Hear history in the making!
Local podcast duo the Bowery Boys will celebrate a decade of delving into the illustrious past of New York City with a special show at the Bell House on April 9. The gig, part of the New York City Podfest, will offer an inside look at the show while sharing some laughs and thrills, said one of the Boys.
“We’re billing it as our 10th anniversary meet-up celebration,” said Greg Young, a Cobble Hiller who makes the show with co-host Tom Meyers. “Hopefully some of it will be funny and entertaining.”
Over the last 10 years, the two have risen to the top of the podcast charts by giving fun, witty takes on some of the lesser-known details of city history. During the Bell House show, they will talk to moderator and comedian Nat Towsen about how they got started, give a behind-the-scenes look at their process recording the show in their respective homes, and sneak in some audience participation games, said Young.
They will also revisit some of their most popular topics, which include the great scandals of the Gilded Age and the conflict between activist Jane Jacobs and city planner Robert Moses, who famously tore through Brooklyn Heights with the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The duo will also dig into the history of Gowanus and Park Slope, the neighborhoods that border the Bell House. Young said that the tony nabe of Park Slope was farmland until the 1870s, and in the 1970s, a townhouse there cost just $30,000 — a fact that will surely be a punch in the stomach for audience members who paid much, much more for their digs.
“I’m sure we’ll wax on about those things and people will grumble about how expensive their rents are,” he said.
Young refused to admit that Brooklyn is the most historically fascinating borough, but did say that the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and Brooklyn Heights have the most titillating history in Kings County.
Young and Meyers began the show before podcasting reached its current popularity, but Young said he always knew that people would respond to the city’s treasure trove of uncovered tales.
“There’s like a trillion stories because New York has gone through so many extraordinary waves of immigration, unique kinds of growth — it just fosters so many stories,” he said. “New York presents history to us everyday, and I think people look to us to give little clues.”
Bowery Boys at the Bell House (149 Seventh St. at Second Ave. in Gowanus, www.nycpo