Posts Tagged ‘New York City in 1906’

The hard work of shoveling snow during a New York winter

January 16, 2023

You can almost feel the bitter cold in this rich, evocative scene of faceless men battling piles of snow after a winter storm buried a street somewhere in New York City.

Completed in 1905, painter Harry W. Newman would have been 32 years old when he captured the gray skies, white snow, black coats, and red brick that composed a typical city block of the era. We can’t see her face, but the little girl on the far right might be the only person looking at this as a snowy wonderland.

Where was this block, exactly? I wish I knew, but perhaps not knowing is the point. I see what look like streetcar rails sticking out from the snow, and the telephone wires and poles make me think it’s not Manhattan—where wires were buried underground following the Blizzard of 1888.

Could this be the aftermath of that deadly surprise blizzard, painted from memory?

[Source: Cavalier Galleries]

Browsing the Flat Iron Restaurant menu, 1906

August 4, 2014

Since it opened in 1902, much has been written about the Flatiron Building, the triangular beauty that helped usher in New York’s 20th century skyscraper era.

Flatironrestaurantmenucover1906nypl

The Flat Iron Restaurant and Cafe, though, seems to be lost to the ages.

By 1906, Madison Square was no longer a desirable residential neighborhood for the city’s elite, as it had been earlier in the Gilded Age.

It was now a bustling commercial district, and that seems to be reflected in the menu offerings, which include an incredible selection of not-expensive shellfish, meats, and sandwiches.

Flatironmenu

I wonder if any contemporary city restaurant will bring back things like clear green turtle in a cup, eels in jelly, and breaded calf brains?

The rest of the four-page Flat Iron menu can be found here.

[Images: NYPL Digital Gallery]

Neptune’s trident on the 11th Street public baths

December 29, 2010

When city officials began opening public baths in poor neighborhoods all over New York, they could have put up cheap, purely functional structures.

Instead, architects designed lovely, dignified bath buildings, like this Beaux-Arts treasure on 11th Street between Avenues A and B.

Built in 1906 and used as a public bath until the 1950s, it has some enchanting ornamental touches—like the fish framing Neptune’s trident.

Landmarked in 2008, the building is now a photo studio.