Bowery Boys Archive: The Early Years (general)

Arguably New York's least conventional hotel, the Chelsea Hotel (or rather, the Hotel Chelsea) is the one of New York's counter-culture centers, a glamorous, art-filled Tower of Babel for both creativity and debauchery. From Mark Twain to Andy Warhol, it's been both inspiration and location for artistic wonder. We wind back the clock to the beginnings of Chelsea and to the hotel's early years as one of the city's cooperative apartment buildings. What made the Chelsea so different? And why are people still fighting over this storied structure today? 

boweryboyshistory.com

THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON AUGUST 14, 2009. A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN. CHECK OUT THE BLOG 'LIVING WITH LEGENDS: HOTEL CHELSEA BLOG' FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://www.chelseahotelblog.com

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 89_Chelsea_Hotel.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

For millions of Americans, Ellis Island is the symbol of introduction, the immigrant depot that processed their ancestors and offered an opening into a new American life.

But for some, it would truly be an 'Island of Tears', a place where they would be excluded from that life.

How did an island with such humble beginnings -- 'Little Oyster Island', barely a sliver of land in the New York harbor -- become so crucial? Who is the 'Ellis' of Ellis Island?

And how did it survive decades of neglect to become one of New York's most famous tourist attractions? 

FEATURING our special guest Tanya Bielski-Braham who walks us through her own family immigration experience -- from Poland to America.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 31, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 88_Ellis_Island.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EST

New Yorkers are serious about their pizza, and it all started with a tiny grocery store in today's Little Italy and a group of young men who became the masters of pizza making.

In this podcast, you'll find out all about the city's oldest and most revered pizzerias -- Lombardi's, Totonno's, John's, Grimaldi's and Patsy's in all its variations.

But if those are the greatest names in New York-style pizza, then who the heck is Ray -- Original, Famous or otherwise? 

NOW with several minutes of new pizza history -- including an update on Totonno's in Coney Island, the pizza war firing up underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the story of Sbarro's mall pizza domination.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 17, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 87_Kings_of_New_York_Pizza.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

You cannot understand New York without understanding its most corrupt politician -- William 'Boss' Tweed, a larger than life personality with lofty ambitions to steal millions of dollars from the city.

With the help of his 'Tweed Ring', the former chair-maker had complete control over the city -- what was being built, how much it would cost and who was being paid.

How do you bring down a corrupt government when it seems almost everybody's in on it? We reveal the downfall of the Tweed Ring and the end to one of the biggest political scandal in New York history. It begins with a sleigh ride.

ALSO: Find out how Tammany Hall, the dominant political machine of the 19th century, got its start -- as a rather innocent social club that required men to dress up and pretend they're Native Americans.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 2, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

 

Direct download: 86_Boss_Tweed_And_Tammany_Hall.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EST

What started in a tiny East Village basement grew to become one of New York's most enduring summer traditions, Shakespeare in the Park, featuring world class actors performing the greatest dramas of the age. But another drama was brewing just as things were getting started. It's Robert Moses vs. Shakespeare! Joseph Papp vs. the city!

ALSO: Learn how the Public Theater got off the ground and helped save an Astor landmark in the process.

THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JUNE 18, 2009 -- MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA AND 'HAMILTON' HIT THE PUBLIC STAGE!

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST -- Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

 

www.boweryboyshistory.com

 

Direct download: 85_Shakespeare_In_The_Park.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EST

Prospect Park, Brooklyn's biggest public space and home to the borough's only natural forest, was a sequel for Olmsted and Vaux after their revolutionary creation Central Park. But can these two landscape architects still work together or will their egos get in the way? And what happens to their dream when McKim, Mead and White and Robert Moses get to it?

ALSO: what classic Hollywood movie actor is buried here?

boweryboyshistory.com

ORIGINALLY RELEASED JUNE 5, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 84_Prospect_Park.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EST

We turn the clock back to the very beginnings of New York history — to the European discovery of Mannahatta and the voyages of Henry Hudson.

Originally looking for a passage to Asia, Hudson fell upon New York harbor and the Lenape inhabitants of lands that would later make up New York City. The river that was eventually named after Hudson may not have provided access to Asia, but it did offer something else that attracted the Dutch and eventually their very first settlement — New Amsterdam.

 

boweryboyshistory.com

ORIGINALLY RELEASED MAY 22, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 83_Henry_Hudson.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EST

Originally a quiet island of orchards and stone quarries, the place we call Roosevelt Island today was once New York's 'city of asylums', the place where it sent its infirm, its incarcerated, its insane. Today it has the peculiar air of a small town with one of the best views in the world. Find out about its numerous names (from Hog's Island to Welfare Island), its many former institutions, and the stories behind the island's several existing ruins, including the ghostly remains of a smallpox hospital. 

boweryboyshistory.com

ORIGINALLY RELEASED MAY 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 82_Roosevelt_Island.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm EST

A 6-foot plump gold impish figure stares down at you as you look up to observe the gorgeous red-brick design of the Puck Building, built for one of the 19th Century's most popular illustrated publications. But this architectural masterpiece was very nearly wiped away by a sudden decision by the city. How did it survive?

Puck's utterance "What Fools These Mortals Be!" is the slogan for Puck Magazine and words written by Shakespeare.

WITH several new minutes of material outlining the Puck Building's recent history.

 

ORIGINALLY RELEASED APRIL 23, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 81_Puck_Building.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EST

The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Mead and White. It's a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Find out why the original Penn Station was built to look so classical, why it was then torn down, and what strange behaviors the tunnels that connect it to New Jersey exhibit every night.

 

ORIGINALLY RELEASED APRIL 10, 2009

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

Direct download: 80_Pennsylvania_Station.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:54pm EST

The Whyos (pronounced Why-Ohs) were New York's most notorious gang after the Civil War, organizing their criminal activities and terrorizing law abiding citizens of the Gilded Age. Find out when they lived, how they broke the law and who they were -- from Googie Corcoran to Dandy Johnny, as well as two particularly notable guys named Danny.

ALSO: How much does it cost to have somebody's ear bitten off?

ORIGINALLY RELEASED MARCH 28, 2009

FEATURING 2016 BONUS MATERIAL: Greg reads an excerpt from Herbert Asbury's Gangs of New York, recounting the sad fate of Dandy Johnny Dolan.

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

 

www.boweryboyshistory.com

Direct download: 79_The_Whyos_Gang_of_New_York.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:31pm EST

The Great Fire of 1835 devastated the city during one freezing December evening, destroying hundreds of buildings and changing the face of Manhattan forever. It underscored the city's need for a functioning water system and permanent fire department.

So why were there so many people drinking champagne in the street?

Listen in as we recount this breathtaking tale of the biggest fire in New York City history.

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

ORIGINALLY RELEASED MARCH 13, 2009

www.boweryboyshistory.com

Direct download: 85_Great_Fire_of_1835.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50pm EST

What is Freedomland U.S.A.? An unusual theme park in the Bronx, only in existence for less than five years, Freedomland has become the object of fascination for New York nostalgia lovers everywhere. Created by an outcast of Walt Disney's inner circle, Freedomland practically defines 60s kitsch, with dozens of rides and amusements related to saccharine views of American history. Along the way, we'll take a visit to the Blast-Off Bunker, Casa Loco, and, yes, Borden's Barn Boudoir!

THIS IS A SPECIAL ILLUSTRATED PODCAST!  Chapter headings with images have been embedded in this show, so if your listening device is compatible with AAC/M4A files, just hit play and a variety of pictures should pop up.  The audio is superior than the original as well. (This will work as a normal audio file even if the images don’t appear.)

PLUS: Listen all the way to the end of this show for a special ORIGINAL tour of Freedomland U.S.A.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

 

Direct download: 77_Freedomland_USA.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm EST

F.W. Woolworth was the self-made king of retail’s newfangled ‘five and dime’ store and his pockets were overflowing with cash. Meanwhile, in New York, the contest to build the tallest building was well underway. The two combine to create one of Manhattan’s most handsome buildings, cutting a Gothic profile designed by America’s hottest architect of the early century. So what exactly does it all have to do with sneakers and gym clothes?

NOW WITH BONUS CONTENT! Details of the insane opening evening at the Woolworth Building. 

Originally released on February 12, 2009

boweryboyshistory.com 

Direct download: 76_Woolworth_Building.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm EST

Williamsburg used to have an H at the end of its name, not to mention dozens of major industries that once made it the tenth wealthiest place in the world. How did Williamsburgh become a haven for New York's most well-known factories and how did it then become the wildly diverse neighborhood it is today? Find out how its history connects with whalebones, baseball, beer, and medicine for intestinal worms.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

 

This show was originally recorded on January 29, 2009, so there are a few remarks that may seem startling today. The neighborhood has changed so much since then!

Direct download: 75_Williamsburgh_Brooklyn.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13pm EST

Cue the dancing girls, lower the props, raise the curtain -- it's the Bowery Boys and we're taking on Broadway's most famous producer, Florenz Ziegfeld! We give you a brief overview of the first days of Broadway, then sweep into Ziegfeld's life -- from his early successes (both professional and personal) to his famous Follies. And find out how the current Ziegfeld Theatre, a movie house, relates to the original Ziegfeld Theatre, home of Broadway's first 'real' musical, Show Boat.

 

PODCAST REWIND This was originally released on January 16, 2009

BONUS MATERIAL! Over eight minutes of newly recorded material, adding a couple more interesting details about a couple of Ziegfeld's stars. 

 

Visit www.boweryboyshistory.com for other tales of New York City history

Direct download: 74_Ziegfeld_Follies_Rewind.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm EST

Webster Hall, as beautifully worn and rough-hewn as it was during its heyday in the 1910s and 20s, disguises a very surprising past, a significant venue in the history of the labor movement, Greenwich Village bohemia, gay and lesbian life, and pop and rock music. Its ballroom has hosted the likes of Emma Goldman, Marcel Duchamp, Jefferson Airplane, Robert F Kennedy and Madonna. Listen in to find out how it got it's reputation as 'the devil's playhouse'.

 

PODCAST REWIND This was originally released on January 3, 2009

BONUS MATERIAL! Almost ten minutes of newly recorded material, adding a couple more interesting details from Webster Hall's unique history. 

 

Visit www.boweryboyshistory.com for other tales of New York City history

 

Direct download: 73_Webster_Hall_REWIND.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25pm EST

PODCAST REWIND JD Rockefeller Sr. may have earned his money is some rather unscrupulous ways, but his son Junior made good by giving midtown a towering city-within-a-city, a complex of Art Deco buildings that serves as New York's beating heart. We take a compact look at the complicated lineage of Rockefeller Center, from its controversial artwork to its famous Christmas tree.

THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays if you have a device compatible with AAC/M4A files.

 

This was originally recorded on December 18, 2008

www.boweryboyshistory.com

Direct download: 72_Rockefeller_Center.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43pm EST

PODCAST REWIND A podcast that's "very Saks Fifth Avenue," we get to the origins of the famous upscale retailer, follow its path from Washington D.C. to Heralds Square and then to "the most expensive street in the world," and tell you a little about a glamorous milliner named Tatiana. 

THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays.

 

This was originally recorded on December 4, 2008

www.boweryboyshistory.com

 

Direct download: 71_Saks_Sixth_Avenue.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07pm EST

PODCAST REWIND This is our "potpourri" episode with a little bit of everything in it. We open up some of our favorite readers mail, we take you behind the scenes of how we put together an episode, and we describe three of our very favorite history-related websites that you should check out. 

But it wouldn't be a podcast without some history, right? So we take a brief stroll down the Bowery, with over 200 years of history of this famous street. But has anything really changed?

 

THIS IS A SPECIAL ENHANCED EPISODE. Pictures should pop up on your listening device as it plays.

 

This was originally recorded on November 21, 2008

boweryboyshistory.com

Direct download: 70_The_Bowery_Files.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EST

It got off to a rocky start, but the Plaza Hotel has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. We take a look at its kooky history, from its days as an upper class ‘transient hotel’ to a party place for celebrities. Starring: The Beatles, Eloise, Truman Capote and of course the unsinkable Mrs. Patrick Campbell.

 

On certain players, this enhanced version of the podcast is embedded with pictures that will pop up as you play the show.

www.boweryboyshistory.com

Direct download: 69_The_Plaza_Hotel.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28pm EST

A true five-borough episode! The New York City Marathon hosts thousands of runners from all over the world, the dream project of the New York Road Runners and in particular one Fred Lebow, an employee of the Fashion District turned athletic icon. Find out how he launched a massive race in the midst of bankrupt New York.  

Also -- our guest host Tanya Bielski-Braham takes us on a speedy tour of the course, from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Tavern on the Green.

NOTE: This show was originally recorded in October 2008.  As a result, the cancellation of the New York Marathon -- and the controversies surrounding that -- are not included in this show.

The map included in the enhanced features of this show are for the 2014 race.  Please consult www.nyrr.org for more information.

 

www.boweryboyspodcast.com

 

Direct download: New_York_City_Marathon.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EST

The spiral-ramped wonder that is the Guggenheim Museum began as the dream of two colorful characters -- a severe German artist and her rich patron art-lover. So how did they convince the most famous architect in the world to sign on to their dream for a modern art "museum temple"? Come meander with us through the Guggenheim's quirky history. Co-starring Robert Moses!

 

This is a special 'illustrated podcast'.  Pictures of the things we're talking about should be popping up on your computer as you listen!

 

www.boweryboyspodcast.com

Direct download: 67_Guggenheim_Museum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm EST

The most desirable woman in downtown Manhattan -- the 'beautiful cigar girl' Mary Rogers -- is found horribly murdered along the Hoboken shore. Hear some of the stories of the murder's prime suspects and marvel at the excessive attentions of the penny press.

Also: the deductive Edgar Allen Poe writes one of the first detective stories, and the notorious Madame Restell, who has a surprising connection to the murder. 

Special illustrated edition 2013

Originally released October 2008

Direct download: 66_Who_Killed_Mary_Rogers.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm EST

By popular demand, we return to the creepier tales of New York City history, ghost tales and stories of murder and mayhem, all of them at some point involving great American icons -- Alexander Hamilton, P.T. Barnum, Dorothy Parker and Mark Twain. Featuring a murder at a Manhattan well, a bloody slaying in rural Staten Island, the lingerings of New York's most fabulous undead, and the most haunted home in Greenwich Village!

This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player.

(Original version released Oct. 10, 2008)

Direct download: 65_Spooky_Stories_of_New_York.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm EST

Green-wood Cemetery is one of New York's oldest burial grounds, but its development reaches back all the way to the beginning of Brooklyn itself -- in fact, to the founder of Brooklyn Heights.  Find out why it took an inventive city planner with a funny name, a dead New York icon, and a few errant parakeets to make this place a beautiful, richly historical place to visit today.

This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player.

(Original version released Oct. 3, 2008)

Direct download: 64_Green-wood_Cemetery.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EST

#63 New York Stock Exchange

We tackle the rich history of the New York Stock Exchange in this episode, beginning with Alexander Hamilton, some pushy auctioneers, a coffee house and a sycamore tree. And find how this seminal financial institution ended up in its latest home -- that beautiful, classically designed George Post building, with a marble goddess on top who was almost too heavy for her own good. This was originally recorded back in 2008 in the midst of the big financial crisis, giving it a little extra context!

This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player.

(Original version released Sept. 26, 2008)

Direct download: New_York_Stock_Exchange.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18am EST

#62 Shea Stadium

The New York Mets are nice and comfortable Citi Field, but we can't overlook the great stories contained in their old home, Shea Stadium, a Robert Moses project took years to get off the ground and has been populated with world class ball players, crazed Beatles fans, and one very mysterious black cat.

This is a Special Illustrated Edition. Just hit play and images of the things discussed will pop up on your media player!

Originally released September 19, 2008  

Direct download: 62_Shea_Stadium.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06pm EST

Special Illustrated Edition! Today it's the Met Life Building. It's been called the ugliest building in New York City. It sits like a monolith behind one of the city's most enduring icons Grand Central Terminal. But it's got some secrets you may not know about. In this podcast, we scale the heights of this misunderstood marvel of modern architecture.

 

www.boweryboyspodcast.com

 


Direct download: 61_Pan_Am_Building.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32pm EST

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