The Bowery Boys
eBook - ePub

The Bowery Boys

Adventures in Old New York

Greg Young, Tom Meyers

  1. 528 pagine
  2. English
  3. ePUB (disponibile sull'app)
  4. Disponibile su iOS e Android
eBook - ePub

The Bowery Boys

Adventures in Old New York

Greg Young, Tom Meyers

Dettagli del libro
Anteprima del libro
Indice dei contenuti

Informazioni sul libro

Uncover fascinating, little-known histories of the five boroughs in The Bowery Boys' official companion to their popular, award-winning podcast. It was 2007. Sitting at a kitchen table and speaking into an old karaoke microphone, Greg Young and Tom Meyers recorded their first podcast. They weren't history professors or voice actors. They were just two guys living in the Bowery and possessing an unquenchable thirst for the fascinating stories from New York City's past. Nearly 200 episodes later, The Bowery Boys podcast is a phenomenon, thrilling audiences each month with one amazing story after the next. Now, in their first-ever book, the duo gives you an exclusive personal tour through New York's old cobblestone streets and gas-lit back alleyways. In their uniquely approachable style, the authors bring to life everything from makeshift forts of the early Dutch years to the opulent mansions of The Gilded Age. They weave tales that will reshape your view of famous sites like Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and the High Line. Then they go even further to reveal notorious dens of vice, scandalous Jazz Age crime scenes, and park statues with strange pasts. Praise for The Bowery Boys "Among the best city-centric series." — New York Times "Meyers and Young have become unofficial ambassadors of New York history." —NPR "Breezy and informative, crowded with the finest grifters, knickerbockers, spiritualists, and city builders to stalk these streets since back when New Amsterdam was just some farms." — Village Voice "Young and Meyers have an all-consuming curiosity to work out what happened in their city in years past, including the Newsboys Strike of 1899, the history of the Staten Island Ferry, and the real-life sites on which Martin Scorsese's Vinyl is based." — The Guardian

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Chapter 1
New York Harbor
Those ships...
Those ships have sailed: A sketch of New York Harbor by British army officer Thomas Davies, 1776.
Emma Lazarus wrote the poem “The New Colossus” in 1883 on a rather urgent mission. France had just given the United States an enormous gift, called “Liberty Enlightening the World,” better known as the Statue of Liberty. The only hitch: It lacked a base to stand on. Through newspaper campaigns and fundraisers (such as the one at which an audience first heard Lazarus’s poem), citizens eventually raised $270,000, enough money to fit Miss Liberty with a smart new pedestal designed by Richard Morris Hunt.
Twenty years after Lazarus wrote the poem, the verses were etched into bronze and placed onto a lower level of the pedestal. Her words have represented the voice of Lady Liberty ever since:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
— New York Harbor —
In 1609 Henry Hudson discovered what the Native Americans of the region had known for more than 6,000 years—the value of what would one day be called New York Harbor. Hudson was the talk of the town (or rather, the wigwam); no European explorer had dared enter since Giovanni da Verrazzano briefly tipped his ship into the legendary Narrows in 1524.6
For his efforts, they named that big bridge linking Staten Island to Brooklyn for him in 1964.
Hudson and the men of his vessel the Halve Maen were sailing on behalf of his employer, the Dutch East India Company. The harbor and the so-called North River (today renamed for Mr. Hudson) would prove vital to the success of that first Dutch settlement, New Amsterdam.7 Fifty-five years after Hudson’s journey, the more powerful British Crown would snatch up the territory from the Dutch, eager to control its valuable ports, prized network of waterways, and strategic position among its other North American colonies.
While Hudson worked for the Dutch East India Company, the New Amsterdam settlement belonged to the similarly named Dutch West India Company.
Soon this same harbor would help define the American dream and make New York one of the richest cities in the world. With the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1820s, connecting the Hudson River with the American inlands via the Great Lakes, New York Harbor became a gateway of domestic and international commerce, and a symbol of American progress.
Soon something even bigger than trade was enriching New York’s shores. It was here that millions of immigrants reached their new home, greeted after 1886 by a new beacon of opportunity and rebirth, the Statue of Liberty. Immigrants at Ellis Island gazed across the harbor to that astounding city of dreams and imagined possibilities they thought impossible in their home countries. America the beautiful.
Adventures on Governors Island
Of the three small islands that sit in New York Harbor between Staten Island and Manhattan, two of them (Ellis Island and Liberty Island) have been embedded into the American consciousness as icons of freedom and opportunity. The third, Governors Island, is often overlooked by both visitors and residents.
However, for much of the city’s history, this ice-cream-cone shaped island,8 separated from Brooklyn by the richly named Buttermilk Channel, has been critically important to the nation’s defense. Fortunately, its most treasured historical landmarks are still around more than 200 years after they were constructed.
Sugar cone, to be specific.
Chillin’ out on Governors Island, painted by Frederick Catherwood.
In 1624, when the Dutch brought the first settlers to the New World to establish what would become New Netherland, they deposited eight men on this small island, which they named Noten (Nut) Island. It was a convenient spot, just a short rowing distance from the future settlements of New Amsterdam and Breukelen. But it would be the British who would give it the name Governors Island after taking charge of the colony in 1664, as the royal governors of the New York colony would indeed live here.
The island would be less hospitable to the British a century later, when in 1776 the Continental Army constructed earthen forts here to ward off British war vessels during the early years of the Revolutionary War. While its guns did scare off two British ships on July 12, 1776, the British succeeded in driving the Continental Army out of New York during the Battle of Long Island. They would occupy Governors Island—and all of New York—throughout the conflict.
The strange...
The strange silhouette of Castle Williams, 1890 (photo: Langill & Darling).
In 1783, at the end of the war, the new Americans ushered the British out of the harbor with gusto.9 But fears of their return continued for decades afterward, presenting the young government with the alarming thought of New York being recaptured. And so, with tensions mounting in the run-up to the War of 1812, two very different fortresses were constructed here. Fort Jay, sitting on the site of the original Revolutionary War defense, was designed like a five-pointed star fort surrounded by a dry moat. Castle Williams, sitting on the shoreline, was given an almost completely circular shape, punctured with openings for dozens of cannons. Both fortifications have survived and can be visited today, most likely because neither ever saw an actual battle.
Evacuation Day! See Chapter 2.
Aware of the island’s strategic location for defending the nation’s most important city and harbor, the U.S. Army moved out to Governors Island in the 1830s, and would remain stationed there until 1965. During the Civil War, the forts were reworked into holding cells for Confederate soldiers, Union deserters, and criminals. Captured Confederate officers were held in relatively posh quarters at Fort Jay,10 while regular soldiers were thrown into the much less comfortable prison at Castle Williams.
During the nineteenth century, Fort Jay was rena...

Indice dei contenuti

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction: Have a Great New York Week
  7. Chapter 1: New York Harbor
  8. Chapter 2: Battery Park
  9. Chapter 3: West Financial District
  10. Chapter 4: East Financial District
  11. Chapter 5: City Hall and South Street Seaport
  12. Chapter 6: Tribeca and Foley Square
  13. Chapter 7: Chinatown and Little Italy
  14. Chapter 8: SoHo and Nolita
  15. Chapter 9: Lower East Side
  16. Chapter 10: East Village
  17. Chapter 11: The Bowery and Astor Place
  18. Chapter 12: Greenwich Village
  19. Chapter 13: West Village
  20. Chapter 14: Chelsea and the Meatpacking District
  21. Chapter 15: Union Square and the Flatiron District
  22. Chapter 16: Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, and Murray Hill
  23. Chapter 17: Herald Square and The Tenderloin: 27th Street to 40th Street, from Madison Square to the Hudson River
  24. Chapter 18: Midtown East and Turtle Bay: 40th Street to 60th Street, from Madison Avenue to the East River
  25. Chapter 19: Times Square and Rockefeller Center: 40th Street to 60th Street, from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue
  26. Chapter 20: Hell’s Kitchen and Columbus Circle: 40th Street to 60th Street, from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River
  27. Chapter 21: Upper West Side and Riverside Park: 60th Street to 110th Street, from Central Park West to the Hudson River
  28. Chapter 22: Central Park
  29. Chapter 23: Upper East Side and Yorkville
  30. Chapter 24: Harlem and Morningside Heights: 110th Street to 145th Street, Harlem River to Hudson River
  31. Chapter 25: Washington Heights and Inwood: 145th Street to Spuyten Duyvil, Harlem River to Hudson River
  32. Bowery Boys Bookshelf
  33. Favorite Websites
  34. Acknowledgments
  35. About the Authors
Stili delle citazioni per The Bowery Boys

APA 6 Citation

Young, G., & Meyers, T. (2016). The Bowery Boys ([edition unavailable]). Ulysses Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2016)

Chicago Citation

Young, Greg, and Tom Meyers. (2016) 2016. The Bowery Boys. [Edition unavailable]. Ulysses Press.

Harvard Citation

Young, G. and Meyers, T. (2016) The Bowery Boys. [edition unavailable]. Ulysses Press. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Young, Greg, and Tom Meyers. The Bowery Boys. [edition unavailable]. Ulysses Press, 2016. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.