circa

West Side Cowboy, circa 1930

West Side Cowboy, circa 1930

The West Side Cowboy was a common sight on Tenth Avenue for over 80 years. By law, a man on horseback, waving a red flag, had to precede each train that ran down the avenue. Still, so many accidents occurred that Tenth Avenue became known as Death Avenue. In 1929, the city, the state, and the New York Central Railroad agreed on the West Side Improvement Project, which resulted in the creation of the High Line and the elimination of the street level tracks and the flagman on horseback. Here we see the flagman on Tenth Avenue and West 28th Street, alongside Chelsea Park.

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Oktoberfest circa 1947 on East 86th Street

Oktoberfest circa 1947 on East 86th Street

Germantown doesn't exist anymore. Even Yorkville is an unfamiliar term to present-day Upper East Siders. But until as recently as the 1990s, East 86th Street hosted many German restaurants, butcher shops, and pastry shops, and at the time of this photograph in the late 1940s, East 86th Street was known as the German Broadway. Nowadays, Oktoberfest is an excuse for Yuppies to go on a pub crawl and puke in the street, but as this photo attests, the finer elements of the tradition have been lost.

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Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day began in both the North and the South, following the Civil War, as a day to honor soldiers who had died in military service. Initially, the holiday was called Decoration Day, after the practice of decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers, but in 1882, not long before this photograph was taken, the name of the holiday was changed to Memorial Day. In this picture, we see the remaining members of Union Regiment 73 taking part in a Memorial Day Parade on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.

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West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, circa 1950

West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, circa 1950

It's a wet day in the early 1950s, and the Fashion District is all abustle.  Looking southeast from the corner of Eighth Avenue and West 34th Street, one sees two way traffic on Eighth Avenue, including a "Train Connection" bus heading uptown. A Greyhound Bus heads east along 34th Street. Beyond the low-rise stores along Eighth, one can see the great Beaux Arts edifice of the original Pennsylvania Station.

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Skaters on the Lake in Central Park, circa 1890

Skaters on the Lake in Central Park, circa 1890
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Pretzel Vendor on the Lower East Side, 1903

Pretzel Vendor on the Lower East Side, 1903

A pretzel vendor sits, contentedly smoking his pipe, on the Lower East Side, 1903. Assuming the sign for the event at Webster Hall is recent, it's a beautiful day in October. A man dozes in the rear left, and a cat does the same on the pavement beneath a sign for Juicy Fruit gum. To the right of the Juicy Fruit ad is a sign advertising Harry Houdini.

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