The Bronx Already Has the National Garden of American Heroes

I woke up today to find out that in a speech last night a plan was announced for something called a “National Garden of American Heroes” with a “vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans who ever lived.” This is really surprising to me–and anyone else–who knows about the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, which has been in The Bronx since the first class was inducted in 1900. In Continue Reading →

New Paperback Edition of the Algonquin Round Table New York

In what came as a surprise to me, a paperback edition of The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide (2015) has been published by Lyons Press. The hardcover vanished last year (which was the centennial of the Round Table launch, unfortunately) and this paperback takes its place. It is all the same content as the 2015, just in paperback. It remains 274 pages and is priced at $16.95 in the USA. It is Continue Reading →

Governors Island and the Confederacy

A story dominating the news this month is about how the U.S. Army has ten posts named for Confederate Generals. A second story is the only Army post in New York City, Fort Hamilton, has roads named for Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Because I wrote the book about Governors Island and have spent untold days visiting and leading tours of New York’s greatest park, it got me to examine why this post, which Continue Reading →

Episode 43: Adjusting to New York’s New Reality

With life shutdown everyplace close to us, we make some changes. Joanna has launched a home business with an Etsy store to sell DIY cocktail mixes to make bloody marys and Moscow mules yourself, hand sanitizer, healthy hair serum, and essential oil roller bottles. We talk about the changing nature of the New York bar scene, and what the changes brought by the pandemic mean to life in the city. Kevin has been leading virtual Continue Reading →

Episode 42: Bowling & Quarantine Fashion Style with Queen Elizabeth

With rhinestones on her facemask and wearing purple or camouflage, the always-stylish Queen Elizabeth is out with quarantine fashion in Brooklyn these days. We chat with the Williamsburg resident while she’s stuck at home, sometimes on her sewing machine adding bling to her vintage clothes. By day she works for one the most recognizable fashion designers, but that is on hold for now. A longtime regular at Doc Holliday’s and other East Village joints, Liz Continue Reading →

Episode 41: A Titanic Talk with Guide Dave Gardner

It’s the ship everyone has heard about. For the 41st episode of the podcast—still recorded remotely—Joanna and Kevin’s Big Show welcomes tour guide Dave Gardner who offers RMS Titanic walking tours. Dave has a wealth of knowledge about the fateful 1912 voyage and offers insightful (and fun) tours of locations around Manhattan that have ties to the shipwreck. His tours are packed with history and we get the scoop on how they came about. You Continue Reading →

Episode 40: Comedian Todd Montesi

We need to laugh. For the 40th episode of the podcast—and the first one recorded remotely—Joanna and Kevin’s Big Show welcomes comedian Todd Montesi. For more than a dozen years he’s been the host of a roving underground comedy series, the Ug! Comedy Show, a downtown New York showcase. While Todd is stuck at home in Brooklyn, he’s making and sharing comedy online with this friends on his Instagram Live Show. On the show, we Continue Reading →

RIP Chef Joe Torres

Last night I got heartbreaking news from my friend Joe Conzo that chef Joe Torres passed away during the pandemic. We have the Westchester Avenue restaurant owner in our book 111 Places in the Bronx That You Must Not Miss, and the photographs by Joe are some of the first ones that we got to see. I had a mammoth meal with our editor, Karen Seiger, at Joe’s Place. He gave me such wonderful stories Continue Reading →

111 Places Wins Apple Award

I am happy to announce that on March 2 my book 111 Places in the Bronx That You Must Not Miss won the Apple Award from the Guides Association for New York City in the category of outstanding achievement in non-fiction book writing. I won the Apple Award last year for my podcast with Joanna Leban, and I won an Apple award in 2018 for my book World War I New York: A Guide to Continue Reading →

Episode 39: The Bowery Boys

The stars aligned and we were able to bring New York’s favorite podcast heroes on the Big Show: Greg Young and Tom Meyers. They are best known as The Bowery Boys, and for more than 300 episodes they have delivered New York City history with equal doses of knowledge and fun. In this show we learned about the roots of the show and their rock-solid friendship that goes back to the early 90s in NYC. Continue Reading →