January 18, 2011

Vintage 365: Wonderful slice-of-life photo compilation of 1940s New York

Day 18 of Vintage 365

{This lively black and white image of Times Square in New York City on a rain soaked day was captured in 1940, and is similar to many of the photos in the Youtube clip featured in this morning’s post. Vintage photo from straatis on Flick.}


There is something almost intrinsically alluring - one might say downright magical - about New York City. Even if you've never stepped foot in the Big Apple yourself, you can't help feel as though on some level you know it intimately. It's woven into our collective conscious through the plethora of movies, television shows, iconic landmarks, and excellent photos about, and from, the city that never sleeps.

Today's post pays homage to NYC with a collection of deeply lovely vintage photos from the early 1940s. These beautiful and engaging shots were compiled into a video clip by Youtube user JDProducts5, and feature photos of New York that come via the vast collection of images held by the Library of Congress. Though embedding of this video has been disabled (thus I wasn't able to include the video itself directly in this post), you can watch it here.

In this four minute compilation we get to glance at the familiar landscape that we’ve all come to know so well - yet in a way it's different, no less busy but somehow simpler, more earnest, warmer and inviting perhaps. From iconic landmarks to fleeting street scenes this collection offers up a heart-warming, fascinating look back at New York as it (and the US as a whole) teetered on the edge of brink of entering WW2.

If like me, you discovered yourself lost is a yesteryear daydream by the end of this clip, you'll find that watching it but once is not enough, and that before you know if you'll have bookmarked this excellent vintage photo filled clip for future viewing, when that siren's call to see NYC in the flesh (that nearly all of are beckoned by at some point) takes hold of your heart and mind.


  1. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)

  2. What an atmospheric image, the puddles capture the sparkle and the light perfectly even though you'd normally consider a rainy day dull. We're off to be hopefully road tripping to New York next year - it's out big trip, really can't wait.

  3. Vintage photos of New York are always fantastic

  4. Beautiful! I have yet to see the sights of New York! Our daughter and her hubby wen there for their "mini-moon" a short trip right after they were married on New Year's day...their honeymoon was to be the following summer, when their studies allowed them more time.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (catching up on some favorite reads...*sigh* work limits my blog time :o)
    Hope you have been well!

  5. Can't wait to watch this.

    I have actually never been to NYC, though it's long been on the "bucket list." In fact, earlier this year, my daughter and I were planning a trip there for our "milestone birthdays." I turned 50, and 2 weeks later, she turned 21, so we thought a trip to NYC was perfect for us. We intended to take in a couple Broadway shows, eat at great restaurants, and shop to our heart's content.

    Things didn't end up working out, though. My niece got married in May, and I couldn't afford 2 trips so close together, and sharing in her special day was a must. So, daughter and I are still hoping for our coveted NYC trip at some point in the future.

  6. Okay, just watched it, so I'm leaving a follow-up comment.

    What a great video...and having it done to "Moonlight Serenade" made it perfect. That's my all-time favorite song.

    Thanks for posting the link...and for your great blog!