Monday, April 15, 2013

Online Resource: The Bowery Boys' podcasts

I recently discovered the Bowery Boys podcast, and can't believe I've never heard of it before. The podcast covers various aspects of NYC history, focusing on a different topic each episode.

I started with last year's episode on Red Hook, of course, since that's where all my people lived.  I've been picking and choosing the episodes most relevant to my family's history since then, but I'd love to work my way through the entire archive. (Luckily, I have a few days of important but rather tedious and mindless work to do in the coming weeks, so I've got lots of listening time available.) The recent episode on New York City's consolidation is a must-listen for anyone researching in NYC who might not be familiar with what exactly constituted "New York City" and when. (Hint: it looked very different before 1898.) A couple of the topics that they've covered that I most want to listen to are the Civil War Draft Riots, Collect Pond and Canal Street, and Old St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Although this sampling tends to be biased towards the era and geography of my own family's history in New York, the same bias is in no way reflected in the topics covered by the Bowery Boys, which extend from Peter Stuyvesant to JFK Airport. I highly recommend these podcasts to anyone with an interest in New York City history, or anyone with family who lived here at any point, as it will add history and context to your research.

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