The Bowery Boys: New York City HistoryAuthor: Bowery Boys Media
17 Nov 2018

The Bowery Boys: New York City History

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New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people know the city's familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it?

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    #276 Murder on Bond Street: Who Killed Dr. Burdell?

    On January 31, 1857, a prominent dentist named Harvey Burdell was found brutally murdered -- strangled, then stabbed 15 times -- in his office and home and Bond Street, a once-trendy street between Broadway and the Bowery. 

    The suspects for this horrific crime populated the rooms of 31 Bond Street including Emma Cunningham, the former lover of Dr. Burdell and a woman with many secrets to hide; the boarder John Eckel who had a curious fondness for canaries; and the banjo-playing George Snodgrass, whose personal obsessions may have evolved in depraved ways.

    The mechanics of solving crime were much different in the mid-19th century than they are today, and the mysterious particulars of this investigation seem strange and even unacceptable to us today. A suspect would stand trial for Dr. Burdell's death, yet the shocking events which followed -- including a sinister deception and a faked childbirth -- would prove that truth is stranger than fiction.

  • Posted on 16 Nov 2018

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    #275 Return to Tin Pan Alley: Saving American Music History

    The beat goes on! In 2009 we recorded a podcast about the history of Tin Pan Alley, the cluster of buildings on West 28th Street where the American popular music industry was born. It was from these loud, bustling offices and parlors that some of the world's greatest songs were written and sold, launching and igniting the careers of songwriters like George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

    But nine years later, Tin Pan Alley finds itself in peril as the neighborhood surrounding it -- now called NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) -- rapidly develops into a boutique hotel district. Can these historic structures be saved?

    We present to you our original 2009 podcast, followed by a brand-new segment for 2018 featuring an interview with George Calderaro of the Save Tin Pan Alley! preservation campaign

    Featuring even MORE music classics from the Tin Pan Alley era.

  • Posted on 01 Nov 2018

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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 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.

  • Posted on 19 Oct 2018

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    #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 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......

  • Posted on 05 Oct 2018

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    #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 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?

  • Posted on 21 Sep 2018


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