The monuments and the museums, the pulsing crowds on Fifth Avenue, opera at the Met and stickball in Spanish Harlem, sardines on the subway and the romantic urban vistas of Central Park: Over the years LIFE’s photographers explored every corner of New York, the city the magazine always called its home.
From the countless images of the Big Apple stored away in its unparalleled archives, LIFE here presents a small selection of classic black-and-white photos that show off the the spirit, the architecture, the culture (high and decidedly low) of Gotham — visual testaments to a city that, through darkness and in light, remains one of a kind.
|Pennsylvania Station, December 1942|
|The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in the World War II era, January 1943 |
|Fifth Avenue teems with pre-Christmas holiday traffic near 34th street in November 1948|
|Aerial view of the crowded beach and pier at Coney Island, including the Parachute Jump amusement park ride (the tall structure at left), Brooklyn, 1951|
Fire boats greet the SS France as it enters New York Harbor on its maiden voyage in February 1962
|A view from the balcony at the opening of new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in January 1966|
Sightseeing above New York, October 1949
A father and son walk past the Globe Theater in 1971
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