#426 Behind the Domino Sign: Brooklyn's Bittersweet Empire
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers, Greg Young
6d ago
The Brooklyn waterfront was once decorated with a yellow Domino Sugar sign, affixed to an aging refinery along a row of deteriorating industrial structures facing the East River. The Domino Sugar Refinery, completed in 1883 (replacing an older refinery after a devastating fire), was more than a factory. During the Gilded Age and into the 20th century, this Brooklyn landmark was the center of America's sugar manufacturing, helping to fuel the country's hunger for sweet delights. But the story goes further back in time -- back hundreds of years in New York City history. The sugar trade was one o ..read more
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#425 It Happened at Madison Square Park
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers
3w ago
So much has happened in and around Madison Square Park -- the leafy retreat at the intersections of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street -- that telling its entire story requires an extra-sized episode, in honor of our 425th episode. Madison Square Park was the epicenter of New York culture from the years following the Civil War to the early 20th century. The park was really at the heart of Gilded Age New York, whether you were rushing to an upscale restaurant like Delmonico’s or a night at the theater or maybe just an evening at one of New York’s most luxurious hotels like the Fifth Avenue ..read more
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Rewind: Truman Capote and the Black and White Ball
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers, Greg Young
1M ago
FX is debuting a new series created by Ryan Murphy — called Feud: Capote and the Swans -- regarding writer Truman Capote's relationship with several famed New York society women. And it's such a New York story that listeners have asked if we’re going to record a tie-in show to that series. Well, here it is!  Capote -- who was born 100 years ago this year -- and the "swans" are part of the pivotal cast of this podcast, the story of one of the most exclusive parties ever held in New York. Tom and Greg recorded this show back in November of 2016 but, likely, most of you haven’t heard this on ..read more
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#424 Kosciuszko! The Man. The Bridge. The Legend.
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Greg Young
1M ago
The Kosciuszko Bridge is one of New York City's most essential pieces of infrastructure, the hyphen in the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that connects the two boroughs over Newtown Creek, the 3.5 mile creek which empties into the East River. The bridge is interestingly named for the Polish national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko who fought during the American Revolution, then attempted to bring a similar revolutionary spirit to his home country, leading to the doomed Kościuszko Uprising of 1794. Kościuszko, the man, is a revered historical figure. The bridge, however, has not always been loved. And many ..read more
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#423 Leonard Bernstein's New York, New York
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers, Greg Young
2M ago
On the morning of November 14th, 1943, Leonard Bernstein, the talented 25-year-old assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, got a phone call saying he would at last be leading the respected orchestral group — in six hours, that afternoon, with no time to rehearse. The sudden thrust into the spotlight transformed Bernstein into a national celebrity. For almost five decades, the wunderkind would be at the forefront of American music, as a conductor, composer, virtuoso performer, writer, television personality and teacher. He would also help create the most important Broadway musicals of ..read more
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#422 Grace Church: A Most Fashionable History
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Harry Krauss, Tom Meyers, Greg Young
2M ago
Manhattan's Grace Church sits at a unique bend on Broadway and East 10th Street, making it seem that the historic house of worship is rising out of the street itself. But Grace is also at another important intersection -- where religion and high society greeted one another during the Gilded Age. Grace is one of the important Episcopal churches in America, forming in 1808 in lower Manhattan literally next door to Trinity Church. But when society began moving uptown, so too did Grace, making its home on a plot formerly occupied by Henry Brevoort’s apple orchard.  Grace was also one of the m ..read more
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Christmas in Old New York: Holiday History
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by John Kevin Jones, Jeff Dobbins, Greg Young, Carl Raymond
3M ago
This week we're highlighting an especially festive episode of the Gilded Gentleman Podcast, a show with double the holiday fun, tracing the history of Christmas and holiday celebrations over 19th-century New York City history. Licensed New York City tour guide and speaker Jeff Dobbins joins host Carl Raymond for a look at the city’s holiday traditions dating back to the early Dutch days of New Amsterdam up to the modern innovations of the early 20th century.  You'll learn.... -- the connections between Sinterklaas and Santa Claus -- the history of display windows, department sto ..read more
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#421 Evacuation Day: Forgotten Holiday of the American Revolution
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers, Greg Young
3M ago
For decades New Yorkers celebrated Evacuation Day every November 25, a holiday marking the 1783 departure of British forces from the city they had occupied for several years during the Revolutionary War. The events of that departure -- that evacuation -- inspired annual celebrations of patriotism, unity, and a bit of rowdiness. Evacuation Day was honored well until the late 19th century. But then, gradually, the party sort of petered out..... Of course, Americans may know late November for another historically themed holiday – Thanksgiving, a New England-oriented celebration that eventually to ..read more
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#420 Garbo Walks: Old Hollywood in New York
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Greg Young, Greta Garbo
3M ago
Greta Garbo in New York! A story of freedom, glamour, and melancholy, set at the intersection of classic Hollywood and mid-century New York City. The biography of a legendary star who became the city's most famous 'celebrity sighting' for many decades while out on her regular, meandering walks. Garbo had once been Hollywood's biggest star, a screen goddess who survived the transition from silent pictures to sound in such movies as Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, and Camille. But her career was over by the 1940s, her exotic and distant screen presence no longer appealing in the years of World War ..read more
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Rewind: The Gilded Age Mansions of Fifth Avenue
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
by Tom Meyers, Greg Young
4M ago
So we don't know if you’ve heard, but New York City is an expensive place to live these days. So we thought it might be time to revisit the tale of the city’s most famous district of luxury — Fifth Avenue.  For about a hundred years, this avenue was mostly residential -- but residences of the most extravagant kind. 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 Astor, Waldorf, Schermerhorn, and Vanderbilt, alongside power players like A.T. Stewart, Jay Gould and William “Boss” Tweed. They would a ..read more
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