smell

Gansevoort Street and 11th Avenue, 1930

Gansevoort Street and 11th Avenue, 1930

In this black and white photograph, taken on March 21, 1930, we look north at the Gansevoort Market, the West Side Piers, and the beginning of the construction of the West Side Highway. The photographer was probably grateful it was March, since the smell of the slaughterhouses in summer could be overwhelming. If you look to the right, below the Lamb and Mutton sign, you can see the row of sheep carcasses hanging.

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Wall and Broad Streets, 1916

Wall and Broad Streets, 1916

Ah, Wall Street. You can almost smell the money -- unless, like the gentleman in the extreme foreground, you have your finger jammed up your nose. On this day in 1916, the photographer captured the bustling activity of New York City's Financial District. Looking west along Wall, on the right you can see Federal Hall, which at the time was the United States Sub-Treasury building, on the left sit the newly-built House of Morgan and the New York Stock Exchange, and straight ahead, beyond Broadway is Trinity Church.

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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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