Cityscape An inside look at the people, places and spirit of New York City and its surroundings, with host George Bodarky.


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The Statues of Central Park

On any given day Central Park is packed with tourists, runners or people simply out for a walk with their dog. Most people aren't there to take in fine art. For that, they're more likely to visit the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of the other great cultural institutions in Manhattan. But, in many ways, Central Park is in itself an outdoor museum. On this week's Cityscape, we're talking with photographer Catarina Astrom. She's behind the photos in a new book called The Statues of Central Park.

The Evolution of the Snowman and More with Cartoonist Bob Eckstein

When it comes to snowmen, most of us are familiar with the likes of Frosty and Olaf from the Disney film Frozen, but snowmen have a history that extends well beyond the creation of these animated figures. Bob Eckstein is an award winning illustrator, writer, New Yorker cartoonist, the author of the New York Times best-selling Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores, and snowman expert. In his book, The Illustrated History of the Snowman, Eckstein reveals the ancient origins of the snowman and its contemporary evolution. Bob Eckstein is our guest on this week's Cityscape.

Woman Pilot That History Forgot Inspires New Novel

In her novel Flying Jenny, Author Theasa Tuohy tells the story of barnstorming pilots who thrilled the public with their daring feats in cities large and small in the 1920s. Flying Jenny follows fictional character Jenny Flynn. She's a 17-year-old pilot who's based on real-life pilot Elinor Smith. While not as well known as Amelia Earhart is today, Smith did an amazing thing in October of 1928. She flew her plane under New York City's four East River bridges. Theasa Tuohy joins us on this week's Cityscape to talk more about that story and her novel Flying Jenny.

The Legacy of Brooklyn's First Black Elected Official

Betram L. Baker was the first black person elected to public office in Brooklyn. In 1948, Baker was tapped to represent Bedford Stuyvesant in the New York State Legislature. Baker broke racial stereotypes surrounding the Democratic Party at the time, pushed for equality in housing, and even widened opportunities for black athletes to play professional tennis. His grandson Ron Howell tells Baker's story in the biography Boss of Black Brooklyn, The Life and Times of Betram L. Baker. Cityscape producer Caroline Rotante talks with Howell on this week's Cityscape.

In the Shadow of Genius

Every day thousands of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge. But, how much does anyone traversing the span know about its history? Photographer and author Barbara Mensch has lived alongside the Brooklyn Bridge for more than three decades. But, over time, she wanted to do more than simply take photos of the legendary structure. She wanted to dig into the minds and lives of those who built it. The result is her new book In The Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and its Creators. Barbara is our guest on this week's Cityscape.

The Five Borough Backlot

From Sex and the City to Friends to When Harry Met Sally, New York City has been the backdrop for some of the most memorable and influential television shows and movies in history. Our guest on this week's Cityscape is Georgette Blau, the founder of On Location Tours. It's one of the world's largest TV and movie tour companies. Blau hatched the idea for her company after realizing she lived near the "deluxe" high rise apartment building of one of television's class couples, George and Louise Jefferson.

New York Rising: From the 17th Century to the Skyscraper Age

New York City is layered in history. It's a history that fascinated the patriarch of one of New York City's most prominent real estate families. Seymour B. Durst amassed a huge collection of New York memorabilia that was used to create a new book called New York Rising. It explores the development of the city from the 17th century to the skyscraper age. The editors of New York Rising, Kate Ascher and Thomas Mellins, are our guests on this week's Cityscape.

Treating Gun Violence Like a Disease

Battling violence in our communities might not be so different than combating an infectious disease. On this week's Cityscape, we're talking with two Bronx doctors who are involved with efforts to reduce gun-related injuries.

The Other Side of Stigma

For anyone who has never experienced bias or prejudice, it might be hard to understand the true meaning of stigma. On this week's Cityscape, we get an inside view of what it's like to live on the other side of stigma, and hear about efforts to break stereotypes about physical and mental differences.

Meet the Pizza Cousins

In a city like New York, pizza is not hard to come by. But, over the past decade, two cousins have been making a big name for themselves in the competitive pizza scene here. Francis Garcia and Sal Basille are pretty much building a pizza empire one slice at a time. The cousins left the family business on Staten Island to open their own pizza shop in Manhattan in 2008. Since establishing Artichoke Basille Pizza in a tiny space in the East Village, Garcia and Basille have opened 13 other eateries and they continue to expand. Garcia and Basille literally grew up in the restaurant industry, from their great grandparents down, family members have owned everything from sandwich shops to bakeries to restaurants and pizzerias. The charismatic cousins have not only kept that traditional alive, they've taken it several steps further. They're now franchising. And they've even starred in TV shows – one appropriately called Pizza Cuz. We recently caught up with Garcia and Basille at Artichoke Pizza on 10th Avenue in Manhattan. We shared a slice and then slipped next door to their specialty coffee shop, Frankie Portugal, where we sat down for a chat.

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