Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Then and Now: Broadway at 83rd Street, Manhattan, New York

Then and Now

Broadway and 83rd Street in the 1970s randommusings.filminspector.com
Broadway and 83rd Street in the 1970s.

Some things never seem to change. Such is the case for the small pedestrian parks on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Having found the picture above from the 1970s, I decided to do a comparison of Broadway and 83rd Street from the 1970s to 2018.

The result taken from Google Street View is below. As you will notice, orientation is correct because of the distinctive window pattern on the building in the background. A lot of things may change on a building, but a window pattern seldom does.

A few things are obvious from the picture. The city removed the trees behind the seating area, perhaps to improve driver visibility. Signage also has been reduced, perhaps for the same reason. The city also removed the trash can across from the benches, perhaps for health reasons - it appears the one there in the 1970s is overflowing. The two poles holding traffic lights on either side of the benches appear to be the same, as are the concrete barriers. It's pretty remarkable if none of those had to be replaced after 45 years of constant traffic.

Broadway and 90th Street in 1981 randommusings.filminspector.com
This photo from Broadway and 90th taken in 1981 shows that these benches were quite popular back in the day. The trash cans were still there, too.

All in all, the modern version looks cleaner, more orderly, more rational, and somewhat antiseptic and barren. Still, they do still get some use, as the below photo shows. It's a wonder that people like to sit in those areas with traffic constantly driving by, but old photos show the benches - which are on many streets in the area - to have been quite popular.

Anyway, this is another in my series of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" photos. I hope you like them!

Broadway and 83rd Street circa 2018 randommusings.filminspector.com
Broadway and 83rd Street ca. 2018 taken from Google Street View.


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