Bowery Boys Archive: The Early Years

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

#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 EDT

#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 EDT

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.


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

#60 Five Points Part Two: The Fate of Five Points In our second podcast on the notorious Five Points neighborhood, we see how the district changed with the influx of new immigrants and the valiant attempts to reform the seedier elements. With the new Italian and Chinese residents, the culture changed drastically, critical shifts that are still reflected in the neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy today. Who was the man who helped clear Five Points from the landscape forever, and what famous park designer is associated with its replacement in the streets of downtown Manhattan?

Special 'illustrated edition; original show released August 30, 2008
Direct download: 60___Five_Points_Part_2__The_Fate_of_Five_Points.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:43pm EDT