Posts Tagged ‘” vintage postcards of New York City’

Staying at Midtown’s Hotel Bristol in the 1940s

March 10, 2014

Today, there’s a Chipotle at the Rockefeller Center address the Hotel Bristol once occupied.

The Bristol, as this postcard shows, was one of dozens of smart, modern city hotels catering to the influx of businessmen and tourists in the early 20th century.

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The Bristol appears to have been a happening place through the 1940s. That Pink Elephant restaurant must have been the site of many boozy business dinners.

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A 1922 ad showcases the Bristol’s endorsement by the YMCA: “A good hotel that Y men can recommend, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue. 400 rooms, 300 baths. Rooms with bath: single $2 to $4. Double $5, $6, and $7.”

I don’t know if there’s any connection to the Bristol Plaza Hotel in the East 60s today—or if it’s a larger version of the six-story Bristol Hotel at the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in the late 19th century.

Cool old phone exchange: Circle!

The Lower East Side ghetto on market day

July 20, 2011

I don’t know exactly when this postcard was created or even what street it depicts. Rivington or Stanton are my guesses.

What’s remarkable is that the Lower East Side of the turn of the last century was commonly known as “The Ghetto”—a term that today sounds so loaded and inflammatory, though back then may have simply described the heavily Jewish part of any large American or European city.

Future New York: “The City of Skyscrapers”

April 27, 2011

Some predictions about what life in a future New York will be like actually come to pass—while others never make it out of the fantasy stage.

In the fantasy category are the Hudson River bridges proposed in the 1880s and then the 1950s for 23rd Street and 125th Street.

The moving sidewalks dreamed up in 1871 and then again in 1910 also never came to fruition.

But this Walker Evans postcard, from the 1910s, accurately predicted that New York would be a city of skyscrapers.

The trams traveling along interconnected tracks through buildings and the airplanes crowding low in the skies just didn’t pan out, at least not yet.