Bowery Boys Archive: The Early Years

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.


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 EDT

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 for other tales of New York City history

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

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 for other tales of New York City history


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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.

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

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 for more information.


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

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!

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

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 EDT