396 episodes

The tides of American history lead through the streets of New York City — from the huddled masses on Ellis Island to the sleazy theaters of 1970s Times Square. The elevated railroad to the Underground Railroad. Hamilton to Hammerstein! Greg and Tom explore more than 400 years of action-packed stories, featuring both classic and forgotten figures who have shaped the world. 

The Bowery Boys: New York City History Bowery Boys Media

    • History
    • 4.7 • 2.8K Ratings

The tides of American history lead through the streets of New York City — from the huddled masses on Ellis Island to the sleazy theaters of 1970s Times Square. The elevated railroad to the Underground Railroad. Hamilton to Hammerstein! Greg and Tom explore more than 400 years of action-packed stories, featuring both classic and forgotten figures who have shaped the world. 

    Introducing: The Gilded Gentleman

    Introducing: The Gilded Gentleman

    Presenting a new history podcast produced by Tom Meyers and Greg Young from the Bowery Boys: New York City History.

    If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, The Age of Innocence or Upstairs Downstairs, then we know The Gilded Gentleman podcast will be your cup of tea.

    You’re cordially invited to join social and culinary historian Carl Raymond for a look behind the velvet curtains of America’s Gilded Age, Paris’ Belle Époque and England’s Victorian and Edwardian eras. The food, the music, the architecture -- the scandals!

    The first two episodes arrive promptly on December 7. 

    Please RSVP by subscribing to The Gilded Gentleman wherever you get your podcasts -- so you don't miss an episode. 

     

     

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    • 2 min
    #376 Skid Row: The Bowery of the Forgotten

    #376 Skid Row: The Bowery of the Forgotten

    Presenting a history of the Bowery in the 20th century when this street became known as the most notorious place in America. And the stories of the lonely and desperate men whose experiences have been mostly forgotten.

    From the moment that elevated train went up in 1878, the historic Bowery became a street of deteriorating fortunes. And by the 1940s, things had gotten so bad that the Bowery had taken on the nickname Skid Row.

    For decades it had become the last resort for men down on their luck, filling the flophouses and the cheap gin mills. For most of the people who found themselves here, these were not the ‘good ole days’.

    The only thing holding the Bowery back from total ruin were the rescue missions which began sprouting up here in the late 19th century, providing food and shelter for tens of thousands of people.

    The most renown of these places was the Bowery Mission which was founded in 1879. And is still, believe it or not, on the Bowery. Performing pretty much the same function as it did over 140 years ago.

    Greg and Tom take you through the dramatic history of the Bowery, then pay a visit to Jason Storbakken at the Bowery Mission to get a look at the rescue mission's current challenges and surprising struggles.

    boweryboyshistory.com

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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Toxic Turkey Day: HISTORY This Week

    Toxic Turkey Day: HISTORY This Week

    November 24, 1966. Millions of spectators flood Broadway in New York City to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning.

    The iconic floats – Superman, Popeye, Smokey the Bear – are set against a sky that can only be described as noxious. A smog of pollutants is trapped over New York City, and it will ultimately kill nearly 200 people.

    How did the 1966 Thanksgiving Smog help usher in a new era of environmental protection? And how have we been thinking about environmental disasters all wrong?

    This episode comes from one of our favorite podcasts HISTORY This Week from the History Channel.

    You can listen to more episodes of HISTORY This Week on Apple Podcasts 

    Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboys

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    • 23 min
    #375 The Great Bank Robbery of 1878

    #375 The Great Bank Robbery of 1878

    The thrilling tale of a classic heist from the Gilded Age, perpetrated by a host of wicked and colorful characters from New York's criminal underworld.

    Jesse James and Butch Cassidy may be more infamous as American bank robbers, but neither could match the skill or the audacity of George Leonidas Leslie, a mastermind known in his day as the "King of the Bank Robbers".

    On October 27, 1878, Leslie's gang broke into the Manhattan Savings Institution and stole almost $3 million in cash and securities (about $71 million in today's money), making it one of the greatest bank robberies in American history.  

    This epic heist, which took three years to plan, was only the greatest in a string of high-profile robberies planned by Leslie and perpetrated by a rogue's gallery of New York thieves and "fences".

    Many details of the crime remain a mystery, and the legend of Leslie has been immortalized -- with some mixture of truth and fiction -- in Herbert Asbury's classic The Gangs of New York. 

    Who was this suave and mysterious Leslie? And how do you actually go about breaking into a bank in the 1870s? (Hint: Make sure you have a "little joker" handy.)

    boweryboyshistory.com

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    • 51 min
    #374 Gotham's Greatest Ghost Stories

    #374 Gotham's Greatest Ghost Stories

    What are the greatest ghost stories and haunted legends in New York City history?

    Since 2007 -- every October for fourteen years -- the Bowery Boys podcast has shared the city's most notorious and frightening ghost stories and urban legends. Over fifty-five stories and counting -- from malevolent wraiths who walk the avenues to strange spirits forever at home in some of New York's greatest landmarks.

    So for this 15th annual Bowery Boys Halloween ghost story podcast, Greg and Tom taking a look back at their favorites (and yours), the tales which have stayed with us -- which have possessed us -- like a persistent phantom who refuses to leave.

    Featuring:

    -- The Brooklyn poltergeist at the heart of an unsolved 19th century mystery
    -- A haunted Hell's Kitchen townhouse tormented by a ravenous spirit
    -- An historic tavern with a very famous, very randy ghost
    -- A famous apartment building with mysterious people who walk through walls

    AND Greg and Tom re-visit and re-tell their favorite ghost story from their very first podcast. Does Olive Thomas still haunt the New Amsterdam Theatre?

    Visit the website for a list of all the Bowery Boys ghost story podcasts and a map of all the haunted locations in the city. 

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    • 1 hr 11 min
    #373 New York Underground: The Story of Cemeteries

    #373 New York Underground: The Story of Cemeteries

    The following podcast may look like the history of New York City cemeteries -- from the early churchyards of the Colonial era to the monument-filled rural cemeteries of Brooklyn and Queens.

    But it's much more than that! This is a story about New York City itself, a tale of real estate, urban growth, class and racial disparity, superstition and architecture.

    Cemeteries and burial grounds in New York City are everywhere -- although by design we often don’t see them or interact with them in daily life.

    You see them while strolling late night through the East Village or out your taxi window headed to LaGuardia Airport. Some of your favorite parks were even developed upon the sites of old potter’s fields.

    Why are there so many cemeteries on the border of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens? Why are 19th century mausoleums and tombstones so fabulously ornate? And why are there so many old burial grounds next to tenements and apartment buildings in Greenwich Village? 

    Featuring four tales from New York City history, illustrating the unusual relationship between cemeteries and urban areas.

    -- The Doctor's Riot of 1788
    -- The tragic monument of Charlotte Canda
    -- The shocking grave robbery of a prominent New Yorker
    -- The remarkable discovery in 1991 of a long-forgotten burial ground

    boweryboyshistory.com

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    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.8K Ratings

2.8K Ratings

marketpop ,

Gilder Gentleman

I hope this is as god as it sounds! Thanks!

rosiegraf ,

Absolutely fascinating

I have only been listening for a short time now and I find your podcast extremely fascinating. The stories and history you provide are entertaining and keep me enthralled. Thank you Bowery Boys, you have a listener for life.

T3888 ,

Fantastic history podcast

I’ve spent very little time in NYC (and despise all of their sports teams), but it is a fascinating city, and Tom and Greg are terrific storytellers who manage to find and dive deep into really interesting topics — and some topics that seem like they wouldn’t be interesting, but end up being so thanks to the hosts. They also have a deep and excellent back catalog.

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