Rank #1: #100 Robert Moses
Mar 19 2010
Rank #2: #54 The Creation of Central Park
Sep 19 2008
Rank #3: #109 New York City Subway, Part 1: Birth of the IRT
We'll tell you about the construction of the first line, traveling miles underground through Manhattan and into the Bronx. How did the city cope with this massive project? And what unfortunate accident nearly ripped apart a city block mere feet from Grand Central Station?
Aug 06 2010
Rank #4: #134 St. Patrick's Cathedral
Enter 'Dagger' John Hughes, the relentless first Archbishop of New York, who hammered the city for equal treatment for Catholics and managed to construct several New York institutions still in existence. Many scoffed at his idea of building a gigantic cathedral so far north of town.
We explore the early years of this once-quiet piece of mid-Manhattan property and some of the notable events that have taken place at St. Patrick's since its opening.
ALSO: The tale of the revered Haitian hairdresser in the crypt!
CORRECTION: Near the end of the podcast, I say that 'Godfather III' was filmed at St. Patricks. It was, but it's the OLD downtown St Pat's, not the Midtown. Sorry for the error!
Check out our blog www.boweryboypodcast.com
Feb 10 2012
Rank #5: #135 The High Line
You can trace the footprints of this area back almost 200 years, to the introduction of the Hudson River Railroad and Cornelius Vanderbilt, who transformed the streets along the Hudson River into 'the lifeline of New York', filled with warehouses, marketplaces and abattoirs. And, of course, lots of traffic, turning 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue into 'death avenues', requiring New York's first 'urban cowboys'.
The West Side Elevated Freight Railroad was meant to relieve some of trauma on the street. That's not exactly how it worked out. We'll tell you about its downfall, its transformation during the 70s as a haven for counter-culture, and its reinterpretation as an innovative urban playground.
Mar 09 2012
Rank #6: #72 Rockefeller Center
Dec 19 2008
Rank #7: #121 Fraunces Tavern
As with places this famous -- where fact and legend intermingle -- many mysteries still remain, and we attempt to find some answers. Was the tavern owner Samuel Fraunces one of America's first great black patriots? Did Sam use his position here to spy upon the British during the years of occupation between 1776 and 1783? Was his daughter on hand to prevent an assassination attempt on the life of Washington? And is it possible that the basement of Fraunces Tavern once housed a dungeon?
ALSO: Learn about the two deadly attacks on Fraunces Tavern -- one by a British war vessel in the 1770s, and another, more violent act of terror that occurred in its doorway over 200 years later!
Mar 18 2011
Rank #8: #59 Five Points: Wicked Slum
most scandalous pastimes.
Sep 19 2008
Rank #9: #244 The Rise of the Fifth Avenue Mansions
At the heart of New York’s Gilded Age – the late 19th century era of unprecedented American wealth and excess – were families with the names Vanderbilt, Belmont and Astor, alongside power players like A.T. Stewart, Jay Gould and William ‘Boss’ Tweed.
They would all make their homes – and in the case of the Vanderbilts, their great many homes – on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
The image of Fifth Avenue as a luxury retail destination today grew from the street’s aristocratic reputation in the 1800s. The rich were inextricably drawn to the avenue as early as the 1830s when rich merchants, anxious to be near the exquisite row houses of Washington Square Park, began turning it into an artery of expensive abodes.
In this podcast -- the first of two parts -- Tom and Greg present a world that’s somewhat hard to imagine – free-standing mansions in an exclusive corridor running right through the center of Manhattan. Why was Fifth Avenue fated to become the domain of the so-called ‘Upper Ten’? What were the rituals of daily life along such an unusual avenue? And what did these Beaux Arts palaces say about their ritzy occupants?
CO-STARRING: Mark Twain, Madame Restell, George Opdyke and “the Marrying Wilsons”
Nov 24 2017
Rank #10: #29 Brooklyn Bridge
Nov 18 2008
Rank #11: #65 Spooky Stories of New York
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.
Our older shows will be available on iTunes next week! Just look for
the show called Bowery Boys Archives for our first year of shows,
remastered and re-edited.
Oct 10 2008
Rank #12: #86 Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall
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 Indians.
Jul 02 2009
Rank #13: #177 The Big History of Little Italy
The area has some of New York's oldest still-operating shops, from Ferrara Bakery to Di Palo's. But there's also a dark side to this neighborhood, memories of extortion plots by the Black Hand and a perpetual presence of organized crime.
The present-day Little Italy is completely charming but constantly shrinking. How long can the neighborhood survive in the face of a growing Chinatown and the threats of gentrification?
PLUS: Our love/hate relationship with Nolita -- REVEALED!
Feb 20 2015
Rank #14: #212 Bronx Trilogy (Part One) The Bronx Is Born
Sep 01 2016
Rank #15: #148 The Great Blizzard of 1888
And indeed, the Blizzard and Sandy have several disturbing similarities. But the battering snow-hurricane of 1888, with freezing temperatures and drifts three stories high, was made worse by the condition of New York's transportation and communication systems, all unprepared for 36 hours of continual snow and wind.
The storm struck in the early hours of Monday, and so thousands were attempting to make their way to work. It would be the worst commute in New York City history! Fallen telephone and telegraph poles became a hidden threat under the quickly accumulating drifts. Elevated trains were frozen in place, their passengers unable to get out for hours. Many died simply trying to make their way back home on foot, including Roscoe Conkling, a power broker of New York's Republican Party.
But there were moments of amusement too. Saloons thrived, and actors trudged through to the snow in time for their performances, And for P.T. Barnum, the show must always go on!
Feb 08 2013
Rank #16: #150 Consolidation! Five Boroughs, One Big City
Here's the story of how two very big cities and a whole bunch of small towns and villages -- completely different in nature, from farmland to skyscraper -- became the greatest city in the world.
This is the tale of Greater New York, the forming of the five boroughs into one metropolis, a consolidation of massive civic interests which became official on January 1, 1898.
But this is not a story of interested parties, united in a common goal. In fact, Manhattan (comprising, with some areas north of the Harlem River, the city of New York) was in a bit of a battle with anti-consolidation forces, mostly in Brooklyn, who saw the merging of two biggest cities in America as the end of the noble autonomy for that former Dutch city on the western shore of Long Island.
You'll be stunned to hear how easily it could have all fallen apart! In this podcast is the story of Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island (or Richmond, if you will) and their journey to become one. And how, rather recently in fact, one of those boroughs would grow uncomfortable with the arrangement. www.boweryboyshistory.com
Apr 05 2013
Rank #17: #168 DUEL! Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton
This is the story of two New York lawyers -- and two Founding Fathers -- that so detested each other that their vitriolic words (well, mostly Hamilton's) led to these two grown men shooting each other out of honor and dignity, while robbing America of their brilliance, leadership and talent.
You may know the story of this duel from history class, but this podcast focuses on its proximity to New York City, to their homes Richmond Hill and Hamilton Grange and to the places they conducted their legal practices and political machinations.
Which side are you on?
ALSO: Find out the fates of sites that are associated with the duel, including the place Hamilton died and the rather disrespectful journey of the dueling grounds in Weehawken.
CORRECTION: Alexander Hamilton had his fateful dinner as the house of Judge James Kent, not John Kent, as I state here.
Jul 11 2014
Rank #18: #224 The Arrival of the Irish: An Immigrant Story
Mar 16 2017
Rank #19: #186 Hell's Kitchen: New York's Wild West
We greatly appreciate our listeners and readers and thank you for joining us on this journey so far. And the best is yet to come!
Jul 09 2015
Rank #20: #232 The Story of SoHo
Jul 20 2017