From the New York Times:
Before there were Walgreens and frozen yogurt shops, SoulCycle and Thai fusion places, what extinct New York institutions sat on your block? A new website called OldNYC peels away a century’s worth of development and puts you outside coffee shoppes and quarantine hospitals. You might find a trolley running outside your apartment, or a hand-pushed vegetable cart at your corner. The website maps sepia-colored photographs of nearly every block in Manhattan, and has many of the outer boroughs as well. OldNYC is the work of a more modern preservationist: Dan Vanderkam, a software engineer at Mount Sinai’s Hammer Lab. He built OldSF while living in San Francisco, but by the time it went online, he had transplanted to New York. After about 18 months of work, and with help from the public library, OldNYC went public last week.
Check it out here. (And there goes your morning, New Yorkers.) Below is my stretch of Second Avenue back in 1941. Add in a few hundred skyscrapers in the background and it doesn’t look all that different.