summer

Battery Place, Iron Steamboat Company Ferry Terminal, 1914

Battery Place, Iron Steamboat Company Ferry Terminal, 1914

Sure, you could get to the beach by subway, but on this day at the end of July in 1914, you could take the Ferry from Lower Manhattan to Coney Island or Rockaway Beach. The Iron Steamboat Company operated summer ferry service to a number of seaside locations until the close of the season in 1932. In 1914, you could get a ride to Steeplechase Pier and spend the day at the amusement park or the beach.

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Broadway and West 138th Street, 1933

Broadway and West 138th Street, 1933

The photographer shoots south, along Broadway from just outside Montefiore Square Park on W. 138th Street. People sit on benches chatting and reading the paper. A boy in a sandwich board offering brand new 1933 automobiles for rent walks past the subway kiosk. Between the trees and the lamp post, one can see the tower of Riverside Church 18 blocks south.

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Broad Street and Exchange Place, circa 1920

Broad Street and Exchange Place, circa 1920

In this black and white photo, a messenger on the rooftop overlooks the curbmarket activity in Broad Street. This market handled stocks of companies too small to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and eventually grew up to be the American Stock Exchange. At the time of this photo, they were known at the New York Curb Market, and shortly after this photo was taken, they moved indoors to a site on Greenwich Street.

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Kids Cool Off in a Sprinkler on the Lower East Side, 1923

Kids Cool Off in a Sprinkler on the Lower East Side, 1923

Some things never change. One of the joys of childhood is running through a sprinkler in summer. For most this probably conjures images of suburban lawns, but as this photo attests city kids did it, too. On a hot summer day in 1923 on the Lower East Side, these kids cooled off by running in the street under a sprinkler hooked up to a fire hydrant.

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Boys Swimming in the East River, c. 1910

Boys Swimming in the East River, c. 1910

How hot would it have to be for you to strip off all your clothes, climb over all the debris along the shore, and go swimming in the East River? Today, it probably never gets that hot. But for these kids, there was no better way to cool off. In a world without air conditioning, there was the fire hydrant, sprinklers in the park, a couple of crowded public pools, and the river.

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Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, Clock, and Arch, 1940

Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, Clock, and Arch, 1940

This clock in Penn Station was often photographed. It cried out for it, hanging as it did just beyond the darkened archway. Here we see it in the summer of 1940, hanging portentously above a crowd largely composed of men in uniform. They all know war is coming, that it is only a matter of time.

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The Polo Grounds, 1950

The Polo Grounds, 1950
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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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Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1932

Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1932

The beach and boardwalk is crowded on this summer day in 1932.  Notice how many of the men and women strolling along the boardwalk are wearing hats and jackets, despite the warmth evidenced by other men in short-sleeved shirts and the abundance of sunbathers.  Aside from the mode of dress, Coney Island wouldn't look much different in the summer today.

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Broadway and W. 87th Street, 1900

Broadway and W. 87th Street, 1900

A view north along the Broadway center mall at West 87th Street on August 22, 1900.  Both pedestrian and vehicular traffic is light so far north on this early date.  Those who are on the Boulevard stop to face the photographer, ignoring the streetcar heading south along its route.

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