Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Then and Now: East 34th Street, Manhattan, New York

East 34th Street in Manhattan, New York in 1979 randommusings.filminspector.com
The corner of East 34th Street and 2nd Avenue, Manhattan, 1979.

As these things go in Manhattan lore, the above picture of the corner of 2nd Avenue and 34th Street in New York City is fairly well known. It was taken in 1979, and it shows the old Clover Delicatessen with a striking billboard that obviously caught the photographer's eye. You know how those old delis were, all gone, they don't make 'em like that anymore, right?

Well, it turns out that they don't have to make 'em like that anymore because the Clover Deli is still there and bigger and brasher than ever. I decided to do this comparison of East 34th Street and 2nd Avenue from 1979 to 2018 using Google Street View. The resulting picture is below.

There are several things about the comparison that really strike me. One is that, while the old "I like my Independence (Savings bank)" billboard may be long gone (along with the bank itself, which went public in 1998 and was acquired by Santander in 2006), the spot for the billboard is still there. I'm a bit surprised they can't find a customer for that spot, that's still a prime location. I'm not sure why the Deli was closed in the 1979 picture - maybe they closed on Sundays? - but the deli itself is still there with lights blazing in the 2010s. It appears the same vintage deli signage is the same. It appears they shifted the street lamp over the avenue, but it still looks quite similar to the one in 1979. I'm not enough of an expert on street lamps to know if they try to keep the same styles or what, but they sure do look similar. The view down Second Avenue (looking south) is very similar, too.

Really, if you took a walk there in 1979 and were instantly whisked to 2018, you would still feel perfectly at home and would barely notice any changes.

Anyway, this is just another entry in my "the more things change, the more they stay the same" series. Hope you enjoy it!

East 34th Street in Manhattan, New York in 2018 randommusings.filminspector.com
East 34th Street and 2nd Avenue ca. 2018 (Google Street View).


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