12 B&W Images of 20th Century NYC That'll Make You Wish for Time Travel

RealClear Staff


"He lit up a cigarette in the morning fog, adjusted his trench coat and fedora, and walked out into the city. His city." Well, that's how our imaginary novel starts after viewing these photos, many taken by legendary Life photographer Andreas Feininger.

1. The Brooklyn Bridge, 1940s

Photographer: Andreas Feininger

2. A Moonlit Night, 1946

Andreas Feininger used a grainy 35mm film stock to almost make this photograph seem like a charcoal etching.

3. The City That Never Sleeps, 1930s

Photographer: Berenice Abbott. Light are on all over in this late-night town.

4. Times Square, 1919

Photographer unknown. Even in the era of World War I, Times Square was all lit up.

5. Morning Haze, 1940s

Photographer: Andreas Feininger

6. Grand Central Station, 1930s

Photographer unknown. This beautiful image makes one of New York City's busiest transportation hubs almost cathedral-like.

7. Sittin' By the Dock of the Bay, 1950s

Photographer: Andreas Feininger. Ships had style then.

8. Sky Scrapin', 1950s

Photographer: Andreas Feininger.

9. Street-Level View, 1930s

Photographer: Berenice Abbott, whose 1930s photos of New York City emphasized a working-class vantage point.

10. The Statue of Liberty

Photographer: Andreas Feininger. A shining beacon of hope and freedom on a dark night.

11. Lady Liberty from Afar, 1981

Photographer: Andreas Feininger.

12. Opening Sequence, Woody Allen's 'Manhattan' (1979)

New York City native Woody Allen was inspired by the black and white photos of Andreas Feininger, Berenice Abbott and many others. Filmed entirely in B&W, "Manhattan" has a dynamic opening sequence, set to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" that look like those classic photos brought to life. Enjoy!



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