New York City

Christmas Dinner Line at the McAuley Mission, 1905

Christmas Dinner Line at the McAuley Mission, 1905

The McAuley Mission, now the New York City Rescue Mission, was founded in 1872 by Jerry and Maria McAuley. Survivors of New York City's hard-knock life of the middle Nineteenth Century, they opened the doors of their Water Street mission every night of the year to the city's poor and outcast. In this photo, we can see they were doing a booming business on Christmas in 1905.  Hundreds of men and boys lined up for a Christmas dinner.

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Flatiron Building with Horse and Carriage in the Snow, 1910

Flatiron Building with Horse and Carriage in the Snow, 1910

New York City can be a winter wonderland. This black and white photograph of the Flatiron Building in the winter of 1910 conjures all the magic of those snowy landscapes of yesteryear. Can you hear the jinglebells ringing? The only thing wrong with this picture is the two horse carriage instead of the one horse open sleigh.

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New York City Christmas, Washington Square Park, 1950

New York City Christmas, Washington Square Park, 1950

There's something magical about Christmastime in New York City.  The cold air, the smell of chestnuts, the extra hustle and bustle -- all of these things play into it, but it's also the sights, the images, that stay with you, like this Christmas tree lit up in front of the Washington Arch. There's an almost holy peace captured in this black and white photograph. Despite the absence of snow, you can feel the icy air and almost see your breath frosting in front of you. You can feel the presence of the Spirit of Christmas Past.

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Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Sun sets over New York City, and the city begins to glow with its own light. The spires of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Cities Services Building and the Woolworth Building, can be seen beyond the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline of today would not be extremely different. Most notable, perhaps, is the absence of lights coming from the South Street Seaport, which in 1956 was not a tourist destination, but a working fish market.

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Flatiron Building, 1907

Flatiron Building, 1907
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Erecting a Skyscraper, 1906

Erecting a Skyscraper, 1906

Ironworkers take a lunch break high above Lower Manhattan atop a partially constructed skyscraper. These brave men seem never to have even heard the word harness. Many of the ironworkers who built the skyscrapers of New York City were Native Americans, predominantly of the Mohawk tribe.

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Central Park near East 62nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1940

Central Park near East 62nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1940

It's a beautiful summer day in 1940, and from where you stand in Central Park, you can see two of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the Sherry Netherland and the Plaza. The Plaza is perhaps the better known of the two, but sadly will eventually become a luxurious residence. The Sherry Netherland, however, will remain the pinnacle of New York City luxury for some time to come.

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Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Every year for hundreds of years on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, Jews perform the Rite of Tashlikh, casting crumbs of bread, symbolic of their sins, into a flowing body of water. Here, in 1910, a group of women and girls cast their sins off from the Williamsburg Bridge into the East River. Jews in New York City still perform Tashlikh on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

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