A picture may be worth a thousand words, however these could write collections of volumes. My grandfather always would tell me how he watched the George Washington Bridge being constructed. Once when he was a kid watching the workers go up and down in their daily work he was offered a ride up to see the city from the sky. Let me paint the picture for you, their “elevator” consisted of a large flat platform with no railings or sides of any kind. Now imagine a 6 year old boy being brought aboard and lifted up into the clouds. It’s no wonder as he grew up he always obsessed over trains and scoffed at planes! It was not until much later that he got over his apprehension and started flying when needed.
The above photo is not the George Washing Bridge, however it is the Manhattan Bridge as viewed from Washington Street, used to give you an idea of what a structure of this magnitude looked like during construction. Remember this is the early 1900’s, commercial flight was not exactly commonplace.
You can see how all the cultures were coming together in amazing America! Working hard to achieve that American dream, you see all sorts of people hustling and bustling, some going for a swim in the massive Astoria public pool, to laying bricks to pave 28th street.
The above photo is of Delancy Street on the Lower East Side in 1908. The caption is talking about the workers digging and always building, however I would like to focus on the storefronts on this street. In the foreground you see a sign that says Men’s Furnishing Goods. The Hebrew below it is not a translation, rather a transliteration which reads Mens Fornishing! It’s actually the name of the store, and the rest of the sign is translated. Further on down the block you see Weinberg and Pollak Skirts, clearly a Jewish store as well. The best of all is the little boy in the lower center chilling out watching the workers and the city buzz around him. This is relevant to me as I am Jewish and other stories my grandfather used to tell, included many tales of the Lower East Side. :-)
See a larger sample of the images here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134408/Never-seen-photos-100-years-ago-tell-vivid-story-gritty-New-York-City.html
What are your best memories of when you were a kid?