The Bowery B’hoy

Today’s reading for vWNY is Benjamin Baker’s 1848 play A Glance at New York, best known for introducing NYC’s homegrown folk hero, Mose the Bowery B’hoy, to the American stage. The full text doesn’t seem to be available online, but you...

Paul Bunyan in Billyburg

Did I call this one in lecture the other day or what? This week’s New York Magazine contains the late-breaking news that — imagine! — plaid flannel shirts are back. (Thank God they’re fitted this time around, is all I have to say: if this...

No dainty kid glove affair

I wound up today’s lecture on the varieties of 19th-century NYC theater with a long quote from one critic’s recollection of the opening of A Glance at New York, the play that made Mose the Bowery B’hoy a household name, made b’hoy red-flannel...

“Big Mose must of dropped it.”

Over the course of the last month as I wrapped up my own contribution to our Cambridge Companion — a chapter on nineteenth-century theater, with a special focus on plays set in the contemporary city — I had the occasion to revisit the essay that remains...