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The tides of American history lead through the streets of New York City — from the huddled masses on Ellis Island to the sleazy theaters of 1970s Times Square. The elevated railroad to the Underground Railroad. Hamilton to Hammerstein! Greg and Tom explore more than 400 years of action-packed stories, featuring both classic and forgotten figures who have shaped the world.
 
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Within the New York City of Edward Hopper's imagination, the skyscrapers have vanished, the sidewalks are mysteriously wide and all the diners and Chop Suey restaurants are sparsely populated with well-dressed lonely people. In this art-filled episode of the Bowery Boys, Tom and Greg look at Hopper's life, influence and specific fascination with th…
 
In the 19th century, the Fulton Fish Market in downtown Manhattan was to seafood what the Chicago stock yards were to the meat industry, the primary place where Americans got fish for their dinner tables. Over the decades it went from a retail market to a wholesale business, distributing fish across the country – although as you’ll hear, that was a…
 
New York City has a new landmark, a little bar in the West Village named Julius', officially recognized by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on December 6th, 2022. Now it may not look like much from the outside, but it's here that one moment of protest (the Sip-In of 1966) set the stage for a political revolution, “a signature eve…
 
Flushing-Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens is the home of the New York Mets, the U.S. Open, the Queens Zoo, the New York Hall of Science and many other recreational delights. But it will always be forever known as the launching pad for the future as represented in two extraordinary 20th century world's fairs. There is so much nostalgia t…
 
Greg and Tom -- with some help from producer Kieran Gannon -- reflect nostalgically upon old New York City restaurants from the 1990s (Mars 2112, anyone?), wonder what it was like to eat at a chop suey restaurant, praise the strange wonders of Chez Josephine and Congee Village and reveal their favorite places to get pizza in New York City. --- Here…
 
Crosswords, jigsaws, mazes, rebuses, Rubik's cubes, Myst, Words With Friends -- and now Wordle? Not only have people loved puzzles for centuries, they've actually gone wild for them. Every few years, a new tantalizing puzzle comes along to captivate the nation. But each of these little games has an extraordinary history and for this special show, w…
 
A Special Presentation: We know some of you like to celebrate the holiday spirit with actual alcoholic spirits so we thought you'd enjoy this episode of The Gilded Gentleman, the Bowery Boys spin-off podcast hosted by Carl Raymond, which lays out everything you've wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about absinthe -- aka the green fairy. Absint…
 
In 1890 the Danish-American journalist Jacob Riis turned his eye-opening reporting and lecture series into a ground-breaking book called How The Other Half Lives, a best seller which awoke Americans to the plight of the poor and laid the groundwork for the Progressive Era. Riis exposed more than a humanitarian crisis. He laid bare the city's compla…
 
To wrap up our 15th anniversary celebration -- and to set up our big 400th episode -- we take a fond look at one corner of New York City which taught us to love local history. Perhaps you know this area for Seward Park, the first municipal playground in the United States, or for Straus Square, named for Nathan Straus, philanthropist and co-owner (w…
 
In late December 1954 Marilyn Monroe came to New York City wearing a disguise. Monroe -- the biggest movie star in the world when she arrived -- came to the East Coast to reinvent herself and her career. The year 1955 would be a turning point in her life and it all played out on the streets of the city. She intended to spend most of her life here. …
 
On January 1, 2023, New York City will celebrate a special moment, the 125th anniversary of the formation of Greater New York and the creation of the five boroughs — The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. In honor of this special moment in New York City history, we are celebrating a bit early, reissuing our episode (originally #1…
 
Beware! The ghosts and goblins of the Hudson River Valley have been awakened. In this year's annual celebration of New York urban legends and folktales, Tom and Greg journey up the Hudson River to explore the region's spookiest stories. Tales of mystery and the supernatural have possessed the villages and towns of the Hudson River Valley since anci…
 
In honor of an exciting new theater season, we're revisiting our 2011 episode on the history of Sardi's restaurant, updated to cover the trials and triumphs of the past decade. The famous faces on the walls of Sardi's Restaurant represent the entertainment elite of the 20th Century, and all of them made this place on West 44th Street their unoffici…
 
You may have heard about the messy, chaotic and truly horrible presidential election of 1876 -- pitting Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B Hayes -- but did you know that New York City plays a huge role in this moment in American history? Tilden, the governor of New York, was a political superstar, a reformer famous for taking down B…
 
In the heart of Greenwich Village sits the Jefferson Market Library, a branch of the New York Public Library, and a beautiful garden which offers a relaxing respite from the busy neighborhood. But a prison once rose from this very spot -- more than one in fact. While there was indeed a market at Jefferson Market -- dating back to the 1830s -- this …
 
Just a few months ago, New York City removed most of the remaining phone booths from the streets, oft neglected, a nostalgic victim of our increasing use of cellphones. For almost a century public phones have connected regular New Yorkers with the world. Who doesn’t have fond memories of using a payphone with gum on the earpiece and extremely vulga…
 
In today's episode, Tom discusses the vast span of New York history with filmmakers and authors Ric Burns and James Sanders, creators of "New York: A Documentary Film". In our episode, we discuss the 8-part documentary (which aired on PBS in installments in 1999, 2001 and 2003) and its newly updated companion book, "New York: An Illustrated History…
 
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