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40s or 50s

I recall a visit to a local pub in England which dated back nearly 1000 years. I sat at a table adjoining a stone wall. As I ran my hand across the unfinished wall, it occurred to me that this very stone had likely been touched by someone 1000 years before. I questioned the waiter if, in fact, the structure did indeed date back to the time that I had read. As I ran my hand over the wall again, I asked if, in fact, this very stone would date that far. When he confirmed, I expressed my awe that it was incredulous and seemed almost unfathomable. He laughed and left, perplexed, I imagine, since the very old is very common in Europe, with reminders everywhere to be seen.

America, however, is a very young country, and 100 years or even 50, is a big deal.
In my case, 44 years, to be exact. That’s how long I have lived in New York City, and nearly all of it in Greenwich Village. My mind’s eye, however, like most, fabricates images as best it can from memorable scattered bits and shards. There’s nothing like a photo(s) to fill in the detail and bring to full resolution the sketchy sketches of the past. Today, I am featuring three antique photos of the Village from the 40s and 50s. And, since we’re not in an English pub, I really don’t have to specify which 40s or 50′s :)

More antique photos: Blocks of Ice

5 Responses to 40s or 50s

  1. Wow! And Fanny Farmer, really? What street was that? Now if you really want to touch old stone walls, take a trip to Jerusalem.

  2. Brian Dubé says:

    I was too lazy to tag the photos – Fanny Farmer was at 8th Street and MacDougal. I bet they would be equally unimpressed with my fascination with the very old in Jerusalem.

  3. Brian, As you probably are aware the top photo is from the Library of Congress collection and was taken by William Gottlieb in about May, 1947 and is of jazz singer Anne Hathaway. I just happened to come across it on Flickr at:
    where you can see others in this series of the singer in Washington Square. I love looking at old NYC pictures on Bing Images where you can go full screen and view them as a slide show.

  4. Love these! I particularly like Then and Now pictures – it would be great if you could feature some of these. I am visiting NYC for the first time next year and am looking forward to the ‘old’ buildings ie 100 years or so old. I suspect the total newness of ninety percent of everything else is going to be mindblowing!

    -Selina (UK – at my desk in my house from 1908, which is about the same age as every other house in the street…sorry.)

  5. Antiques are everywhere here in New York. That’s one of the reason why there are a lot of people are choosing New York to be the destination of their vacation.

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