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Thread: NYC Then and Now

  1. #46
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    I love this post. I have always been a fan of the before and after scenes in citys.

    Taxi Driver has always been one of my favorite movies. I havent watched it since we got back from NYC, I may have to tonight. Its really neat to see some of the places we actually were and have a reference to them.

    We almost went to a show at the comedy club on 8th and i did go into the Grey Line office there. I recognized the street fromthe movie and thought that theater may have been around there.

  2. #47

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    This is a great thread. The pictures are wonderful!

  3. #48
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    It caused me to watch Taxi Driver the other night for the first time.

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    [/CENTER]

    Travis then attends a political rally, and I can't place this one. I was thinking it might even be in Brooklyn, with the view of the Manhattan Bridge and those warehouse-like buildings in the background. Any guesses?


    I have absolutely no idea where the R&M Super Market is (where Travis first uses his new gun).

    First one appears to be along Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...19.28,,0,-1.88

    That second one has me stumped! It "looks" like it belongs in Midtown, along 7th or 8th avenue; or a bit further west in Hell's Kitchen. On both the "Copper Penny" sign, and above the main door of the "R & M" store, I'm convinced that I'm seeing a 580-something address; there's just not enough resolution in the photo to tell for sure. If it's on Seventh, it would be along the west side of the avenue (based on the direction of traffic in the photo and knowledge that 7th is a one-way going south). 5 Times square, built a few years ago, now sits at that location. Similarly, new construction sits at 580 Sixth and Ninth. And it's not 580 Eighth... Chances are, that building is long gone.

    - bill
    Last edited by bill schintler; November 13th, 2009 at 12:30 AM.

  5. #50
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Click on the Interactive Feature link for some marvelous then and now photos.


    A Chance to See the City Change, Site by Site

    By SAM ROBERTS


    Interactive Feature

    At the start of the 20th century, Henry James pronounced New York “a provisional city,” a phrase echoed decades later by Le Corbusier. The architectural historian Max Page suggested that “creative destruction” — the intentional razing and rebuilding of New York — represented “a crucial dynamic of urban life.” O. Henry summed it up more succinctly. “It’ll be a great place,” he said, “if they ever finish it.”

    The city’s physical evolution is vividly illustrated in photographs, and a rich trove of them has been made available to the public. Between 1938 and 1943, about 700,000 stark, unsentimental black-and-white pictures of properties in every borough — known as tax photographs — were taken for the city, to make assessments and as an employment program for the federal Works Progress Administration. They have been available to the public for 20 years.

    In the 1980s, the city commissioned a second set of photos for another round of assessments. That time, 800,000 properties were photographed (like the first set, each photo carries the property’s block and lot number), and the curious now have access to that set, too. Photographs from both batches can be purchased from the city. A property’s block and lot number can be found by entering the address at webapps.nyc.gov:8084/cics/fin2/find001i.

    A New York Times photographer returned to several of the sites this year, capturing in some cases the kind of transformation and mutation that has been a constant in the life of the city, but in other cases showing how some spots have been strangely immune to change.

    “Many of the earlier photos are possibly the only existing ones of certain properties,” said Brian G. Andersson, the city’s commissioner of records and information services. “Some properties are no longer there, some have changed drastically, some barely at all,” he said, and virtually every one evokes memories from people who lived or worked at those sites or remember them as passers-by.

    “A single photograph gives the illusion that time stops,” Douglas Levere wrote in “New York Changing” after photographing the same sites in the 1990s that the photographer Berenice Abbott chronicled on film and published in books and elsewhere in the 1930s. “A rephotograph lifts that illusion.”

    More photographs and the history of specific properties are available at nytimes.com/nyregion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/ny...taxphotos.html

  6. #51
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Images of New York Interiors

    A webpage with lots of links to photos of NYC interior spaces, mainly covering as follows:


    ... images of fantastical, extravagent, dreamlike New York
    interior spaces, over last 150 years. Resataurants, Hotels,
    Transporation, Clubs, Sports etc.

  7. #52
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Surely someone at Wise and Wired NY can do this?


    Holiday Contest! Can You Identify This NYC Shooting Location?

    As a special holiday treat, we’ve teamed up with ProtonCharging.com to bring you our first-ever New York City locations contest! Say what you will about Ghostbusters II - every time a New York politician does something unbelievably detrimental to the city, I think of this quote from Ray Stantz:

    A few months ago, I posted an exhaustive then-and-now look at the New York shooting locations in Ghostbusters. As it turns out, I’m not the only one with an unhealthy obsession! Chris, who runs ProtonCharging.com (THE go-to source for the latest in Ghostbusters news) has been diligently combing the Google Maps NYC Street View to uncover some of the more obscure locations used in Ghostbusters II (including L.A., where the producers egregiously chose to shoot several scenes).

    Despite figuring out a number of obscure locations, one in particular has eluded him. He emailed to ask if I had any ideas about it, and after a lot of head-scratching and Google mapping of my own, I had to agree: this was a tough one. It looks familiar, but herein lies the danger – it’s familiar enough that it could practically be anywhere in Manhattan (if it is in Manhattan!).

    We’ve decided to hold a contest and turn it over to our readers to identify the location. Below are shots from the film and the clues we’ve picked out.

    If you can identify the New York street depicted, simply send an email to nycscout@gmail.com with your name, address, and where you believe the location is (street / cross streets). From the correct answers, we will choose one winner to receive a special Ghostbusters prize pack, made up of some to-be-announced goodies! Wooh!

    FINALLY: DO NOT REPLY IN THE COMMENTS OR YOU’LL GIVE IT AWAY TO EVERYONE!

    Ready?

    Early in the film, we find Raymond Stantz and Winston Zeddmore appearing at a children’s birthday party, their ghostbusting business having been shut down by the city. The big question: where is the street featured as the exterior of the birthday party scene?

    First, a series of stills from that scene, followed by the clues we feel help identify the location.









    Seems like it could be anywhere, right? And yet, there are a number of clues…

    To me, this first shot gives away the most information.


    1/2) Note the direction of the traffic on the avenue in relation to this side street. With a few exceptions, most avenues in NY are one way going either north or south; with a few exceptions, side streets are one way, with even-numbered streets heading east and odds going west. Thus, if that avenue is facing north, there’s a pretty good chance the street is even-numbered; if it’s south, the street would likely be odd-numbered. Or, maybe this is totally wrong and misleading.


    OR

    3/4) Note that the corner buildings are 4-5 story brick buildings, while the buildings further down the street are 10+ story high-rise apartments. Where do you find that? Upper West Side facing the park? How about in the West Village somewhere? The mid-20’s come to mind, as well as the East 60’s. Or maybe we’re way over on York Ave.

    5) Note the PARK sign, suggesting underground public parking. This might possibly still be there.

    6) An awning. Not particularly helpful, but who knows?


    7) Note the foliage at the end of the street. This could be a park (Central Park being the most obvious possibility), but it could just as easily be a tree-lined street (that gap in the middle is suspicious).

    7b) That’s a street sign. Yes, it’s nearly impossible to make out, but that is indeed an old yellow NYC street sign. Though you can’t make out what it says, there is a major clue here: it appears to be short:


    In Manhattan, the numbered avenues are often written “7 Ave” or “5 Ave,” which would seem to match up with the above sign, as opposed to something longer like BROADWAY or PARK AVE.


    8 ) You can just make out numbers poking out from behind the wreath, and they seem to be double-digits. Or are there three? More on this in #11.


    9) Very distinguishable doors/windows across the street.


    10) Another unusual door.


    11) Over Ray’s shoulder, we can just make out another set of numbers on a door. They also appear to be double digits, and if we’re north of Houston Street, it definitely narrows down the search. In Manhattan, the city is split into East and West halves, the dividing line being Fifth Avenue (or Central Park, depending on how far north you are). The double digit numbers only spread out 2-3 city blocks from the dividing line.


    12. Finally, look at those balconies jutting out from the building across the street. Not the most typical design – does this give it away?

    Not a New Yorker and feeling like you’re at a disadvantage? Not a problem! Your best bet, city resident or not, is to play around with Google’s Street View map function (more info here, for those that haven’t used it). The intersection should be pretty obvious, even if the neighborhood has changed a bit, and winning this contest could be as easy as plunking the little yellow man down in the right place. Note that Chris has managed to uncover pretty much every location in the film from his home in Canada – so no whining!

    The contest is open until January 10, 2010, which should give you plenty of search time. The fine print? This contest is purely for fun, and the rules are subject to change at any time for any reason as scoutingny.com and/or protoncharging.com see fit.


  8. #53
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Default Colorful Photos of Working Class Hero Highlight Old New York

    Harry Dubin, Mailcarrier

    Thanks to a couple of very kind individuals who mentioned this blog online, the Harry Dubin at Work series has suddenly become a hit on the Web, so instead of waiting a few days to space out the remaining photos, I figure I’d better post another tonight.

    I’m not sure how to interpret the look on Harry’s face here. Perhaps he’s pretending that a German Shepherd with teeth-bared is gunning for him as he tries to make a delivery, or maybe there’s a real German Shepherd whose antenna has just detected some fresh mailcarrier meat. Either way, Harry’s expression is priceless. Note the poster on the side of the truck. Believe it or not, there wasn’t universal happiness when soldiers started returning from the war. Quite a few people who fretted over the loss of their high-paying jobs probably wished the war would have lasted a few more years. Hence, the kind suggestion from the postal service.

    Clicking on the picture will give you a better look. And for those new to the series, click on the Harry Dubin tag to read the original stories about Harry and about these unique photos from the 1940s.



    Harry Dubin the Good Humor Man

    Now, Harry is serving up a cup of Good Humor to an unsuspecting child. There are a lot of interesting elements to this picture: the uniform of the Good Humor men in those days, which included an ensign’s cap, the ad for The New York Mirror, the girl’s clothes (and this is the great thing about this series, seeing the blue in her blue jeans); the awnings on the side of the apartment building.

    As a kid, I remember being fascinated by the coin change machine that our Good Humor man wore around his waist. It was some kind of aluminum contraption with slots on the top where he would drop in quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies with a lever on the side. He would put the coin in the correct slot at the top, hit the lever and the change would drop out of the bottom. Here’s a picture of one. I’m assuming Harry is wearing a version of that on the leather strap that is draped over his chest.

    Here’s the shot. As always, click on it for the larger version (a long file but worth the wait). Click on the Harry Dubin tag for the earlier Dubin posts and the story behind this great series.



    Dubin the Hansom Cabbie

    Our Richard Nixon Chanukah celebration interrupted the Dubin at Work series, but the original Zelig is back again. This time Harry is attempting to maneuver a hansom cab around Central Park. Judging from the look on his passenger’s face, and the fact that Harry appears to be driving on the sidewalk, his efforts were probably not going to earn him a big tip. For those unfamiliar with this remarkable series of photographs from the 1940s, scroll down a bunch of posts to see the original story I wrote about the Dubin at Work pictures taken by his son Ronald. And as usual, click on the image to see the grande version — as opposed to the “tall.”



    Dubin the Stonemason

    I love the realism that Harry went for here. Notice the bandana and pipe, but I doubt too many stonemasons did their work in fine, brown hand-sewn leather loafers. (For the background information on this series, click down a few posts). If you click on the photo, you’ll see a larger — actually much larger — image, suitable from framing.



    Dubin at Work in Old New York

    When I was researching my television book, I came across a series of articles in The New Yorker, profiling a local grocer named Harry Dubin. What was so unusual about Dubin that in 1947 made him worthy of a ten-page article in The New Yorker? He owned a television set, and the article was all about the author spending an extended period with Dubin and his family as they enjoyed this new electronic miracle. It was a marvelous story, typical of the magazine, puckishly fun, insightful and slightly condescending. I’ve uploaded a copy here. [It's a long file, so it may take a minute to download - well worth it though].

    After I read the piece in 1993, it occurred to me that Dubin was young enough in 1947 to still be alive, so with fingers crossed I looked up his name in the phone book, and lo and behold, he was still living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I picked up the phone and called him. He laughed when I told him I had just read The New Yorker article and was charmed by it, and when I explained to him what I was up to, he eagerly agreed to be interviewed again.

    A few days later, he greeted me warmly at the door to his apartment and led me into his living room. As I set up my tape recorder, he asked me if I had a copy of the article. I said I did He then asked if he could read it over to refresh his memory before I turned the machine on. Since this wasn’t a quiz, I gladly pulled the article out of my backpack and handed it to him.
    “While I read this, you might enjoy taking a look at that,” he said, pointing to a small photo album, embossed with the words “Dubin at Work.”

    I picked up the album and opened it, and my eyes nearly jumped out of my head. Inside were some 30 color photographs taken in and around the city in the 1940s. I had never seen such vibrant photos of the city in those years. In fact, I had never seen any color photos of the city in those years, yet here they were. It was such an interesting collection. Each of the pictures depicted a man in uniform intently doing his job, whether it was a street sweeper, gas station attendant or hansom cab driver. When I looked at them twice, I realized something, all of them were Harry!

    Needless to say, while our subsequent interview was wonderful, the album left me speechless in delight. These were the most evocative photographs of old New York I had ever seen. Harry explained that all of them were taken by his son Ronald, who was then a teenager, after Harry managed to convince each worker to change clothes with him in an alley and let Harry do his job for a few minutes so the picture could be taken.

    Eventually, Harry let me make copies of the album and I brought it to the attention of Jan Seidler Ramirez, an archivist at the Museum of the City of New York in the hope that she might be interested in adding them to the museum’s collection. Well, not only did she jump at them, the photos became a special exhibit at the museum in 1996.

    I wrote a short piece about the photos and their provenance for American Heritage. Here’s the article, and here are two of the photos. I’ll keep adding more over the next few weeks, but these two will give you an idea of Harry’s brilliance while affording a view of old New York that you probably never thought still existed. I certainly didn’t.


  9. #54
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Survivors, Celebrated on Film, Now Departed

    By SAM ROBERTS


    R.I.P.: Lismore Hosiery in 2006.


    Harvey Wang has explored New York people and places in photographs and on film for years, but his latest love letter to his home town, “The Last New Yorker,” which opened at the Quad Cinema on Friday, vividly epitomizes one character’s lament about gentrification.

    “This isn’t our city anymore,” he says.

    That “The Last New Yorker,” which stars Dominic Chianese, Dick Latessa and Kathleen Chalfant, was filmed on location just a few years ago dramatizes how quickly some of the characters’ favorite haunts can vanish.
    Lismore Hosiery on Grand Street (which was in business for 68 years), Beny’s Fine Jewelry on Canal Street (which opened six decades ago) and the Blarney Stone Bar on West 32nd Street have all closed.


    Also among the fallen: Beny’s Fine Jewelry on Canal and Eldridge Streets, here in 2007.

    Fortunately, Eisenberg’s coffee shop on lower Fifth Avenue, Odessa Cafe on Avenue A, Tony’s shoe repair on West 35th, Moulded Shoe on East 39th and Global International Mens Clothing on Orchard Street survive.

    (As for their real-life favorites, Mr. Chianese, who was born and raised in the Bronx, still loves to hang out at neighborhood libraries; Ms. Chalfant, a native Californian who now lives in New York, like the city’s parks, especially the High Line.)

    Mr. Wang, who grew up in Queens, quotes the author Colson Whitehead: “You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now.”

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...e/#more-136155

  10. #55

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    well done wny.
    Another awesome thread.

    Just amazes me how much changes in such a short period!

    I still cant believe how much gets torn down to build new!!

  11. #56
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    This post at the Gothamist led to a marvelous tribute blog called Dino's NYC Then and Now, dedicated to the photographs of Charles W. Cushman.

    Anyone here got any ideas about the location?


  12. #57

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    The "Janitor Wanted" poster has an address posted on it. Can't quite make it out, but it looks like 236 W. 52nd St? It resembles a Hell's Kitchen block, but the building number on the cigar shop is 118, which would put it between 6th and 7th in that part of town, so I doubt it's on 52nd, since it's mostly office buildings there - even back then.

    My uneducated guess puts it somewhere near where FIT stands today, in the 20's between 6th and 7th.

  13. #58
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    The address on the poster is 236 W55th Street. I tried searching for something to do with J.J. Schott & Co., whose name is also on a sign above the "8" door, but no luck.

    According to Cushman's notes, the photo was taken on the Lower East Side.

  14. #59

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    Another entry from New York Then & Now (1975) by Edward B. Watson, with a recent image from the same spot. This is from 6th Ave & 8th St/Greenwich Ave in Greenwich Village.

    1864. The original Jefferson Market built in 1833, with the wooden watchtower added later. It was demolished in 1873.
    ENLARGE



    1926. The new market complex, designed by architects Withers & Vaux was built in 1874. It featured a market, courthouse with watchtower, and house of detention. All except the courthouse was demolished in 1927.
    ENLARGE



    1938. The tall building is the woman's House of Detention, built in 1929-30. The old Jefferson Market courthouse remains. The 6th Ave El ceased operation soon after this photo was taken.
    ENLARGE



    1975. The art deco house of detention, despised by residents because of it's size and purpose, was torn down in 1973-74, leaving an ugly vacant lot. The old courthouse escaped demolition and was renovated as a public library branch (photo by Edmund V. Gillon Jr.)
    ENLARGE



    2010. The old courthouse with watchtower still stands, and foliage now occupies the vacant lot.

  15. #60
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ I love that book .


    Architectural Souvenirs of Bygone Stores

    By CHRISTOPHER GRAY



    http://www.emporis.com/application/?...orkcity-ny-usa

    slide show

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/re...ref=realestate
    Last edited by Edward; February 15th, 2012 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Full text by Christopher Gray deleted

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