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Blog Description:

A fun, irreverent guide to New York City history, from the avenues to the back alleys. Brought to you by the Bowery Boys - Tom Meyers and Greg Young. Weekly series on nightlife history, unusual museums and more. And subscribe to our podcast on iTunes!
Blog Added: August 07, 2007 04:35:46 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: Blogger Blogspot
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 3,052
Blog Rating: 3.01
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#274 Ghost Stories of Hell's Kitchen

The Manhattan neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen has a mysterious, troubling past. So what happens when you throw a few ghosts into the mix? Greg and Tom find out the hard way in this year's ghost stories podcast, featuring tales of mystery and mayhem situated in the townhouses, courtyards and taverns of this trendy area of Midtown West.This years Ghost Stories of Old New York show features:-- The troubling tale of a 1970s motion picture classic that may have left a sinister mark on West...

The Manhattan neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen has a mysterious, troubling past. So what happens when you throw a few ghosts into the mix? Greg and Tom find out the hard way in this year's ghost stories podcast, featuring tales of mystery and mayhem situated in the townhouses, courtyards and taverns of this trendy area of Midtown West.

This years Ghost Stories of Old New York show features:

-- The troubling tale of a 1970s motion picture classic that may have left a sinister mark on West 54th Street

-- The haunted home of a popular film and TV actress, possessed with a very hungry ghost

-- An enchanting courtyard layered with several horrifying ghost stories

-- And the shenanigans at a 150 year old tavern where the beer and the spirits flow freely.



#273 Peter Stuyvesant and the Fall of New Amsterdam

There would be no New York City without Peter Stuyvesant, the stern, autocratic director-general of New Amsterdam, the Dutch port town that predates the Big Apple. The willpower of this complicated leader took an endangered ramshackle settlement and transformed it into a functioning city. But Mr. Stuyvesant was no angel.In part two in the Bowery Boys' look into the history of New Amsterdam, we launch into the tale of Stuyvesant from the moment he steps foot (or peg leg, as it...

There would be no New York City without Peter Stuyvesant, the stern, autocratic director-general of New Amsterdam, the Dutch port town that predates the Big Apple. The willpower of this complicated leader took an endangered ramshackle settlement and transformed it into a functioning city. But Mr. Stuyvesant was no angel.

In part two in the Bowery Boys' look into the history of New Amsterdam, we launch into the tale of Stuyvesant from the moment he steps foot (or peg leg, as it were) onto the shores of Manhattan in 1647.

Stuyvesant immediately set to work reforming the government, cleaning up New Amsterdam's filth and even planning new streets. He authorized the construction of a new market, a commercial canal and a defense wall -- on the spot of today's Wall Street. But Peter would act very un-Dutch-like in his intolerance of varied religious beliefs, and the institution of slavery would flourish in New Amsterdam under his direction.

And yet the story of New York City's Dutch roots does not end with the city's occupation by the English in 1664 -- or even in 1672 (when the city was briefly retaken by a Dutch fleet). The Dutch spirit remained alive in the New York countryside, becoming part of regional customs and dialect.

And yet the story of New Amsterdam might otherwise be ignored if not for a determined group of translators who began work on a critical project in the 1970s......



#272 Life in New Amsterdam

We are turning back the clock to the very beginning of New York City history with this special two-part episode, looking at the very beginnings of European settlement in the area and the first significant Dutch presence on the island known as Manhattan.The Dutch were drawn to the New World not because of its beauty, but because of its beavers. Beaver pelts were all the rage in European fashion, and European explorers like Henry Hudson reported back that this unexplored land was filled...

We are turning back the clock to the very beginning of New York City history with this special two-part episode, looking at the very beginnings of European settlement in the area and the first significant Dutch presence on the island known as Manhattan.

The Dutch were drawn to the New World not because of its beauty, but because of its beavers. Beaver pelts were all the rage in European fashion, and European explorers like Henry Hudson reported back that this unexplored land was filled with the animals and their beautiful coats.

Of course, people were already living here -- the tribes of the Lenape -- and the first settlers sent by the Dutch -- French-speaking Walloons -- encountered them in the mid 1620s. But relations were relatively good between the two parties at the beginning. Could the native Munsee-speaking people and the first Dutch settlers get along?

In this episode, we walk you through the first two decades of life in the settlement of New Amsterdam, confined to the southern tip of Manhattan. What was the island like back then? How did people live and work in a region so entirely unknown to its European inhabitants?

boweryboyshistory.com




#271 Counter Culture: Diners, Automats, and Luncheonettes in New York

The classic diner is as American as the apple pie it serves, but the New York diner is a special experience all its own, an essential facet of everyday life in the big city. They range in all shapes and sizes -- from the epic, stand-alone Empire Diner to tiny luncheonettes and lunch counters, serving up fried eggs and corned beef.In this episode, the Bowery Boys trace the history of the New York diner experience, a history of having lunch in an ever-changing metropolis.There...

The classic diner is as American as the apple pie it serves, but the New York diner is a special experience all its own, an essential facet of everyday life in the big city. They range in all shapes and sizes -- from the epic, stand-alone Empire Diner to tiny luncheonettes and lunch counters, serving up fried eggs and corned beef.

In this episode, the Bowery Boys trace the history of the New York diner experience, a history of having lunch in an ever-changing metropolis.

There were no New York restaurants per se before Delmonico's in 1827, although workers on-the-go frequented oyster saloons and bought from street vendors and markets. Cellar establishments like Buttercake Dick's served rudimentary sustenance, and men often ate food provided by bars.

But once women entered the public sphere -- as workers and shoppers -- eating houses had to evolve to accommodate them. And thus was born the luncheonette, mini-lunch spaces in drug stores and candy shops. Soon prefabricated structures known as diners -- many made in New Jersey -- moved into vacant lots, streamlining the cheap eating experience.

Cafeterias appealed to New Yorkers looking for cleanliness, and those looking for an inexpensive, solitary meal turned to one unusual restaurant -- the automat. Horn & Hardarts' innovative eateries -- requiring a handful of nickels -- were regular features on the New York City streetscape. 

How did all these different types of eating experiences culminate in the modern New York diner-counter experience? For that, you can thank the Greeks.



#270 Heaven on the Hudson: A History of Riverside Park

In peeling back the many layers to Riverside Park, upper Manhattan's premier ribbon park, running along the west side from the Upper West Side to Washington Heights, you will find a wealth of history that takes you back to Manhattan's most rugged days.The windswept bluffs overlooking the Hudson River were home to only desolate mansions and farmhouses, its rock outcroppings appealing to tortured poets such as Edgar Allan Poe. But the railroad cleaved the peace when it laid its...

In peeling back the many layers to Riverside Park, upper Manhattan's premier ribbon park, running along the west side from the Upper West Side to Washington Heights, you will find a wealth of history that takes you back to Manhattan's most rugged days.

The windswept bluffs overlooking the Hudson River were home to only desolate mansions and farmhouses, its rock outcroppings appealing to tortured poets such as Edgar Allan Poe. But the railroad cleaved the peace when it laid its tracks along the waterfront in the 1840s.

To encourage development, the city planned Riverside Park as a respite with commanding views of the river and a swanky carriage way for afternoon excursions. But the original plan by Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted only went so far -- right up to those pesky train tracks.

In the 20th century, residents along the newly chic Riverside Drive tired of the smoky mess. It would take the 'master builder' himself -- Robert Moses -- to finally conceal those tracks and create a new spot for recreational facilities. In doing so, he threaded his new park with a new noisemaker -- the Henry Hudson Parkway

We give you the grand overview history of this extraordinary park THEN we visit the park itself to give you the full dynamic sound experience, reviewing Riverside's most spectacular attractions. 

PLUS: The strange story of two great monuments at 125th Street, the final resting place for a great military leader and a five year old boy, whose tragic story has inspired generations of poets.

FEATURING: George and Ira Gershwin, Charles Schwab, Joan of Arc, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (in non political capacities!)

boweryboyshistory.com




#269 Harry Houdini and the Golden Age of Magic in New York

Harry Houdini became one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, a showman whose escape artistry added a new dimension to the tried-and-true craft of stage magic. In this show, we present not only a mini-biography on the daredevil wizard, but a survey of the environment which made him -- a city of magic, mediums and mystery.New York during the late 19th century was a place of real, practical magic -- electric lights, elevated trains, telephones and other wonders that would...

Harry Houdini became one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, a showman whose escape artistry added a new dimension to the tried-and-true craft of stage magic. In this show, we present not only a mini-biography on the daredevil wizard, but a survey of the environment which made him -- a city of magic, mediums and mystery.

New York during the late 19th century was a place of real, practical magic -- electric lights, elevated trains, telephones and other wonders that would have seemed impossible just a few decades before. Those that performed stage magic in a world of such unbelievable inventions would need to up their game.

The great names of European stage magic -- most notably Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin -- would give rise to spectacular performances on both vaudeville and legitimate stages. Performers like Howard Thurston would dazzle New York crowds with unbelievable demonstrations of levitation while Harry Kellar and his 'spirit cabinet' would seem to use sorcery from other worlds.

Houdini got his start in New York's dime museums, evolving from simple card tricks to elaborate routines of escape. He was a truly modern performer, borrowing from the magic masters and benefiting from an eager public, looking for a virtual superhero.

But stage magic had a surprising foe -- actual magic or, as practiced by hundreds of mediums and mystics, spiritualism. Suddenly, the craft of magical illusion seemed secondary to those who could practice those same arts via a connection with the afterlife. Houdini was drawn into the debate early in his career, and the conflict intensified with his unusual friendship with one of the greatest writers in the world -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.



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