Skip to main content


An inside look at the people, places and spirit of New York City and its surroundings, with host George Bodarky, Sundays at 6:30am.
Miss one? Late riser? Subscribe to the Cityscape Podcast through NPR.

Nine Years Later

The health impact of 9/11

Next Saturday marks the 9 year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.   Over the past several years, we’ve heard a lot about the illnesses that have afflicted rescue and recovery workers who toiled at the site.  But, on this week's Cityscape, we focus more specifically on the plight of those who lived, worked and studied in the area around ground zero.

Bedbugs, opossums and stink bugs, oh my!

An exploration of pests in the city

These days the mere sight of a mattress left on the street is enough to make your skin crawl. But, the fear of bedbugs is justified. The blood sucking insects are a growing problem in New York City. In fact, not even the city’s most iconic building is safe. Bedbugs were recently found at the Empire State Building.

Amusement on the Street

From the traditional to the invented, a variety of street games have been played by kids in the City

Over the years, in New York City's five boroughs, kids found a variety of ways to amuse themselves in the streets. They played, and sometimes even invented games, using whatever was at hand; bottle caps, broomsticks, or a piece of chalk.

Hot Time in the Old Town

A discussion of a deadly heat wave that hit New York in 1896

This summer’s heat may have given us something to gripe about, but it pales in comparison to what New Yorkers suffered through in August of 1896. A 10-day heat wave claimed the lives of more than 1,300 people in Manhattan alone. One local newspaper described the city as “an inferno of brick and stone.”

Grandpa Had a Long One

A native Lower East Sider best known for his quirky hit song, "Shaving Cream."

Over the years, Manhattan's Lower East Side has produced a number of famous artists, including Luther Vandross. But, little is heard about those who made it only to the fringe of success. Benny Bell was born and raised on the Lower East Side and dreamed of being the next Irving Berlin. He wrote and sung hundreds of songs, many of them novelty tunes. But, Bell's music career never fully took off.