Shiloh in the City Podcasts to Understand New York

Six Podcasts to Help You Understand New York

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You could be in New York for days or for years and still not even scratch the surface of understanding this zany, bustling, diverse city. Besides exploring as much as you can in person and reading NYC-based books, to broaden your perspective of the city even further, I recommend listening to NYC-centric podcasts. Of course, being New York, you’ll always find a wide variety, whether it’s podcasts that cover local news or NYC lifestyles or history or the differences between the boroughs. Here are a few that I recommend for anyone, local or traveling through, who is trying to get a better grasp on life in New York City.

Roosevelt Island Abandoned Smallpox hospital


Hosted by brand-new New Yorker Mariana Monks, this podcast covers everything you need to know about surviving in New York. In each episode Monks brings on an NYC expert who shares their insider knowledge that demystifies the city bit by bit. Even as a lifelong local, I’ve learned a few things by listening to Gossipnista. And how could you not love the riff off of Gossip Girl?

The Bowery Boys

If you have a question about anything in NYC history or about any of its buildings or landmarks, The Bowery Boys probably have an episode that’ll answer your question and then some. More engaging than a high school history class, you could easily listen to Greg and Tom talk about NYC history for hours, although with over 300 episodes under their belts, it may take you a few weeks to listen to the whole catalogue.

Borrowed: the Brooklyn Public Library Podcast

Brooklyn is much more than the hipster national headquarters or that place at the other end of the Brooklyn Bridge. There are tons of stories to be told about the most populous borough of New York, and who is better equipped to tell these stories than the Brooklyn Public Library. It’s also pretty interesting how many things about Brooklyn, and NYC in general, has a connection with the library.

The Bronx Podcasts to Understand New York
Photo cred: Nelson Mejia Jr.

BXN Radio

BXN Radio is the podcast portion of Bronx Narratives, a platform dedicated to dispeling the negative stereotypes associated with the Bronx. BXN Radio shares the real stories of Bronxites, in addition to sharing their Bronx Picks, dope music from emerging artists from the Bronx.

10 Blocks

If you want a good grasp on the issues that New York and other big cities currently face, then 10 Blocks is the podcast for you. Produced by the urban policy magazine City Journal, editors and guests discuss everything from parenting trends in NYC to widespread loneliness to the city’s education, housing, and public transportation problems.

NYC Local Guides

Although this podcast has only recently premiered, it has already proven itself to be a gem. In each episode, host Jennifer O’Brien sits down with New Yorkers and picks their brains, asking them about their lives in the city, often getting them to share their crazy only-in-New York stories and their most insightful tips. If you want a real look into what life is like in New York and hear about how the city has changed from the perspective of a local, then you’ll want to tune in to this podcast

What other podcasts do you find essential for understanding the big, hectic city of New York? Let me know and I’ll check it out!

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8 responses to “Six Podcasts to Help You Understand New York”

  1. Melissa McEwen Avatar
    Melissa McEwen

    Bout to check these out. Haven’t been to NYC in weeks and suffering from withdrawal

    Thanks for the list!!

    1. shilohinthecity Avatar

      Thanks for reading! I hope you find a podcast that can help!

  2. Kristin In Motion Avatar
    Kristin In Motion

    This is a great blog post idea! I’d have to say, everytime I find myself in New York, I’m counting down the moments until I can leave again haha but I’d be interested to check some of these out so I could understand what it is that people love about it!

  3. pamelard Avatar

    Podcasts are a great idea to understand a destination better! I love this list and will definitely check them out!

  4. Erica Avatar

    I’m not a podcast person, but your post inspires me to listen to a few podcasts next time I’m in New York! I love the idea of wandering around New York listening to a podcast all about its history. Such a fun way to learn about the city while wandering through it.

  5. whereweareheaded Avatar

    wow! i love the idea of learning about a city from locals before you go!

  6. whereivebeentravel Avatar

    I never thought about listening to podcasts about a place before a visit. Genius! I love NYC and hope to visit again soon and will definitely check out some of the podcasts you’ve recommended.

    1. shilohinthecity Avatar

      Yeah, I like finding podcasts about my destinations because it usually has locals’ insight. I hope you visit NYC soon too!

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