Another day on Avenue B and 14th Street

This 1918 photo, from a postcard available at the South Street Seaport Museum, gives a nice snapshot of life at one ordinary Manhattan street corner.

AvenueB1918There’s a street lamp with humpback-style street signs, a tenement building that would have been about 20 years old at the time, an ad for a long-gone cigarette brand, a fire box, and a newspaper box extolling pedestrians to “read the New York Herald.”

A corner bar advertises “pure lager beer ales & porter.”

The best details are the people. A little girl snacking, a woman in a doorway with something wrapped around her head, and a figure leaning out the second-story window, a blanket draped out the windowsill. 

Photo by B. Merlis.

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11 Responses to “Another day on Avenue B and 14th Street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I assume that is the SE corner, oil tanks were on 14th Street (were they?) and above. What a sight they must have been…maybe they had water tanks in those early years?

    http://huntergatherernyc.com/2009/06/east-village-in-ww-ii-part-two/

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    And maybe that woman with the towel around her head was suffering from a toothache? Those things have always been with us…

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Great link to HG’s site, thanks for posting. I think this is the SW corner actually. I’d love to know what it looked like at the time across the street, where Stuy Town is today.

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Yes, you’re right SW corner and maybe the area was the town dump, a wasteland but don’t know. My bias against Stuy Town, I knew it when it didn’t allow Blacks or Chinese or any non-white color.

  5. dan Says:

    SW corner is correct: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=avenue+B+%26+e+14th,+new+york,+ny&sll=45.523073,-122.691266&sspn=0.041794,0.068235&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=40.729439,-73.978039&panoid=l2mB0RRnanZ53pIgpR9pCA&cbp=12,253.13,,0,-3.72

    That looks like a modern-day security camera in the glass globe attached to the light pole.

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    I noticed that too, the glass globe that looks like a security camera. It seems too contemporary to be in a 1918 photo.

  7. hntrnyc Says:

    Great stuff! These photos never fail to move me, and really make appreciate how much of the old architecture is still around.

  8. petey Says:

    “how much of the old architecture is still around.”
    i was thinking the same thing; and the shape of the streetsigns and of the emergency box are quite familiar

  9. THOMAS GUARIANO Says:

    COOKY’S RESTAURANT AVE J E16TH ST WITH SAL,DIPPY,MORTY,BOB WACHETEL,ROBERT CLARK,RICHIE CLARK,MIKE DELIO,HARVEY LEFF,HARVEY KAREN,AL PFEFIER,PAUL SWEITZER,AND MANY OTHERS I WAS A GRAND TIME WITH REAL GOOD FRIENDS WE WERE LIKE FAMILY AND I MISS THEM AND THAT TIME I HOPE YOU ARE ALL HEALTHY AND HAPPY TOMMY GUARIANO

  10. Mark Bender Says:

    Cooky’s was also on Ave U.

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