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The Bowery Boys: New York City History

Bowery Boys Media

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The Bowery Boys: New York City History

The Bowery Boys: New York City History

Bowery Boys Media

275
Followers
3.3K
Plays
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About Us

New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people know the city's familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it?

Latest Episodes

1918: The Harlem Hellfighters

On February 17, 1919, in the waning months of World War I, the Harlem Hellfighters – officially the 369th Infantry Regiment, originally a New York National Guard division that had just come from intense battle in France – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support and love. The Hellfighters were comprised of young African-American men from New York City and the surrounding area, its enthusiastic recruits made up of those who had arrived in the city during a significant period of population migration from the Reconstruction South to (only slightly) more tolerant Northern cities. They were not able to serve in regular American military units because of segregation, but because of an unusual series of events, the regiment instead fought alongside the French in the trenches, for 191 days in the year 1918, more than any other American unit during the war. They became legends. They were known around the world for their valor, ferocity and bravery. This is the story of New York musicians, red caps, budding painters, chauffeurs and teenagers just out of school, serving their country in a way that would become legendary. FEATURING the voices of World War I veterans telling their own stories. PLUS some brilliant music and a story from Barack Obama (okay it’s just a clip of the former president but still.) boweryboyshistory.com Support the show.

65 MIN6 d ago
Comments
1918: The Harlem Hellfighters

What Gets Saved? Landmarks & Historic Districts Explained

They're tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How can this be? Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit and personality of the city. In the 1960s, in the wake of the demolition of Pennsylvania Station and other beloved historic structures, the New York City Landmarks Law was enacted, granting the city powers to protect its most precious endangered places. Walking down the beautiful street and see a brown street sign instead of the usual green? You're in a historic district. But preservation can be a tricky business; after all, the city is basically imposing rules about how someone else’s private property, in most cases, should look and be maintained. How do you preserve the past amid a rapidly changing metropolis In this episode, we present a sort of "landmarking 101", mapping the history of the New York City preservation moveme...

69 MIN2 w ago
Comments
What Gets Saved? Landmarks & Historic Districts Explained

Andrew Carnegie and New York's Public Libraries

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie -- one of the richest Americans to ever live -- began giving his money away. The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries -- railroads, bridge building, iron and steel. In the age of the monopoly, Gilded Age moguls often made their money in ways we might consider unethical and illegal today. But Carnegie's view of his wealth was quite different than that of his rarefied clubhouse peers Carnegie devoted his latter years to philanthropy, primarily devoting his energies to the creation of libraries across the country. By the late 19th century, the New York City area already had dozens of libraries and reading rooms throughout the future five boroughs. But they were certainly not welcoming to every person. And those circulating libraries that were available were limited and woefully overburdened. Carnegie's unpreced...

61 MINJAN 24
Comments
Andrew Carnegie and New York's Public Libraries

The Holland Tunnel: The Wonder of the Jazz Age

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think. Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for the city's many waterfront industries, there was mostly only one option --- barges and ferries that carried cargo across the crowded Hudson River, maneuvering through an overcrowded port system which profited from the grotesque congestion. And then along came the automobile, rapidly transforming the American way of life. How could an average motorist -- or a regular cargo truck -- get back and forth to New York City in its current chaotic state? The new tunnel envisioned by chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland would create a new pathway for motor vehicles, the first for such conveyances under the Hudson River. Yet one pressing problem stood in the way of its comp...

57 MINJAN 10
Comments
The Holland Tunnel: The Wonder of the Jazz Age

Just Desserts: The Origins of New York Cheesecake, Cannoli and More

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space in downtown Manhattan In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren't just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today. The origins of some of these treats go way, way back -- the Dutch New Amsterdam. Others have become staples of the New York diet thanks to immigrant groups who first developed and perfected them in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side. So while this show may seem like a trifle, the underlying story celebrates the contributions of local communities in creating timeless food classics, served in historic bake shops, candy stores, soda fountains and cafes. Cheesecake and cannoli are two of our five historic treats. What are the other three? Tune in and find out! (And definitely save some room after dinner for dessert.) boweryboyshistory.com patreon.com/boweryboys Support...

67 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
Just Desserts: The Origins of New York Cheesecake, Cannoli and More

Christmas in New York: The Lights of Dyker Heights

EPISODE 305 There's a special kind of magic to Christmas in New York City, from that colossal Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to the fanciful holiday displays in department store windows. But in the past three decades, a new holiday tradition has grown in popularity and in a surprising quarter -- the quiet residential neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Every December many residents of this area of southwestern Brooklyn ornament their homes in a wild and brilliant parade of Christmas lights and decorations -- from gigantic animatronic Santas to armies of toy soldiers. This electrical spectacle draws thousands of tourists a year, attracted to this imaginative (and often mind-blowing) display of Christmas spirit. In this episode, we look at the lights of Dyker Heights from a few angles. First we explore the history of Christmas lighting in New York City and how such displays, at first mere promotional uses of Edison lighting, brought Christmas into the secular public spher...

50 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
Christmas in New York: The Lights of Dyker Heights

The Miracle on Eldridge Street

EPISODE 304: The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the most beautifully restored places in the United States, a testament to the value of preserving history when it seems all is lost to ruin. Today the Museum at Eldridge Street maintains the synagogue, built in 1887 as one of the first houses of worship in the country for Eastern European orthodox Jews. The Moorish revival synagogue, adorned in symbolic decoration and sumptuous stained glass, reflected the Gilded Age opulence of the day while keeping true to the spirit of the Jewish faith. But by the 1950s, most of the Lower East Side's Jewish population had left for other districts, and the remaining congregation sealed off its beautiful sanctuary. For decades, it was hidden from all eyes, the ruinous space left to the ravages of deterioration. "Pigeons roosted in the balcony, benches were covered with dust, and stained glass windows had warped with time." However, thanks to a handful of determined preservationists, this capsule ...

63 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
The Miracle on Eldridge Street

Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy

EPISODE 303: The residential complexesStuyvesant TownandPeter Cooper Village, built in the late 1940s, incorporating thousands of apartments within a manicured "campus" on the east side, seemed to provide the perfect solution for New York City's 20th century housing woes. For Robert Moses, it provided a reason to clear out an unpleasant neighborhood of dilapidated tenements and filthy gas tanks. For the insurance company Metropolitan Life, the city's partner in constructing these complexes, it represented both a profit opportunity and a way to improve the lives of middle class New Yorkers. It would be a home for returning World War II veterans and a new mode of living for young families. As long as you were white. In the spring of 1943, just a day before the project was approved by the city, Met Life's president Frederick H. Ecker brazenly declared their housing policy: "Negros and whites don’t mix. Perhaps they will in a hundred years, but not now.” What followed was a nine year ...

62 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy

Gangs of New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

EPISODE 302: With Martin Scorsese's new film The Irishman being released this month, we thought we'd share with you an episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club that explores the director's filmGangs of New Yorkand its rich historical details. The Bowery Boys Movie Club is an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. Gangs of New York is a one-of-a-kind film, Scorsese's 2002 epic based on a 1927 history anthology by Herbert Asbury that celebrates the grit and grime of Old New York. Its fictional story line uses a mix of real-life and imagined characters, summoned from a grab bag of historical anecdotes from the gutters of the 19th century and poured out into a setting known as New York City’s most notorious neighborhood — Five Points. Listen in as Greg and Tom discuss the film’s unique blend of fact and fiction, taking Asbury’s already distorted view of life in the mid 19th century and reviving it with extraordinary set design and art direction. The film itself was rele...

80 MIN2019 NOV 2
Comments
Gangs of New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

Haunted Houses of Old New York

EPISODE 301: Welcome to the unlucky 13th Annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast, where history combines with folklore for a bone-chilling listening experience. In this year's Halloween-themed special, Greg and Tom take you into some truly haunted private residences from throughout New York City history. These rowhouses, brownstones and mansion all have one thing in common -- stories of restless spirits who refuse to leave. -- Near Madison Square Park in Manhattan, an eccentric writer posts a classified ad, hoping to rent out an attic room to a prospective subletter. Unfortunately the room already an occupant -- a greenish ghost with a troubling Civil War history. -- TheConference House in Staten Island played an interesting role in the Revolutionary War, and some residents from that period may still wander its ancient hallways. -- On the Upper East Side, a lavish penthouse ballroom may be permanently vexed with the ghost of a testy spirit named Mrs. Spencer. Can a legendary funny ...

73 MIN2019 OCT 18
Comments
Haunted Houses of Old New York

Latest Episodes

1918: The Harlem Hellfighters

On February 17, 1919, in the waning months of World War I, the Harlem Hellfighters – officially the 369th Infantry Regiment, originally a New York National Guard division that had just come from intense battle in France – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support and love. The Hellfighters were comprised of young African-American men from New York City and the surrounding area, its enthusiastic recruits made up of those who had arrived in the city during a significant period of population migration from the Reconstruction South to (only slightly) more tolerant Northern cities. They were not able to serve in regular American military units because of segregation, but because of an unusual series of events, the regiment instead fought alongside the French in the trenches, for 191 days in the year 1918, more than any other American unit during the war. They became legends. They were known around the world for their valor, ferocity and bravery. This is the story of New York musicians, red caps, budding painters, chauffeurs and teenagers just out of school, serving their country in a way that would become legendary. FEATURING the voices of World War I veterans telling their own stories. PLUS some brilliant music and a story from Barack Obama (okay it’s just a clip of the former president but still.) boweryboyshistory.com Support the show.

65 MIN6 d ago
Comments
1918: The Harlem Hellfighters

What Gets Saved? Landmarks & Historic Districts Explained

They're tearing down your favorite old building and putting up a condo in its place. How can this be? Before you plunge into fits of despair, you should know more about the tools of preservation that New Yorkers possess in their efforts to preserve the spirit and personality of the city. In the 1960s, in the wake of the demolition of Pennsylvania Station and other beloved historic structures, the New York City Landmarks Law was enacted, granting the city powers to protect its most precious endangered places. Walking down the beautiful street and see a brown street sign instead of the usual green? You're in a historic district. But preservation can be a tricky business; after all, the city is basically imposing rules about how someone else’s private property, in most cases, should look and be maintained. How do you preserve the past amid a rapidly changing metropolis In this episode, we present a sort of "landmarking 101", mapping the history of the New York City preservation moveme...

69 MIN2 w ago
Comments
What Gets Saved? Landmarks & Historic Districts Explained

Andrew Carnegie and New York's Public Libraries

EPISODE 308 In the final decades of his life, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie -- one of the richest Americans to ever live -- began giving his money away. The Scots American had worked his way up from a railroad telegraph office to amass an unimaginable fortune, acquired in a variety of industries -- railroads, bridge building, iron and steel. In the age of the monopoly, Gilded Age moguls often made their money in ways we might consider unethical and illegal today. But Carnegie's view of his wealth was quite different than that of his rarefied clubhouse peers Carnegie devoted his latter years to philanthropy, primarily devoting his energies to the creation of libraries across the country. By the late 19th century, the New York City area already had dozens of libraries and reading rooms throughout the future five boroughs. But they were certainly not welcoming to every person. And those circulating libraries that were available were limited and woefully overburdened. Carnegie's unpreced...

61 MINJAN 24
Comments
Andrew Carnegie and New York's Public Libraries

The Holland Tunnel: The Wonder of the Jazz Age

EPISODE 307 The Holland Tunnel, connecting Manhattan with Jersey City beneath the Hudson River, is more important to daily life in New York City than people may at first think. Before the creation of the Holland Tunnel, commuters and travelers had painfully few options if they wanted to get to and from Manhattan. And for the city's many waterfront industries, there was mostly only one option --- barges and ferries that carried cargo across the crowded Hudson River, maneuvering through an overcrowded port system which profited from the grotesque congestion. And then along came the automobile, rapidly transforming the American way of life. How could an average motorist -- or a regular cargo truck -- get back and forth to New York City in its current chaotic state? The new tunnel envisioned by chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland would create a new pathway for motor vehicles, the first for such conveyances under the Hudson River. Yet one pressing problem stood in the way of its comp...

57 MINJAN 10
Comments
The Holland Tunnel: The Wonder of the Jazz Age

Just Desserts: The Origins of New York Cheesecake, Cannoli and More

EPISODE 306 Recorded live at the WNYC Greene Space in downtown Manhattan In this special episode, the Bowery Boys podcast focuses on the delicious treats that add to the New York experience. These aren't just the famous foods that have been made in New York, but the unique desserts that make the city what it is today. The origins of some of these treats go way, way back -- the Dutch New Amsterdam. Others have become staples of the New York diet thanks to immigrant groups who first developed and perfected them in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side. So while this show may seem like a trifle, the underlying story celebrates the contributions of local communities in creating timeless food classics, served in historic bake shops, candy stores, soda fountains and cafes. Cheesecake and cannoli are two of our five historic treats. What are the other three? Tune in and find out! (And definitely save some room after dinner for dessert.) boweryboyshistory.com patreon.com/boweryboys Support...

67 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
Just Desserts: The Origins of New York Cheesecake, Cannoli and More

Christmas in New York: The Lights of Dyker Heights

EPISODE 305 There's a special kind of magic to Christmas in New York City, from that colossal Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to the fanciful holiday displays in department store windows. But in the past three decades, a new holiday tradition has grown in popularity and in a surprising quarter -- the quiet residential neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. Every December many residents of this area of southwestern Brooklyn ornament their homes in a wild and brilliant parade of Christmas lights and decorations -- from gigantic animatronic Santas to armies of toy soldiers. This electrical spectacle draws thousands of tourists a year, attracted to this imaginative (and often mind-blowing) display of Christmas spirit. In this episode, we look at the lights of Dyker Heights from a few angles. First we explore the history of Christmas lighting in New York City and how such displays, at first mere promotional uses of Edison lighting, brought Christmas into the secular public spher...

50 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
Christmas in New York: The Lights of Dyker Heights

The Miracle on Eldridge Street

EPISODE 304: The Eldridge Street Synagogue is one of the most beautifully restored places in the United States, a testament to the value of preserving history when it seems all is lost to ruin. Today the Museum at Eldridge Street maintains the synagogue, built in 1887 as one of the first houses of worship in the country for Eastern European orthodox Jews. The Moorish revival synagogue, adorned in symbolic decoration and sumptuous stained glass, reflected the Gilded Age opulence of the day while keeping true to the spirit of the Jewish faith. But by the 1950s, most of the Lower East Side's Jewish population had left for other districts, and the remaining congregation sealed off its beautiful sanctuary. For decades, it was hidden from all eyes, the ruinous space left to the ravages of deterioration. "Pigeons roosted in the balcony, benches were covered with dust, and stained glass windows had warped with time." However, thanks to a handful of determined preservationists, this capsule ...

63 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
The Miracle on Eldridge Street

Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy

EPISODE 303: The residential complexesStuyvesant TownandPeter Cooper Village, built in the late 1940s, incorporating thousands of apartments within a manicured "campus" on the east side, seemed to provide the perfect solution for New York City's 20th century housing woes. For Robert Moses, it provided a reason to clear out an unpleasant neighborhood of dilapidated tenements and filthy gas tanks. For the insurance company Metropolitan Life, the city's partner in constructing these complexes, it represented both a profit opportunity and a way to improve the lives of middle class New Yorkers. It would be a home for returning World War II veterans and a new mode of living for young families. As long as you were white. In the spring of 1943, just a day before the project was approved by the city, Met Life's president Frederick H. Ecker brazenly declared their housing policy: "Negros and whites don’t mix. Perhaps they will in a hundred years, but not now.” What followed was a nine year ...

62 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy

Gangs of New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

EPISODE 302: With Martin Scorsese's new film The Irishman being released this month, we thought we'd share with you an episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club that explores the director's filmGangs of New Yorkand its rich historical details. The Bowery Boys Movie Club is an exclusive podcast for those who support us on Patreon. Gangs of New York is a one-of-a-kind film, Scorsese's 2002 epic based on a 1927 history anthology by Herbert Asbury that celebrates the grit and grime of Old New York. Its fictional story line uses a mix of real-life and imagined characters, summoned from a grab bag of historical anecdotes from the gutters of the 19th century and poured out into a setting known as New York City’s most notorious neighborhood — Five Points. Listen in as Greg and Tom discuss the film’s unique blend of fact and fiction, taking Asbury’s already distorted view of life in the mid 19th century and reviving it with extraordinary set design and art direction. The film itself was rele...

80 MIN2019 NOV 2
Comments
Gangs of New York (Bowery Boys Movie Club)

Haunted Houses of Old New York

EPISODE 301: Welcome to the unlucky 13th Annual Bowery Boys ghost stories podcast, where history combines with folklore for a bone-chilling listening experience. In this year's Halloween-themed special, Greg and Tom take you into some truly haunted private residences from throughout New York City history. These rowhouses, brownstones and mansion all have one thing in common -- stories of restless spirits who refuse to leave. -- Near Madison Square Park in Manhattan, an eccentric writer posts a classified ad, hoping to rent out an attic room to a prospective subletter. Unfortunately the room already an occupant -- a greenish ghost with a troubling Civil War history. -- TheConference House in Staten Island played an interesting role in the Revolutionary War, and some residents from that period may still wander its ancient hallways. -- On the Upper East Side, a lavish penthouse ballroom may be permanently vexed with the ghost of a testy spirit named Mrs. Spencer. Can a legendary funny ...

73 MIN2019 OCT 18
Comments
Haunted Houses of Old New York

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