New York

A Local Landmark

The picture above, from the New York State archive, is labelled “New York City, 98th Street”. It seems more like Brooklyn than Manhattan because of the lack of bigger apartment houses interrupting the lines of the almost-rowhouse-sized walk-up apartments. Besides the title, there are two ways to identify the exact location: the elevated train running over …

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The oldest monument in a New York park is the statue of George Washington in Union Square, erected in 1856. The subject and the form (an equestrian statue) are not very surprising. The second oldest, erected the following year, is more satisfyingly obscure: the General William Jenkins Worth Monument across the street form Madison Square. …

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Not So Long Ago

Another picture from the state archives: an aerial view of Manhattan, looking south, from July 6, 1951. The 50s were arguably the peak of air pollution in New York, as environmental controls hadn’t been established yet and coal was still being used rather than oil for building boilers. The big building-free area is, of course, …

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A Little of This, a Little of That

This picture from Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York Project, “El, Sixth Avenue Line, 28th Street Station” doesn’t have any single big topic, but it has a bunch of small ones, all a little interesting. The el began in 1878 as a railroad pulled by coal-burning steam locomotives. It was converted to electric service in 1903 …

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It Looked Familiar: Kafkaesque

Above, a statue in Gotham Harbor, with Batman sitting on the scales. In Amerika, Franz Kafka’s least-read novel, the protagonist emigrates from central Europe to the US. As his ship sails through the harbor into New York, he sees “the Statue of Liberty, which he had been observing for some time, as if in a sudden …

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