astoria and Long Island City

9/28/2017
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The borough of Queens has a history unlike any in the New York City region, but the story of its northwestern region -- comprising Astoria, Long Island City and about a half dozen other, smaller neighborhoods -- is particularly surprising. And there are basic aspects of these wonderful neighborhoods, fundamental to every day life here, that you may have never known. How did Astoria get its name? John Jacob Astor is involved, but not in the way you think. Was Long Island City an actual...

Duration: 01:02:22


#237 Columbus Circle: A Century of Controversy

9/14/2017
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Columbus Circle, a center of media and shopping at the entrance to Central Park, has a history that, well, runs against the grain. Counter-clockwise, if you will. When the park was completed in the mid 19th century, a 'Grand Circle' was planned for a busy thoroughfare of horse-drawn carriages. A monument to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was placed at its center in 1892, bought and paid for by New York's new Italian community. But the circle had awkwardly adjusted to modern...

Duration: 00:50:59


#236 Times Square in the '70s

9/7/2017
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Take a trip with us down the grittiest streets in Times Square -- the faded marquees of the grindhouses, the neon-lit prurient delights of Eighth Avenue at night. Times Square in the 1970s was all about fantasy -- from the second-run theaters of 42nd Street to the pornographic pleasures of the adult bookstores next door. And yet our ideas of this place and time are also caught in a bit of fantastic nostalgia. In memory it becomes an erotic theme park, a quaint corner of New York City...

Duration: 01:02:51


#235 The Crash of '29: New York In Crisis

8/31/2017
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Something so giddy and wild as New York City in the Jazz Age would have to burn out at some point but nobody expected the double catastrophe of a paralyzing financial crash and a wide-ranging government corruption scandal. Mayor Jimmy Walker, in a race for a second term against a rising congressman named Fiorello La Guardia, might have had a few cocktails at the Central Park Casino after hearing of the pandemonium on Wall Street in late October 1929. The irresponsible speculation fueling...

Duration: 01:00:29


#234 Queen of the Speakeasies: A Tale of Prohibition New York

8/17/2017
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Texas Guinan was the queen of the speakeasy era, the charismatic and sassy hostess of New York's hottest nightclubs of the 1920s. Her magnetism, sharpened by years of work in Hollywood, would make her one of the great icons of the Prohibition era. She's our guide into the underworld of the Jazz Age as we explore the history of Prohibition and how it affected New York City. The temperance movement united a very bizarre group of players -- progressives, nativists, churchgoers -- in their...

Duration: 00:59:45


#233 The Roaring '20s: Jimmy Walker, Mayor of the Jazz Age

8/3/2017
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The Bowery Boys are heading to the speakeasy and kicking back with some bathtub gin this month -- with a brand new series focusing on New York City during the Prohibition Era. The 1920s were a transformational decade for New York, evolving from a Gilded Age capital to the ideal of the modern international city. Art Deco skyscrapers reinvented the skyline, reorienting the center of gravity from downtown to a newly invigorated Midtown Manhattan. Cultural influences, projected to the world...

Duration: 00:59:32


#232 The Story of SoHo

7/20/2017
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Picture the neighborhood of SoHo (that’s right, "South of Houston") in your head today, and you might get a headache. Crowded sidewalks on the weekend, filled with tourists, shoppers and vendors, could almost distract you from SoHo’s unique appeal as a place of extraordinary architecture and history. On this podcast we present the story of how a portion of “Hell’s Hundred Acres” became the one of the most famously trendy places in the world. In the mid 19th century this area, centered...

Duration: 00:59:06

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