The American theater has a rich history that stretches from it origins in vaudeville to today’s hit musical Hamilton, with a score rooted in Hip-Hop and Rap. This week, we’re exploring the evolution of American culture -- how we went from a time where sideshow acts were seen alongside fine art, to the emergence of orchestras and art museums, to now, when a gala at the Met is attended by celebrity icons like Beyonce and the Kardashians.

*** Note -- Cityscape producer Zach Zalis is sitting in for George Bodarky as host.

Direct download: cs170423.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

What do names like Ben Franklin, J.P. Morgan, Martha Stewart and Steve Jobs all have in common? They’re all among the greatest entrepreneurs of all time. They’re people who had the courage, determination and belief in themselves to pursue a dream, to overcome challenges, and nurture ideas to fruition. On this week’s Cityscape, we’re exploring what it means to be an entrepreneur. Our guest is Kevin Siskar. He's the Managing Director of the Founder Institute in New York and host of the Ambition Today Podcast.

Direct download: cs170416.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

For generations, kids, mainly little boys, have played with little green soldiers. Go into any dollar store and you’re bound to find a bag of them for sale. But, among today’s video game-obsessed youth, are toy soldiers still relevant? The answer is a resounding yes if you ask Jamie Delson. He's the founder and owner of The Toy Soldier Company, based right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, in Jersey City. Delson talks about his passion for toy soldiers and his business selling them on this week's Cityscape. We'll also head to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to visit another toy company. Well, sort of. The Lower East Side Toy Company is actually a front for a modern-day speakeasy called the Backroom.

Direct download: cs170409.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

If you’re a regular listener of Cityscape you know we don’t settle for the status quo. We aim to uncover hidden attractions and unique things to see, do and, sometimes eat in New York City. On this week's Cityscape, we're hitting up a Mexican restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that doesn’t just serve up your typical burrito and taco. The Black Ant incorporates insects, namely grasshoppers and ants, into nearly every aspect of the menu. We're also talking with Atlas Obscura Associate Editor Ella Morton about unusual things to do in New York City. And the New York Botanical Garden might not be the most obscure destination in New York City, but it is the go-to place if you want to explore unique plants and flowers.  In fact, the NYBG is right now wowing visitors with a display of rare and exotic orchids. In this episode, you'll hear from the man behind the garden’s 15th annual orchid show, which has a Thailand theme.

Direct download: cs170302.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

To some they’re works of art or a unique form of expression -- to others they’re an abomination. We're talking about tattoos. A new exhibit at the New York Historical Society explores 300 years of tattooing in New York City. It’s called Tattooed New York. The exhibit traces tattooing from its roots in Native American body art to its embrace by sailors, soldiers and circus sideshow performers, through its place in mainstream culture today. Cityscape host George Bodarky recently walked through the exhibit with curator Cristian Petru Panaite.

Direct download: cs170326pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This month marks the 143rd birthday of Harry Houdini. Houdini was born on March 24th,1874 as Erik Weisz in Budapest. But, eventually the legendary magician made his way to New York City, where he honed his craft of illusion and wowed audiences with death-defying escape acts and near-impossible stunts. On this week’s Cityscape, we’re tapping into the magic of Harry Houdini with a visit to the Houdini Museum of New York. It’s located within the headquarters of Fantasma Magic, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of magic tricks. We're also talking with a great nephew of Harry Houdini.

Direct download: cs030519pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Behind every business, there’s a story worth knowing, like the story of the two sisters behind the wildly popular Alice’s Tea Cup restaurants in New York City, or the story behind the Willy Wonky of Bushwick, Brooklyn, Daniel Sklaar. Just how did the one-time financial analyst go on to open his Fine & Raw chocolate factory in 2012? On this edition of Cityscape, the story behind two successful New York City businesses. Both came to our attention this winter as we longed for hot drinks. Fine & Raw makes a mean hot chocolate, and Alice’s Tea Cup has a wide variety of teas to warm the body and soul.

Direct download: cs170305pod.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The name might not be as familiar as Trump when it comes to development in New York City, especially these days, but Zeckendorf is a moniker that has played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s skyline.

First there was the larger-than-life William Zeckendorf senior, who among other things, assembled the land on which the United Nations rose in the late 1940’s. Then there was his much more understated son William Zeckendorf Junior who built several projects, including Worldwide Plaza in Manhattan. His sons have since carried on the family tradition.

Late in his life William Zeckendorf Junior penned a memoir. But, he died in 2014 before it was published. That’s where his wife Nancy comes in. She made it her mission to see her husband’s story told. Nancy has quite the story of her own. She’s a former principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. These days Nancy spends most of her time in Santa Fe, where she and Bill retired. But, she still has a home in New York City. Cityscape host George Bodarky recently caught up with her there for a chat.

Direct download: cs170226.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

It’s one of life’s ultimate questions: Are you a cat person or a dog person? On this week’s Cityscape, we have something for both feline and canine lovers. We’ll talk with the founder of an organization that works to help improve the lives of homeless dogs in the New York City area. It’s called Foster Dogs NYC. We’ll also talk with Tamar Arslanian, the author of the book Shop Cats of New York, as well as the blog ihavecat.com

Direct download: cs170122.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Nutcracker ballet is a holiday classic featuring different styles of dance and a magical story. But what happens if you take the dancers off of the stage and thrust them into daily life? On this week's Cityscape, we're talking with photographer Jordan Matter about his books Dancers Among Us and Dancers After Dark that use professional dancers to see ordinary life in an extraordinary way. We'll also talk with someone who experienced Dancers After Dark from the other side of Jordan's camera lens, dancer Demetia Hopkins-Greene.

Direct download: cs170129.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EDT



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