ABC Gotham

de ABC Gotham

Fun weird NYC history, in alphabetical order.


Ugliest Buildings, Part II: Modernism

por ABC Gotham

Who thought these were a good idea?  Seriously.  On Day 1, when the money guys met with the building guys, why didn't they scream and run away?  Did they feel any regret once the building itself took form?  Jacquetta and Kathleen are disgusted, but they got through Part 2: Modernism and managed to keep their sanity (mostly).

 Mandatory: all the pictures you need are on our Facebook page!

The links we promised:

Yes, 432 Park Avenue WAS, in fact, inspired by a garbage can.  At least it's a fancy garbage can.

This article has more info and nice pictures of 432 Park's lighting scheme.

As of the time of recording, there are currently plans for eight more ultra-luxe towers in and around Manhattan.

Nicholas Korody at has done a great job compiling various reviews of the new Whitney.

Theodore Dalrymple is the genius who says, of the new Whiney Museum, "The building was a perfect place from which to commit suicide".  I recommend reading his other stuff.  Not an architect, but a helluva writer.

Jonathan Letham wrote an open letter to Frank Gehry .The article includes an image of the "Miss Brooklyn" tower, a hideous architechtural bullet we were lucky to dodge. 

Yes, Barclays Center does have the worst seats in professional sports. And there are no plans to change them.  To paraphrase Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, "You can watch the game on your phone, plebe."

Ugliest Buildings, Part I: Brutalism

por ABC Gotham

Imposing concrete blocks surround New Yorkers, but WHY? Who built them?  Were they truly considered to be good decisions at the time?  Will we ever get rid of them?  (No.) Kathleen and guest host Jacquetta Szathmari from the top-rated podcast Hey You Know It discuss as many of these monstrosities as they can stomach. In part 1 of Ugliest Buildings, we discuss Brutalism in the city.  Checking out the Facebook page for the photos is an absolute imperative!!

Check out co-host Jacquetta’s podcast Hey You Know It!

Two of NYC’s worst buildings were featured in the Daily Mail’s 30 Ugliest Buildings In The World.

Brutalism does have its fans, and they’re not 100% crazy. This episode of 99% Invisible has a lot of good info about why they think they way they do.

Jacquetta mentioned Krull (1983), the dystopian sci fi pic that could have been set in the hulking buildings of lower Manhattan.  Starring baby Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane!

A rare look inside 33 Thomas St, the former AT&T Long Lines building.  It's just as bad inside as out!!

For more savage commentary on FIT, check out its NYC architecture page


Toynbee Tiles

por ABC Gotham

Raising the dead on Jupiter! This idea is why one person has embedded linoleum tiles in the asphalt of major avenues of NYC and in other cities around the world. Look down when walking around, and soon you start to notice them. Where did that idea come from?  What is "Toynbee"? Who is the person responsible for these tiles? Is human resurrection on Jupiter feasible? (No.) Kate and Kathleen discuss these questions and more, in Episode T of ABC Gotham. The Toynbee tile documentary is available for viewing on Vimeo. Check out this huge collection of Toynbee photos. Why yes, there is an official website and an official blog about Toynbee tiles. The tiles were the inspiration behind the feature film West of Her. As always, we have tons of pictures on our Facebook page!

Sailors' Snug Harbor: Special Micro-Episode!

por ABC Gotham

Today, Snug Harbor in Staten Island is a busy cultural center and gorgeous botanic garden. But when Sailors' Snug Harbor initially opened in 1833, it was the country's first home for retired merchant seamen. It consisted of three beautiful Greek Revival- style buildings on a 130-acre plot on the north shore of Staten Island, overlooking the Kill Van Kull. This self- sustaining community grew their own food and produced their own power, and provided the retired sailors with health care, housing, spiritual edification, and amusement. Like any historic site, it has plenty of juicy stories (both good and bad) and Kate and Kathleen tell you about them all. And the site should not be missed today!  Don't miss our Facebook page for astonishing images of the Wandering-in-Bamboo Courtyard, Moon Embracing Pool, Gurgling Rock Bridge, and other amazing things you can visit.  Ready to go right now? Here's how to get there: Take the Staten Island Ferry, follow the signs to the S44 bus, take the “SI Mall Yukon Ave”- bound bus for 6 minutes (10 stops) to Lafayette and Fillmore St, and then follow the signs for an 8 min- walk to Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. We see a lot of similarities between Snug Harbor and Governors Island, especially with the city's effort to preserve historically significant buildings and keep out condos.


Planning a wedding?  Consider Snug Harbor.  Gorgeous photos: guaranteed!

Here's the New York Times article about the murder- suicide.  It's also a vivid example of the differences between journalistic standards then and now.

Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventurers" team went to investigate the site of the murder- suicide for themselves. You can watch a clip which is sort of hilarious because host Zak Bagans (left) has no idea what to do with his hands throughout this excerpt. Kathleen thinks the actor playing Reverend Robert A. Quinn in the re-enactment is clearly Edward James Olmos’ younger brother. (Warning: Unnecessarily grisly image at 1:19.)

Steve Warran has a great article archive about Sailors Snug Harbor, including beautiful newspaper illustrations of daily life when the sailors lived there.

Resurrection Men and the Doctors Riot

por ABC Gotham

Doctors and medical students have not always been respected, rigorously- trained, caring professionals.  In fact, around the time of the Revolutionary War and thereafter, they were regarded with suspicion and even horror.  Not only was the job itself grisly and failure- prone, but for students, dissection was nearly impossible due to strong cultural biases against desecrating bodies.  Forced to find a way to learn about the human body, medical students hired-- or become-- Resurrection Men, or grave robbers.  Their callous indifference to mourning families offended the sensibilities of the citizens of New York City. Finally, after a particularly gruesome encounter in April 1788, New Yorkers decided they would no longer stand for constant grave- robbing. A two- day riot ensued, in which both medical schools in New York City were attacked, anatomical models were destroyed, and an estimated 20 people were killed. How has medical education changed over time?  This episode of Sawbones, Kathleen's favorite medical history podcast, tells you everything you need to know. Check out the Facebook page for lots of good images!

Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park: Special Micro- Episode!

por ABC Gotham

Discreetly hidden away in Prospect Park, there is a 10- acre cemetery.  The land belonged to the Quakers of New York City long before the park grew up around it.  It's hard to imagine a more peaceful and happy place to be laid to rest.  Join Kate and Kathleen to learn a bit more about Quakers, about how the cemetery happened, and even about how you might be able to claim a plot on this patch of private land in one of the most gorgeous parks in the world. Learn about how to get to the cemetery to pay your respects. Learn more about the Friends Society (aka Quakers) here, or specifically NYC Quakers and their quarterly meeting or monthly meeting. All burial- related information is available as well. You can learn more about Mary McDowell, the badass Quaker schoolteacher who now has a Brooklyn school named after her. Don't forget to visit the Facebook page for lots of great photos-- and the map to the cemetery!

Public Art in New York City

por ABC Gotham

New York City has an admirable history of investing in public art.  Ordinances require a certain amount of money to be spent on art in all city-owned buildings. Parks Department also strives to bring art to everyone, not just fans of museums and galleries.  The upshot is a ton of fascinating sculptures and murals to see throughout all five boroughs.  And of course everyone-- every citizen, every artist, and every patron of the arts-- loves every piece that has been created. Ha!  This wouldn't be ABC Gotham without controversy!  Listen to Kate and Kathleen describe works by Diego Rivera, Richard Serra, Keith Haring, and Jeanne-Claude and Christo. And we'll tell you all about the graffiti mecca 5 Pointz in Long Island City.  We STRONGLY recommend checking out the pictures on the Facebook page-- verbal descriptions can only do so much! In case you can't get enough 5 Pointz images, take a look at this great series of pics, here for some amazing before- and - after pics, and a great slideshow of the day after the building was whitewashed. Last, in case you're curious, here's the reason why you can't go to 5 Pointz today. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have created amazing large- scale works all over the world.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)

por ABC Gotham

CSI tells us only part of the story.  After an unexplained death, what happens back at the morgue?  Who is in charge of making sure clues are recorded so crimes can be prosecuted?  New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is currently one of the best in the world, but that hasn't always been the case.  It was not so long ago that New York City was saddled with a corrupt and ineffective system, with coroners accepting bribes to change death certificates or ignore inconvenient homicides.  Listen as Kate and Kathleen tell you all about some truly reprehensible coroners from the past, and the struggle to implement our current medical examiner system. Kate was horrified to discover, in the course of her research, that Murderpedia is a thing. Blood On The Table by Colin Evans is really interesting. It's the whole reason Kathleen made Kate do this topic. A coroner would get paid $27.75 per body in 1868, so they were very motivated to grab all the bodies they could find.  That's approximately $477.00 in today's money, according to MeasuringWorth.  And that scant $11,000 annual salary?  That's $189,000 today. Um, yes, please. OCME had a close relationship with Bellevue Hospital early in its existence.  Learn more about this beautiful and storied institution thanks to Untapped Cities! Learn more about the Jake Walk that afflicted drinkers of Jamaican rum extract during Prohibition.  Because it was poisoned. On purpose. No joke. PBS American Experience bring you an interactive comic book.  Follow forensic chemist Alexander Gettler and chief medical examiner Dr. Charles Norris through 1920s New York City as they help solve crimes with groundbreaking forensic science. Former CME Micheal Baden loves the spotlight.  He investigated the deaths of the lost Tsar Nicholas, John Belushi, the president of Poland, Nicole Brown Simpson, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. A bit more detail about the Murder at The Met. And don't forget to check our Facebook page for lots of great images, including gorgeous photos of Bellevue!  (Nothing gory, we promise.  Some bones, that's all.)

NAZIS in NYC Part III: Operation Pastorius Ends

por ABC Gotham

The exciting conclusion is here!  Listen to Kate and Kathleen explain how the unfortunate members of Operation Pastorius journey across the Atlantic and try to succeed in their mission. Learn about their grim passage, their brushes with the law, their muddled miscalculations, and best of all, their splendid spending sprees in New York City. An excellent This American Life describes the experience of one of the Florida men, Herbie Haupt. It's HIGHLY recommended.   Don't forget to check our Facebook page for more photos!

NAZIS IN NYC, Part II: Operation Pastorius Begins

por ABC Gotham

Nazi spying operations in New York City didn't end with the Duquesne. Germans were reeling from the obliteration of their vast spy ring, and ample resources were dedicated to rebuilding German espionage in the USA.  This effort started with Operation Pastorius: a well- researched but poorly- executed effort to send saboteurs to bomb aluminum and magnesium plants, major bridges, and major railroad junctions.  This was a time when the German American Bund was going strong. However, it did not go as planned. One of the many errors in this plan was recruiting men of questionable loyalty to Germany.  Kate and Kathleen tell you all about the countless ways these plans went off the rails. Check out the Facebook page for lots of great pictures, including a some terrifying ones of the American Bund Rally in Madison Square Garden in 1939.

NAZIS IN NYC, Part I: The Duquesne Spy Ring

por ABC Gotham

Remember how we left World War II out of Episode E: Espionage?  Here's why!  There's so much cool information that we needed to separate it from the rest.  You're getting not one, not two, but THREE episodes to tell you about Nazis in New York City.  Yes, Nazi spies walked the streets of New York and worked to undermine the Allied effort during World War II.   There were two major espionage efforts by the Third Reich, and in Part I of Episode N, Kate and Kathleen tell you all about the Duquesne Spy Ring.  This story is amazing on many levels.  You'll meet the first double agent in FBI history, William Sebold, who was an astonishingly brave and clever guy.  You'll meet their leader, ultra- spy extraordinaire Fredrick "Fritz" Joubert Duquesne, whose life story could have easily filled up three episodes. Last, you'll hear about some of the THIRTY- THREE spies who were brought to justice-- the most convictions for a single spy ring in American history. And I strongly recommend going to the Facebook page for more images-- especially of foxy femme fatale Lily Stein.

Morris-Jumel Mansion

por ABC Gotham

Up in Washington Heights, on Jumel Terrace between 160th and 162nd Streets, sits a beautiful Federal- style mansion that played a critical role in American history.  The oldest house in Manhattan (but not the oldest in New York City!), Morris-Jumel had residents and visitors including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, Queen Elizabeth, and Robert Stack, host of "Unsolved Mysteries".  Listen and learn about some amazing, headstrong women who lived there, like Mary Phillipse Morris (one of only 3 women to be tried for treason after the Revolutionary War) and Eliza Jumel, who rose from humble beginnings and manged her investments with such skill that she became the wealthiest woman in the United States. And hear all about the Mansion today, where friendly and informed staffers answer your questions about the beautifully- restored Georgian interiors and the rumors of restless spirits that wander the halls to this day. In case you wondered, the oldest house in the CITY is The Wycoff House Museum in Brooklyn. Here are the details you need if you want to visit the mansion. Big thanks to Jacquetta Szathmari, co-host of the great podcast Hey You Know It, for suggesting this topic! The grounds are kept free of rats and mice by hardworking local cats.   Of course I wouldn't mention the cats of Morris- Jumel without providing you with lots of pictures! Don't forget to visit our Facebook page for more photos!

Local Laws

por ABC Gotham

Some laws in New York City are different than the rest of the state or country, and Kate and Kathleen tell you all about the most interesting ones.  Some have recently been amended.  For others, amendments are being considered right now! From the tenement regulations and swill milk scandals of a century ago, to Giuliani's cabaret crackdown, to the recently- revised guidelines regarding ferrets as pets, to the current controversy regarding Airbnb in NYC, we fill in all the details you've been wanting to know about these very unique New York laws. Giuliani goes crazy, talking with activist David Guthartz on his call-in radio show.  Rob Donnelly has drawn a brilliant animation to go with the audio. DO NOT miss this. Think you might want to claim squatter's rights?  Here's how squatting works.

Killers in NYC

por ABC Gotham

Murder is not uncommon in any big city and New York is not without this heinous crime and the monsters who commit it.  Kate and Kathleen tell you about four specific killers: a love-crazed chorus girl, a prolific hit man, the most famous NYC murderer of them all, and a jealous arsonist.  Listen to this grim but fascinating account, and don't forget to check out our Facebook page for more images. Kate and Kathleen highly recommend Summer of Sam. Richard Kuklinski is the subject of both a documentary and a recent Hollywood release.

Jane Jacobs

por ABC Gotham

Activist, journalist, and groundbreaking outsider who shook up the field of urban planning: Jane Jacobs is one woman you definitely want to know more about.  Sometimes credited with bringing down Robert Moses (learn about him in our only 2- part episode:  Moses Part 1 and Moses Part 2), she used grassroots organizing and the media to draw attention to serious flaws in his plans to raze much of Greenwich Village and run the Lower Manhattan Expressway ("LoMex") through some of the coolest parts of the city. Her first book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, is required reading for students of urban planning. A controversial figure on her own right, her work has been criticized for being short-sighted.  Read some of her books and make up your own mind! Or at least start with a couple of her amazing paragraphs about the ballet of the sidewalk. Take a listen to our seventh episode to brush up on the (perceived) squalor of Five Points. Yes, it's true!  Brave, creative people are writing an opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Ric Burns' PBS documentary "New York" is amazing and everyone should watch it, from start to finish. The whole thing is on YouTube.  But here's a 27- minute clip about Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.   All of Jane Jacobs'  books Hey You Know It is another amazing podcast on Podbean, starring our friends Jacquetta Szathmari and Katie Kazimir.  We're the special guest stars in the July 27, 2014 episode! Have you listened to the promo for our ABC Gotham Pub Quiz event, which will be Sunday Aug 17 at 4 pm?  For ABC Gothamites who are parents and want to attend the Pub Quiz:  Barclay's Center is 2 blocks from the Pub Quiz location.  Sunday Aug 17th at 3 pm, the Marvel Universe Live is happening there.  They kids will love it.


por ABC Gotham

Hello ABC Gothamites!  We're thrilled to announce the ABC Gotham Pub Quiz on Sunday Aug 17th at 4 pm! Cherry Tree Bar65 4th AveBrooklyn, NY  There is no entry fee.  Teams can have up to six members. We'll have great prizes, including prize for best team name and a prize for the person who brings the most people!   Everyone who is there for the pub quiz will get special happy hour pricing on pitchers and pizza.  Hope to see you there!


por ABC Gotham

In Episode I, Kate and Kathleen tell you all about areas of New York City that are somehow separate or apart from the rest of us.  These aren't islands, like we discussed in our previous episode I, but they're still isolated.  Surrounded by Nassau County, national parkland, or even another borough, these cool weird neighborhoods have landmarks, histories, and residents with their own unique struggles.  Listen and learn about places so far off the beaten path that you may have never visited them--unless you live there! (And if you do, we want to hear from you!) A great New York Times article on Meadowmere and Meadowmere Park  Another great New York Times article, on Willets Point and what we can expect in the future Yet another New York Times article on how Breezy Point can be a cooperative neighborhood A New York Daily News article on The Great Glorious Grand Army of the Bronx's attempt to reclaim Marble Hill Is affordable housing in New York City a myth?  No, but applying for it is somewhat complicated. Don't forget our Facebook page for lots of photos!

The Harlem Hellfighters

por ABC Gotham

"The Harlem Hellfighters" was the nickname of the 369th Infantry Regiment, a regiment made up entirely of African-American and African Puerto Rican soldiers.  Most of the men came from Harlem, San Juan Hill (around Fifty-ninth Street in Manhattan), and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  They were the most famous black unit in World War I and also saw action in World War II. Kate and Kathleen tell you all about segregation within the military, difficulties that black soldiers endured while getting basic training in the American South, and the shocking response of France to this talented regiment. Despite enduring FAR more challenges that those faced by a white soldier, the Hellfighters were extraordinary soldiers.  They're unusual for having never lost a soldier through capture, and they never lost a foot of ground or a single trench to the enemy.  Learn why the the 369th Regiment Band was world famous, and hear about the particularly amazing accomplishments of Pvt. Henry Lincoln "Black Death" Johnson and Pvt. Needham Roberts in Episode H of ABC Gotham. Learn more about Pvt Henry Lincoln Johnson here. Read Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s great piece on the Harlem Hellfighters on The Root. Max Brooks discusses his graphic novel "The Harlem Hellfighters" on NPR's All Things Considered. And don't forget to look for more pictures on our Facebook page!

The Grid

por ABC Gotham

The layout of New York City can be a mystery.  Why are blocks in Manhattan so long when you walk east/ west, but so short when you walk north/ south?  How come the Bronx has a nice, user- friendly grid system but Queens and Brooklyn are trickier to navigate?  And why does the whole system disappear in some sections of Manhattan and the other boroughs?  Your hosts Kate and Kathleen have done their homework and will answer all your questions, and more, in Episode G.

Foster Care in New York City

por ABC Gotham

Join Kathleen and Kate as they discuss the evolution of the foster care system in New York City. Learn about the bad old days of childhood indentured servitude, children living on the street, orphanages, and the infamous orphan trains.  Then hear all about the vast improvements by reformers like Charles Loring Brace, who worked to develop the (imperfect yet highly effective) modern foster care system.

Espionage in New York City

por ABC Gotham

Espionage and spying have been part of New York City history (and, indeed, US history) since before the Revolutionary War.  Right or wrong, spying is a vital part of national defense, whether we're at war or living in peacetime. Learn about several important figures in New York City's clandestine past, the brilliant (or inept!) spies who have passed through town, the failings of our justice system, and the triumphs of our sharp- eyed law enforcement personnel who have thwarted sabotage attempts. Kate and Kathleen tell you about the most interesting people and situations in the illegal intelligence community.


por ABC Gotham

Brave men have done astonishing (stupid?) things to shock and awe New Yorkers since New York started. And we love every minute of the spectacle, even as some New Yorkers faint dead away from such sights! From bridge jumpers to base jumpers, from Ben Dova (seriously) to Philippe Petit, you'll hear all about the daredevils who sought to amuse us, or just get famous for the day.  Join Kate and Kathleen for episode D! And don't forget to check the Facebook page for images of all these bizarre feats.

Crack Epidemic

por ABC Gotham

Join Kathleen and Kate as they discuss the crack epidemic.  It struck not just New York City, but the country as well.  Learn all about the controversy behind it, because nothing's as simple as the journalists would have us believe.

Nellie Bly, Girl Reporter

por ABC Gotham

We'd like to introduce you to Nellie Bly, Girl Reporter. Ever feel that travel bug coming on? Learn how to travel around the world in 72 days without a change of clothes. More of a home body? Consider having your self checked into a mental asylum to uncover the atrocious conditions patients were treated. One of the most famous "Girl Reporters", Nellie not only worked for Joseph Pulitzer's World but also made a name for herself in a time when women were expected to marry and stay at home. For Nellie's writings, follow this link:

The Anthora

por ABC Gotham

Here comes Season Two!! Kate and Kathleen revisit the alphabet starting with one of the most iconic symbols of New York City, the Anthora. Learn about the design behind the cup and where the name came from. Don't forget to check out NY Times website with the History of New York in 50 objects:


por ABC Gotham

Wait, come back here!!  Zoning is RIDICULOUSLY important and surprisingly interesting.  In Episode Z, your hosts Kate and Kathleen take you through the ups and downs of NYC zoning.  From the Equitable Building, which scared everyone into creating the city's first official land- use regulations, to the wildly popular "tower in a park" model of building, to today's Special Districts, you'll see how zoning affects your life in ways you never imagined. Our Facebook page, full of the images you'll need to really appreciate the buildings we discuss. Here's a list of all the Special Districts in the city.  It's interesting to see what the city considers important enough to preserve, by using zoning. The best art deco buildings in the city.

Yellow Cabs

por ABC Gotham

Yellow cabs are everywhere throughout New York City, but where did they come from?  Why do we have them?  And why are they, of all possible colors, yellow? Kate and Kathleen, but mostly Kate, tell you all about the iconic form of NYC transportation. Want a real Checker Cab for a wedding or a photo shoot? The Checker Guy is your man. A surprisingly interesting and funny blog about cabs and cabbies. Don't forget our Facebook page for lots of yellow cab bonus images!

Malcolm X in NYC

por ABC Gotham

Malcolm X had an immeasurable impact around the world, but a great deal of his activism happened while he was living in New York City.  Kate and Kathleen tell you all about his crimes in his youth, which led to prison, which led him to the teachings of Elijah Muhammed and the Nation of Islam.  His work as the leading voice of the NOI came to an abrupt and ugly end, but this didn't stop his work and greater impact on civil rights and human rights.  Learn all about this fascinating person in Episode X. More info to check out after you listen: The Autobiography of Malcolm X would be required reading, if podcasts had that. It is so good. It reads like a novel. READ IT. A video of Malcolm X discussing his "chickens coming home to roost" comment Plenty of other videos of Malcolm X's speeches Learn more about Malcolm X and his work at The Malcolm X and Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center As always, our Facebook page has lots of bonus images!

Weeksville: Special Mico- Episode

por ABC Gotham

Weeksville was a bustling community, far off in the wilds of Brooklyn, established by former slave James Weeks in 1838 for free African- Americans.  This was only 11 years after the abolition of slavery in New York state-- a time when African- Americans had very few opportunities for land ownership.  That area is now where Bedford- Stuyvesant, East New York, and Brownsville meet.  Your hosts Kathleen and Kate tell you all about how Weeksville was started,  how it was almost lost from history forever, and the miraculous rediscovery and restoration of this amazing town in African- American history. Links to check out after listening to the 'cast: The Weeksville Heritage Center's excellent video about Weeksville A video of a white guy talking about Weeksville. Kenneth Jackson is a Professor of History at Columbia University. A great blog post featuring Weeksville in NYPL's awesome digitized map collection. As always, our Facebook page has a ton of bonus images!

Van Cortlandt Park

por ABC Gotham

There are 1165 acres of hills, ridges, valleys, verdant forest, wide- open fields, and other assorted gorgeousness waiting for you up in the Bronx!  Van Cortlandt Park has a hiking trail that is a National Historic Landmark, world- class running paths and trails, two public golf courses, boccie courts, cricket pitches, and a Gaelic football field.  And that's in addition to everything ELSE you can expect at one of the biggest city parks: basketball courts, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, handball courts, pools, and playgrounds.  What are you waiting for?   Your hosts Kathleen and Kate will see you there-- once the weather warms up a bit! Links to check out after you listen to the podcast: Hey You Know It is a fantastic podcast by our excellent friends Jacquetta Szathmari and Katie Kazimir. Soon- to- be- released episode HYKI92 features Kathleen and Kate discussing ABC Gotham! We tried to keep the topic for episode V a secret, but Katie and Jacquetta managed to weasel it out of us, those tricky dames. We're not the only people doing the history of Van Cortlandt Park!  Friends Of Van Cortlandt Park have an oral history project to record everyone's VCP memories.  Want to hear 92-year old Walter Perron's stories of the park in the 1920s and 1930s? Click here and scroll to the bottom. In 1895 it cost $624.80 to construct the golf course. Thanks to we know that golf course would have cost $78,800.00 if built today. See more pictures on our Facebook page!

Underground Railroad in NYC

por ABC Gotham

The Underground Railroad was an organization of safe houses, churches, schools, and brave people willing to break the law to help slaves escape to safety.  New York City was the site of several important locations, including Plymouth Church, "the Grand Central Station" of the Underground Railroad.  Kate and Kathleen discuss the political mood in NYC at the time and the major "stations" and "conductors" along the dangerous trek to freedom. Two different groups lead walking tours of major Underground Railroad sites: Inside Out Tours leads The Underground Railroad Tour and Viator leads The New York City Slavery and Underground Railroad Tour. John Strasbourg's 2007 New York Times article On the Trail of Brooklyn’s Underground Railroad was extremely helpful with research for this episode.

Tammany Hall: Special Mega- Episode

por ABC Gotham

Today it is merely a symbol of corruption in city government,  but Tammany Hall was once the political machine to end all political machines.  New York City politics were controlled thanks to those ubiquitous tools of leadership: graft, corruption, patronage, cronyism, and exploitation.  From its beginning in 1786 until 1936, when Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia dealt Tammany Hall's death blow, their influence could be felt far and wide.  Kate and Kathleen describe the leaders, their methods, and all their dirty tricks in this episode.  And let's all be thankful that we now live in city that is completely, absolutely, 100% free from corruption. Check out our Facebook page for more Tammany Hall images!

Secret Subway Stations: Special Micro-Episode!

por ABC Gotham

Secret subway stations are the lonely places where trains and riders no longer go.  Many of the “ghost stations” were abandoned when the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) unified the Interboro Rapid Transit (IRT) and Brooklyn- Manhattan Transit (BMT) lines, which resulted in redundant stations all over the city.  Some stations couldn’t be renovated to accommodate increased ridership (like lengthened platforms and 10-car trains).  One of these stations, City Hall, is stunning, while another, Myrtle Ave, is a showplace for a clever art installation.  However, most are grimy and deserted, still covered with the graffiti from the 1970’s and 1980’s. What the heck is a zoetrope? The Myrtle Ave subway station experience video The Bowery Boys graffiti podcast NYC Transit Museum WNYC Ghost Subway blog

RIOTS: Special Mega-Episode!

por ABC Gotham

What happens when a group's simmering rage boils over?  Kate and Kathleen describe 3 of the many riots that New York City has seen: the Draft Riots, the Stonewall riot, and the Crown Heights riot. Hear about the complex social problems that led up to them, the days of violence, and what changed (if anything) as a result. is the site to check when you want to compute the relative value of a U.S. dollar amount over time.  For example, I learned that the $3 admission to Stonewall in 1969 would be $14.70 today! Check out the July 14, 1863, issue of the New York Herald which first reported the draft riots. The photograph above appeared on the front page of The New York Daily News on Sunday, June 29, 1969, showing the "street kids" who were the first to fight with the police at the Stonewall riots. There's a great "All Things Considered" about the Ali Forney Center, which currently provides housing for homeless gay youth. And of course, check out our Facebook page for 25 great bonus images!

Queens Museum Panorama: Special Micro-Episode!

por ABC Gotham

The Queens Museum of Art, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, has the coolest thing you've never seen: The Panorama of the City of New York. It's a model of the whole damn city-- all 5 boroughs.  It contains every building in the city built before 1992 (the year it was last updated).  It was built by (who else?) Robert Moses for the 1964-1965 World's Fair.  It took 3 years to create, has over 895,000 structures, and had a margin of error less than 1%.  Kate and Kathleen tell you all about it in this special micro-episode. It is definitely worth the long subway ride to see it. See more pics on our Facebook page! Jeremiah Moss's excellent blog post about "New York Paleotectonic", which he describes as "the final resting place where removed Panorama pieces are interred". It's the first of three great posts that were very helpful in researching this episode. Wonderstruck is an amazing children's book by Brian Selznick. A good part of the action is set in the Panorama. If you go to see the Panorama, Kate and Kathleen STRONGLY recommend going to the Nan Xiang Dumpling House after, a 20-25 min walk from the museum. Get the steamed pork dumplings and the fish and salt cabbage soup.