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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.

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.


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

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.

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

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:




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

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


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 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

Thirteen.org'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!

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