Growing up I always felt like I was born in the wrong era, so desperately did I crave old things and old places. Always one to like things out of sync, at a seven year old I longed for a water pump, at nine I wanted an old fashioned coffee grinder with which to grind my winter wheat and make bread (like Laura Ingalls in The Long Winter) and at 11, I was in love with the Beatles. When I was fifteen I wanted to become a historical preservationist, because I couldn’t bear the idea of wonderful old buildings being torn down.
Today I found something in The Morning News that appeals to my fifteen year-old-self, while allowing my 26 year-old-self to recognize that change is a natural process. It is a slide show of photographs of New York City. The first picture in each set was taken in the 1930’s by Berenice Abbott and the second was taken by Douglas Levere in the 1990’s. Levere has written a whole book, called New York Changing, about the process of taking these pictures that also includes more pictures. It’s really fascinating to study the first picture and then click forward to the next, a little taste of time travel.
Me too. That is to say, I have always had an inexplicable pull toward the 20’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Ever since I came to America, that is. And I mean, I sometimes feel like I belong in the 20’s America, etc.
I’m not anywhere close to being a historical preservationist, I just have a strange sense of longing for “the old days”, “the way it used to be”. I love going through old pictures, trying to feel what life was like back then, trying to hear, smell, taste, see (after all, the world was not black and brown).
Such extraordinary pictures! I’m also a historical junkie, and NYC lover even though I’m a native Texan. Thanks for sharing the pictures!