Photos of New York City’s Street Scenes from between the 1960s-70s

Photographer Paul McDonough has a knack for catching passing, off-kilter incongruities on the New York City streets. He arrived in the city in 1967 and started taking photographs of unique moments happening around him; the New York City 1968-1972 series is said to be his first as a photographer.

Capturing weirdness on the streets of New York City might seem like an easy feat, but McDonough has a rare ability to capture a confluence of gestures in the exact moment in which a great photograph happens.



















Photos of of Pimps, Prostitutes and Homeless from 1970s Times Square Through a Bartender’s Camera

In 1972 Shelly Nadelman began a ten-year run bartending at one of New York City’s most notorious dives: the Terminal Bar, located across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square.

For ten years, right up until the bar closed for good in 1982, he shot thousands of black and white photographs, mostly portraits of his customers— neighborhood regulars, drag queens, thrill-seeking tourists, pimps and prostitutes, midtown office workers dropping by before catching a bus home to the suburbs—all of whom found welcome and respite at the Terminal Bar.

“In the beginning it was just the regulars and they were willing and able to be photographed,” Nadelman said in an interview. “Then there were just faces that came in and I knew I wouldn’t see them again. But they looked interesting. I’d say 90 percent of the people were willing to be photographed.”
In the early 2000s, his grown son Stefan began sorting, scanning, and printing his dad’s negatives, and very quickly realized that the scene at Terminal Bar had become a historic artifact. That New York was fading fast — it was just about gone, in fact — and Sheldon Nadelman had caught it all. The images were eventually made into a book, Terminal Bar, by Princeton Architectural Press; it brings back to life the 1970s presanitized Times Square, a raucous chapter of the city that never sleeps.

Vintage photos of dangerous New York City’s subway system, 1970-1980

During the late 70’s and early 80’s, New York City’s subway system was one of the most dangerous places a person could be. Lucky for those of us who never had the chance to see it, Swiss photographer Willy Spiller was there, and the dark and atmospheric series of photos he took has now come to be known as Hell On Wheels.

These photographs are a joyous and soulful trip in the bygone era of the New York subway system. The photographer Willy Spiller, living in New York at the time, documented his underground travels with the curiosity of a foreigner, fascinated by the rush and the madness of its time. It’s the period of the first rap music, graffiti, The Warriors in the cinema, Guardian Angels on the trains and Ed Koch in charge of a broke and crime-riddled city. Willy Spiller’s images are as much a visual document of this incomparable realm as they are a syncopated, colorful poem to the city of New York and its people.

Unfortunately, Willy Spiller also witnessed a spike in crime, a large portion of which took place in the city’s underground quarters. The rate of violent incidents in the New York subway was so high by 1980 that the NYPD had over 2,300 police officers patrolling the system at all times. Spiller took his chances and documented what he saw.

Though the photos were first released in 1984, Hell On Wheels had its glory restored in 2016. Sturm & Drang publishers put Spiller’s work to print in a limited edition series of hardcover, vivid color coffee table books. “These images hardly tell a story of crime and danger,” Dr. Tobia Bezzola writes in the book’s chilling forward. “Willy Spiller doesn’t discover darkness in the underground but rather an idiosyncratic, vivid realm of its own.”

(Via Rarehistorical Photos)

9 Amazing Color Photos of New York Taken From Air At Night

Amazing arial photos of New York at night that will leave you breathless!

For 15 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has been participating in aerial photo missions around the world, putting his life in the hands of pilots and aircraft to make photographs nobody else can.

And yet, he’s never felt as vulnerable as he did on Nov. 8, 2014, harnessed into a helicopter 7,500-feet above New York City.
On assignment for Men’s Health, Laforet proposed the daring nighttime photo mission as a means to capture images he’s been dreaming of taking for 20 years.

“Everyone looks out the window when you land over New York, right? Because it’s so freaking beautiful,” Laforet tells Mashable. From above, the city at night has always reminded him of brain synapses or a computer chip.

Laforet has amassed connections with highly skilled pilots throughout his career, but he says that it took a week to get clearance for the shoot. The helicopter had to fly at a higher altitude than the planes taking off from and landing at airports in the area.

“One of the veteran pilots who flies with me — that’s comfortable flying 50 feet off the water and flying underneath the Brooklyn Bridge — actually refused to fly these altitudes,” says Laforet. “He just says helicopters aren’t meant to be up there.”

Laforet and his assistant, who accompanied him on the flight, had to take several precautions to ensure nothing would fall out of the aircraft, particularly themselves.

“Anything that falls out, especially at that altitude, becomes a projectile,” he says. “I want to make sure that people understand this is a very careful thing that you do with the right people, the right pilots.”

Of course, the high winds and vibration at two kilometers off the ground had even Laforet — a man who once climbed the needle of the Empire State building unharnessed — fearing for his safety.

“You’re relying on that turbine. Its not a plane, its not going to glide down, you know?,” says Laforet, laughing. “The scariest part was how absolutely vulnerable you felt once you’re up there.”

Wearing a harness, Laforet says he sat on the edge of the helicopter, leaning out of the open door to make sure the skid was out of frame.

“You cant help but look out and let your imagination run out a little bit and think about how long that fall would be,” he says. “I’ve been in some pretty crazy places and this is one of the few times where I’ve been like ‘Oof, wow.'”

You can check out more of Laforet’s images from his photo series entitled “Gotham 7.5K” on Storehouse, and get an idea of what the mission itself was like in a mini documentary on Vimeo.

(Via Mashable)

If you enjoyed these amazing arial photos of New York at night check out these 1940s Kodachrome images of New York City.

New York City’s Knickerbocker Hotel reopens more than a century after its debut

The Knickerbocker in New York City opens its doors to guests on Thursday, more than a century since John Jacob Astor IV built the hotel.

Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, “the Knick” first opened on Oct. 23, 1906, and the building has collected many anecdotes — like being the (rumored) birthplace of the original martini — in the years since.

At its opening in 1906, the hotel was marketed as having “prices within the reach of all.

Knickerbocker

“While the Knickerbocker has not exactly furnished itself with a motto, the manager and his assistants will tell you that they are running ‘a Fifth Avenue Hotel at Broadway prices,'” the New York Times wrote of the opening.

“Between the hours of 1 and 6 o’clock the fifteen-story structure on the southeast corner of Forty-second Street and Broadway was thronged with visitors,” the Times wrote. “The lobby, on the Forty-second Street side, was much admired by the host of visitors, and all paused to take a look at the representation of Father Knickerbocker in the entrance hall.”

Rates in 1906 averaged $3.25 a day, or about $78 in today’s dollars after adjusting for inflation, according to the Times. Unfortunately travelers are unlikely to come by a room at that price in 2015: Room rates on the Knickerbocker’s website start at $446.

When John Jacob died on the Titanic in 1912, his son Vincent took over, eventually closing the hotel in 1921. As for why he closed it, speculators have blamed either prohibition, or a lack of interest in (or ability to afford) elaborate accommodations.

Knickerbocker Hotel
The Knickerbocker Hotel, in New York City, c. 1909.

In the years afterward, the building changed ownership several times. It was converted to office buildings, and called “The Knickerbocker Building,” and housed Newsweek magazine from 1940 to 1959.

The Knickerbocker was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and designated a New York City landmark in 1988. Landmark status brings with it certain protections for the exterior of the structure, which made the restoration complicated, according to the Knickerbocker’s managing director Jeff David.

David told Mashable that exterior details — like the copper lion heads around the rooftop terrace — were meticulously preserved while the interior was completely redone.

“We’re embracing the hotel’s original DNA, while simultaneously offering guests intuitive service and relevant luxury,” David said in a statement. “The Knickerbocker’s history is something that most luxury hotels cannot offer.”

Texas-based FelCor Lodging Trust, which purchased and funded the $240-million redevelopment of the Knickerbocker, owns more than 70 hotels in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. The company originally planned to open the hotel in late 2013, later revising the date to 2015.

Longacre Square

A postcard of the intersection at 42nd Street and Broadway, which was known as Longacre Square before it was renamed Times Square in 1904.

Times Square has changed nearly beyond recognition since the hotel first opened. Whereas the 16-story structure used to stand out, it is now surrounded by high rises and is one of the few Beaux-Arts buildings left.

knick-2013

The Knickerbocker in New York City, on Nov. 7, 2013.

The original Knick welcomed “glitterati and dignitaries,” according to the hotel, and famous guests included F. Scott Fitzerald, who set a chapter of This Side of Paradise in the hotel bar; Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, whose wife gave birth in one of the rooms; and John D. Rockefeller, who ordered those original martinis with his Wall Street friends.

There were 556 sleeping rooms and 400 baths in the original hotel, accommodating about 1,000 guests.

Knickerbocker Hotel
An undated photo of a room at the Knickerbocker Hotel, which originally opened in 1906, and reopened as a hotel on Feb. 12, 2015.

The newly-opened hotel will have 330 guestrooms, including 31 suites.

Knickerbocker Hotel
A newly-finished room at the Knickerbocker Hotel, which reopened Feb. 12, 2015.

Knickerbocker

Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

For history buffs, there is one part of the Knickerbocker that unfortunately will not be re-opening: The sub-level ballroom, with a direct entrance from the subway platform.

Knickerbocker Hotel

A nondescript door in the 42nd street New York City subway station would lead to the Knickerbocker Hotel, if it were open.

When the hotel was built, the nascent subway was so exciting to John Jacob Astor IV he had a door — still visible today — installed to provide direct access to one of the early lines.

Knickerbocker Hotel

The “Knickerbocker” sign, at the 42nd street subway station in New York City.

The area behind the door — a corridor leading to the upper levels of the hotel — is owned by the MTA, which apparently isn’t interested in how much 21st century New Yorkers would be interested in a restored subway entrance.

Knickerbocker

The lower level of the Knickerbocker, c. 1909.

The former parlor was elaborately decorated in the hotel’s early years, but now sits in disrepair.

Knickerbocker Hotel

The lower level of the Knickerbocker Hotel in December 2014.

David expects the history of the hotel — with or without a refurbished subway parlor — to attract guests.

“By drawing inspiration from our past to create a lifestyle experience that is beyond typical luxury hotel amenities, The Knickerbocker will undoubtedly appeal to both local New Yorkers and international travelers,” he said.

(Via Mashable)

Rare B&W Pictures of the Empire State Building

vintage photo empire state building

These vintage pictures of the empire state building were taken with black and white film and make for interesting views.

Smog obscures view of Chrysler Building from Empire State Building, New York City/ World-Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. 1953
New York City. Empire State Building from 41st St. and 5th Ave. Horydczak, Theodor, approximately 1890-1971, photographer Created / Published 1933 July 4.

old pictures of empire state building
New York City, view looking south from the Empire State Building, lower New York skyline, 1931.
Photograph shows view looking upwards towards television antennas atop the Empire State Building.
1954 Oct 16.

Check out these 10 rare old photos of New York’s Flat Iron Building.

17 Fascinating Vintage Pictures of Brooklyn Bridge

Vintage Photo Brooklyn Bridge 1903

These rare vintage pictures of Brooklyn Bridge show it being built and it’s final stage.  For it’s time it was a feat of engineering marvel and because of it’s complexity almost never reached completion.The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States. Started in 1869 and completed fourteen years later in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spanning the East River. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. It was originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and the East River Bridge, but it was later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name coming from an earlier January 25, 1867, letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since opening, it has become an icon of New York City and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

Brooklyn Bridge and East River, April 1909.
Three New York-Brooklyn Bridges from Brooklyn, February 22, 1908.
pictures of brooklyn bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge
pictures of Brooklyn Bridge

pictures of Brooklyn Bridge

pictures of Brooklyn Bridge

Vintage Photo Brooklyn Bridge
Types of Life on the Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge, N.Y., 1903.

pictures of Brooklyn Bridge

Vintage Photo Brooklyn Bridge

Check out these old photos of elevated trains in New York City.

10 Rare Old Photos of New York’s Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building, is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmark building located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, and is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 20 floors high.

Flatiron Building, 1903, one year after it was built.
New York, N.Y., Flatiron Bldg. from Madison Square Park, 1902
New York, N.Y., Flatiron Bldg. from Madison Square Park, 1902
Looking down on the Flatiron Building from Metropolitan Tower Summary Stereograph showing an elevated view looking down on the Flatiron Building in New York City and the activity on the streets below. 1915
Looking down on the Flatiron Building from Metropolitan Tower
Stereograph showing an elevated view looking down on the Flatiron Building in New York City and the activity on the streets below. 1915
Flatiron Building, New York, N.Y., 1902
Flatiron Building, New York, N.Y., 1902
[Flatiron building under construction, New York City
Flatiron building under construction, New York City, 1902
Flatiron building under construction, New York City, 1902
Flatiron building under construction, New York City, 1902
Flatiron Building, New York City, 1980
Flatiron Building and view of Fifth Avenue, 1909
View of the Flatiron Building, showing pedestrians, carriages, trolley and mounted policeman on street., 1905
View of the Flatiron Building, showing pedestrians, carriages, trolley and mounted policeman on street., 1905
View of the Flatiron building showing pedestrians and vehicular traffic on streets., 1910
View of the Flatiron building showing pedestrians and vehicular traffic on streets., 1910