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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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34th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, 1937

34th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, 1937

In this black and white photograph from 1937, a man crosses West 34th Street in the middle of the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, pausing for traffic as he heads toward the Macy's entrance. The movie theater across the street is playing "The Longest Night" and "Come and Get It."

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Greenwich and Fulton Streets, 1914

Greenwich and Fulton Streets, 1914

In this black and white photograph, taken in 1914, we see a man walking beneath the elevated train line at the intersection of Greenwich and Fulton Streets in Lower Manhattan. There's a lot of detail in this old picture, from the guy getting a nickel shoe shine on the left to the storefronts across the street. But perhaps the most intersesting thing about this photograph is that Greenwich and Fulton Streets no longer intersect. Their union was broken in the 1960s when the designers of the World Trade Center carved out a Super-Block in Lower Manhattan.

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Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

A man in silhouette looks out from a high office in City Bank-Farmers' Trust Company Building toward 40 Wall Street, then known at the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which had only recently passed the Woolworth Building, visible further uptown, as the tallest building in the world. 40 Wall held that title for only a few weeks before being surpassed by the Chrysler Building, which can be seen through the window to the extreme right.

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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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