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Morris-Jumel Mansion

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!

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Local Laws

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.
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Killers in NYC

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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.


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Click here to listen!  Our Podbean sisters Katie and Jacquetta hosted us on their hilarious show, Hey You Know It.  And we highly recommend listening to all the episodes!

Jane Jacobs

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.  


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.



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Hello ABC Gothamites!  We're thrilled to announce the ABC Gotham Pub Quiz on Sunday Aug 17th at 4 pm!
Cherry Tree Bar
65 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 
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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!
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Isolated

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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!


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"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!
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The Grid

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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.
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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.

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