Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Love Letter to New York: Classic Life Photos

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
A woman walks her poodles along Fifth Avenue in October 1942

New Yorkers crowd Broadway below a large billboard depicting actress Marlene Dietrich in October 1944

A strolling blind musician plays guitar and harmonica along Broadway at night in Times Square in 1944
Columbus Circle during a heat wave in August 1944. A large Coca Cola sign and thermometer registers 100 degrees on top of building next to the Mayflower Hotel, New York.

A trio of sailors walk arm in arm down a dimly lit street near Times Square, searching vainly for fun in the curfew-quiet city, February 1945

Storm clouds hover over the Brooklyn Bridge and the ghostly skyscrapers of Manhattan's financial district in March 1946
Young boys with play a street game in Spanish Harlem in January 1947
The new Metropolitan Life Insurance Company North Building, left, and the 1909 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower at night, Madison Square, New York City, May 1947
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
People relax, ride boats, walk, and enjoy Central Park in August 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

read more in lifetime


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