Ep 8 – Conspiracy Afoot – A Walk in the Village

In this episode of the City Between podcast we go on a walk in Greenwich Village in the cold winter of 1864 with two men – one who was contemplating the worst treachery – as they took a walk around the neighborhood, stopping to drink for the courage to lay bare the plan.


Listen to the episode right now, just here to open player. Come join us through the iTunes podcast app (click here! or just search for “city between”) and at Google Play here (you’ll need to sign in to your gmail account) and Stitcher here.


Here’s a Google Maps view of 45 Grove Street:

Here is Handsome John:


Ep 7 – The Lost Moorish Tower of Coney Island – A Mirage

In this episode of the City Between podcast we go in search of a lost medieval Moorish tower on Coney Island. The Beacon Tower was once the center piece of the Dreamland amusement park (opened 1904) and it was based on a millennium-old tower in Seville Spain.

Come join us through the iTunes podcast app (click here! or just search for “city between”) and at Google Play here and Stitcher here or on the player right here.

There is no better resource for more information about Dreamland than Jeffery Stanton’s site which you can find here.  This beautiful image of the Beacon Tower can be found there as well:


Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra can still be found everywhere (including in the Alhambra gift shop!) and is available for a free ebook download here.

Check out the trailer for the Sean Connery film “The Wind and the Lion” based on the Moroccan “Robin Hood” Raisuli. For purposes of moviemaking the elderly Greek-American man who was kidnapped in real life was transformed into a pretty young woman.

This is what the former Dreamland site (aside from the NY Aquarium” looks like in 2018:

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There is two small mentions of the former Dreamland park in this recent mural on the boardwalk:

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Here are closeups of the two mentions:

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Ep 6 – A Pirate Farm in Brooklyn – The Turk’s Plantation

In this episode of City Between – the podcast of New York History’s forgotten and mysterious corners – we go on a slightly Quixotic hunt in Brooklyn for a remanent of the farm of Anthony Jansen van Sale, New York’s first documented Muslim. This farm dates from 1639 and to make our journey 400 years into the past we follow old Indian and Colonial roads whose ghosts can be traced in the modern city. We begin in New Utrecht – once a Dutch Village – and head south in search of the farm.

There is a lot of information out there about Anthony Jansen van Sale, but the most thorough is a history put together by one of his descendants named Brian Smith in 2013. It was indispensable for my account in this episode.

Damian and I begin our journey in New Utrecht. Here is an old map of the area under discussion from 1852, showing New Utrecht and Gravesend :

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We traveled south along the main road (now 18th Ave) from New Utrecht, then along the Bath and Coney Island Road (now Cropsey then Harway Ave) to this area around Jansen’s farm:

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Remembering that this map was made nearly 200 years after Jansen’s time, we can still see an area marked “12 Morgens” – this had been part of that farm. We can also see on this section of the map the Harway Basin that we discuss and the Mill Road running below it. One of the best accounts of the modern Mill Road is from the indomitable Forgotten New York.  They also have some great photos there.

Next using a map made closer to the 1879 discovery of the Jansen’s ruins (mentioned in Bergen’s history) we can see Mayor Gunther’s property with the mentioned buildings just below the “Bath & Coney” text. We can also see the Mill Road here which runs just below the tidal basin (the Harway) coming from the right of the map:


Here it is on a modern map:

And here is the 1879 map with the suspected site of the farm and the surviving modern day section of Mill Rd circled in red in three sets of overlays from old to new (oriented North):

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Ep 4 – A Vanished Mohawk Village in Brooklyn


In this episode of the City Between Podcast–a show where we explore New York City’s uncommon history–we seek out the lost village of the Mohawk Indians near downtown Brooklyn. We search for the traces of this neighborhood known today as Boerum Hill, but whose past its residents called Downtown Kahnawake, after their reservation in Quebec. We’ll visit one of its last echoes, a saloon called Hank’s – come join us!


Come join us through the iTunes podcast app (click here! or just search for “city between”) and at Google Play here and Stitcher here. This is a standalone episode between our usual series which explore neighborhoods and themes.


Here is the Google Street view of Hank’s Saloon:



Ep 5 – Fernet Branca: Made in NYC

This is a very special episode of City Between, a podcast about the hidden and forgotten corners of New York City’s history.Today we are going hunting for a lost and forgotten bottling factory in Tribeca, a neighborhood on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Though the factory is forgotten, its chief spirit it bottled is not. In fact it is still produced in its home city, Milan, Italy and has made a big come back in the United States in recent years. What I am talking about is nothing less than the the king of Amaro, Fernet Branca. Besides a visit to the old New York factory building, will also be doing a tasting of Fernet with my intrepid inbetweener companion, Damian. I’ll be discussing with him a trying time for Fernet Branca in the US in the 1940s, when the Federal Trade Commission pursued them for false advertising claims. I’ll be reading some of those old claims and ads to Damian as we try out their various drinking suggestions.


Continue reading “Ep 5 – Fernet Branca: Made in NYC”


Ep 3 – The Kingdom of Ice

In this episode we travel to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn to a last sign of the Lost Kingdom of Ice, the Rubel Coal and Ice Corporation building. Once upon a time natural ice ruled, cut from the lakes of Upstate New York and New England, it shipped to the streets of New York City, where ice trucks clattered across the cobblestones to deliver the ice slivers and blocks to hot, thirsty. We remember the realm of natural ice, the weak artificial ice that’s replaced it, and the last relics of the Kingdom of Ice.


Come join us through the iTunes podcast app (click here! or just search for “city between”) and at Google Play here and Stitcher here. This is a standalone episode between our usual series which explore neighborhoods and themes.


Here’s the Rubel Coal and Ice Company on Google Street View:

Rubel Coal & Ice Corporation:



Watch the Ice Worker’s song from ‘Frozen’:

Grieg on guitar:


The Knickerbocker Ice Festival here!


Ep 2 – A Tavern in Exile

In this episode we take a trip out to Queens to explore a bar in exile, a tavern of a country no longer there: the Gottscheer Hall in Ridgewood. This is a episode is a standalone “inbetweener”. We will have one more of these inbetweeners next week before moving on to our next series on Old Greenwich Village.  I am joined by my friend Damian in this episode (Thanks Damian!).



Map of old Gotschee


Hat Check sign


Gottscheer Folk Dance Group


Gottscheer Newspaper clippings


Go check out the Gottscheer Hall webpage, see the menu, events and how to get there.
Listen to more of the Gottsheer Choir.

Ep 1 – Santa Claus is From New York City

Santa Claus in the City

Today we explore the birth of Santa Claus in New York City in the early 1800s, the progeny of a prankster writer from downtown (Washington Irving) and a poet and father in Chelsea (C. C. Moore). We hope you enjoy!

The featured photo above is of Santa overseeing dim sum in Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Here’s a photo from Clement Clark Moore Park about their annual recitation (CLICK



Further reading:

NYC Parks page on Clement Clark Moore Park.

Some background on Clement Clark Moore from the Museum of the City of New York.

Washington Irving’s “History of New York”.


International iTunes links

For non-US iTunes user City Between Tours are available in most iTunes stores internationally. Open the iTunes store app on your smart phone or computer and search for “City Between Burnside” and the tour should appear. Follow the instructions to purchase. Here are some of international links:

United Kingdom iTunes

Italian iTunes

Canadian iTunes

Dutch iTunes

German iTunes

Swedish iTunes

Turkish iTunes

Australian iTunes

Indonesian iTunes

Chilean iTunes

Brazilian iTunes








Welcome to City Between! On these tours we show you the city between the city.

It is a history that is hidden from us but with the slight change in perspective the city’s ghosts and its strange traces can be revealed.

Even with something as simple as the line of the street, we can delve into a past world hundreds of years old.