I will often refer to my Lower East Side neighborhood as a Renaissance fair (and Brooklyn is even worse). This is because (if their choice of dress is any indication) the majority of the inhabitants in my surrounding area seem to have a slight obsession with the days of old, particularly the 40s.
So why not take a break from rummaging through the 5 for $1 bin at Metropolis andhave a look at some incredible shots taken byCharles Weever Cushman 70 years ago on a trip to the Big Apple from Indiana. Cushman captures the dichotomy of our grand city during the time of the Second World War — from a towering edifice to a quiet stoop, the rich riding in white horse-drawn carriages and acrowd gathering ’round a salvage collection.
The photographs illustrate a place much altered yet preserved in many ways — the empty streets of the financial district now full of“OWS” protesters andthe horse drawn cart now replaced by trucks and cabs. Meanwhile the classic pub,McSorley’s Old Ale House, can still be found open today on East 7th street, hardly changed.
The photographs,which were taken on pricey color Kodachrome, werereleased today by theDaily Mail andhave been fully restored to excellent quality. Click through the slide show above for a window into the authentic old school New York.
[Photographs Courtesy of the Daily Mail]