Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Then and Now: Minetta Lane in Manhattan

Then and Now

Minetta Lane 1970s randommusings.filminspector.com
Minetta Lane in the 1970s.

I stumbled on this picture which is only identified as "From the 1970s." Well, all one has to do is look at what those ladies are wearing and you could pretty much figure that one out. Fortunately, the picture also shows the street name - Minetta Lane - and there's only one of those in New York City. So, I decided to do a comparison of Minetta Lane in the 1970s and in 2018.

Anyway, for some reason, Google Street View doesn't have a very good view of MacDougal - the street we are actually looking down -  and Minetta Lane. However, I did the best I could, and I think this view is actually a bit better than the original one in terms of getting a feel for the location. In both instances, the photographer is standing in front of Cafe Wha? and Player's Theatre. You know it's high class if it's spelled Theatre, by the way.

You can tell we're in roughly the same spot by the fire escapes and those arches you can just make out on the building down the street to the left. The added trees, which really creates a more mellow view than the stark one in the 1970s and changes the entire character of the neighborhood. They really look like two different streets to me - but yes, they are the same spot. The above photo is a great example of how a forced perspective can transform a quiet, charming little byway into a busy city street.

As usual in New York City, there are some striking remnants of the past. The streetlamp appears to be the same one - I don't think they replace those unless they fail. The one-way sign on the streetlamp also appears to be in the same spot, if not the very same sign. I don't know how long things like that last, so if they change them every decade, so be it, but they look the same to me. The street curbs also look the same, and those building facades certainly look untouched for 40 years. Buildings in Greenwich Village are protected if they have any historic value, and that likely applies to some of these if not all of them.

Anyway, this is another in my series of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" comparisons. I hope you enjoy it!

Minetta Lane circa 2018 randommusings.filminspector.com
Minetta Lane in New York City circa 2018 (Google Street View).


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