“But I’ve never heard of Longacre Square!” you exclaim, “so how can it be awesome?” I myself had never heard of it until yesterday, when I was perusing my beloved Shorpy Historical Photo Archive (did you know you can subscribe for daily photo emails?? I totally did that and it’s SO exciting). As it turns out, Longacre Square was in fact a momentous little spot, as that’s what Times Square was called before the Times Tower opened for business in 1904.
So in today’s installment of Tania’s Nifty New York Photos (or, Tania Still Regrets Not Taking That History of NYC Elective in High School), I bring you Times Square before it was formally known as such. Photos and some exciting historical tidbits after the jump!
(c) Sam Horine/Gothamist
When I was younger, riding in an overcrowded subway car to school with 10 trillion others kids and navigating the treacherous terrain of distinguishing between “people to wave to,” “people to pretend not to know from math class,” and “people to aspire to waving to,” I regularly dreamt of having a private subway car. In fact, I thought it would be nice if New York City could commission special cars for all full-time residents and allow us to decorate them ourselves. My car would have looked like a miniature loft, with rustic wood floors and a nice graphic wool rug, a desk made of distressed wood, a very fluffy bed, and crown molding. Just a nice, livable, inviting space that did not allow parents except under special circumstances and did NOT allow freshmen.
In the ongoing spirit of cultural nostalgia, I mentioned in a previous post that I have a not-so-small obsession with sifting through old photographs of New York City. I’ve decided it would be fun to spread the nerdlove by posting some finds on this blog every so often. I am going to assume our readers are also the sort of nerds who would get enjoyment from such things because after all, they are choosing to read this blog.
So, here beings a recurring series on nifty images of old New York. Who knows, maybe now and then I’ll throw in another city for good measure. Just to give credit where credit is due, a lot of these photos are likely to be sourced from the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive, which if you are not aware of you should be made aware of because it’s ahmaaaazing.
So behold, after the jump, turn-of-the-(20th) century Coney Island:
My mom sends me a LOT of emails. Many of these, such as the ones that explain the pollen count on any given day in Los Angeles, I rarely open before hitting the “delete” button (love you, mommy!) But every now and then my mom will send me something cool, like this article from The West Side Rag about a project undertaken in 1982.