The Past is Another City
May 28, 2009 1:26 PM   Subscribe

I adore old photos. Nice find!
posted by Malice at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2009

hot fucking damn, this is pretty awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 1:29 PM on May 28, 2009

Nishe, I said nishe. Cool post.
posted by Elmore at 1:30 PM on May 28, 2009

Egad, compare Times Square.
posted by Miko at 1:33 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2009

What an absolutely amazing set of a special time and place in history. Seems you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a jazz legend back then. And NYC was so ahead of its time; there are lesbian lovers sharing a kiss at a movie theater without anyone giving them a second look. Thanks, Miko.
posted by Devils Slide at 1:51 PM on May 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Check out the poster's other sets, also sorted by decade.
posted by Miko at 2:05 PM on May 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

My last year's calendar was old pictures of old NY. I was sorry when January rolled around again. These contain niceness.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:16 PM on May 28, 2009

You're a doll.
posted by Busithoth at 2:49 PM on May 28, 2009

Hydrox and Ice Cream. Timelessly delicious.
posted by padraigin at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2009

Wow. These are so great I'll forgive you for making me feel sharp pangs of nostalgia for NYC. Check out this shot of the Polo Grounds!
posted by languagehat at 2:59 PM on May 28, 2009

And here's Ebbets Field.
posted by languagehat at 3:01 PM on May 28, 2009

Egad, compare Times Square.

...and it's even different now!
posted by dersins at 4:18 PM on May 28, 2009

These are great. Slightly reminds me of Hines and Levitt. Lovely post, Miko.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:38 PM on May 28, 2009

Thanks for the heads up, Miko, these are great!

And indeed, this guy's earlier NYC collections are great, too. Check this amazing view of that crazy grandiose entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, years before it was surrounded by Chinese movie theaters and restaurants!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 PM on May 28, 2009

This was New York after ten years of the Great Depression: a grimy, ugly, worn-out place brimming with unquenchable human vitality. All those foul tenements. Gritty wasn't just a metaphor.
posted by Faze at 4:45 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some of those color shots of the red brick buildings reminded me strongly of this. I feel I know a bit better what the painter was trying to capture and express.
posted by Miko at 5:01 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hah! These are great.

I love how this one is just the essence of sketchyness -- right down to the anonymous men in long coats.

The train in this one is great. I guess there's a reason they call it steampunk.

And wow, a look at pre-Robert-Moses-Bronx. I can only imagine what happened to these places.

Nice to know that Times Square was always pretty annoying. Except during wartime, when it was just kinda freaky. Okay, I guess sometimes it can be a bit heartwarming.

The downtown skyline was always beautiful and impressive. The Williamsburg bridge never was.

They tore down Ebbet's Field!!!! Of course I don't even think my Dad is old enough to remember that place, but as an American, I feel obligated to shed a tear for the death of innocense or something.

These are probably my ancestors.

This is totally the beginning of a movie that's never been made. Or perhaps every movie that's ever been made. Who is to say?

South Street looks pretty much the same.

Housing projects were such a disaster in urban planning. If this neighborhood were still around, imagine how cool it would be in 2009.

Back before the Italians moved out of Chinatown. (I kid, I kid)

Same as it ever was.

Anybody here read Winter's Tale?

Somewhere in this crowd, a man and woman are kissing famously.

Man, I missed all the good stuff.


Best. Bridge. Evar.

My god! Annoying subway musicians are EVERYWHERE. You can't even time travel to get away from them. On the plus side, they don't play accordions anymore. On the down side, they all want to play Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

Greyhound bus terminals were apparently magical places.

Someone's going to make this into a t-shirt in 5...4...3...2....

What the hell you lookin' at?

This one speaks for itself.

Anybody else read The Basketball Diaries?

Didn't they make a musical about this?


Another great movie.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:08 PM on May 28, 2009 [5 favorites]

This post is so wonderful I can't stand it. The only other thing that makes me this hideously nostalgic is watching 70s movies like Save the Tiger.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:31 PM on May 28, 2009

My home, my home, I want to go home.

(No, I'm not that old. But despite everything, the city is still the city; you just have to know where to look.)

Bittersweetly excellent post.
posted by scratch at 5:40 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Love the stadiums.

Love springtime in NY.

Walking by Williamsburg Bridge entrance and then Bryant Park tomorrow

eat your heart out...
posted by sfts2 at 5:51 PM on May 28, 2009

Amazing, especially the color ones. They make me feel like I could walk right into them.
posted by chihiro at 6:33 PM on May 28, 2009

sfts2 - while you're near Bryant, be sure to observe the W.R. Grace building -- a work of simple, understated beauty.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:39 PM on May 28, 2009

See it all the time...:-)
posted by sfts2 at 8:12 PM on May 28, 2009

People cast such dark shadows before I was born. I wish I could do that.
posted by nosila at 9:44 PM on May 28, 2009

Beautiful. I often get the strangest sense of nostalgia for a time I never knew living here.
posted by dame at 5:42 AM on May 29, 2009

Wow, awesome post. Thanks!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:22 PM on May 30, 2009

Oh wow, this might be the most amazing photo I've ever seen. Holy unexpected arm, Batman!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:33 PM on May 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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