You rarely consider the effort that went into building the typical unfashionable Manhattan side street. Laying those granite blocks looks like hard work, and there’s no equipment or machines in sight.
The caption of this photo, dated October 2, 1930, reads “Elevated shot (from El station) of men laying blocks down street-activity makes pattern.”
It’s from the wonderful New York City Municipal Photo archive. Here’s another look at the street, the Sixth Avenue El Station, and the thousands of granite bricks waiting to be laid down.
I love the ad inside the stairwell of the el station: graham crackers.