Tuesday, February 24, 2009

166 Mott Street: Then And Now

from shorpy, go there to see a hi-definition version
Some of the accompanying comments from shorpy's post.
1910. Mott Street in New York's Little Italy, now Chinatown. At the left, 166 Mott (Raffaele Venezia Cafe) is now Face to Face Skin Care. Google Street View. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.Time travel, indeed
I recall a time travel novel that had as its basis the fiction that if one were to be so imbued with a time and place and strove to "live" as though you were in that period in a locale that existed now and then, one would wake up some fine day, open the shades and voila, 1910 would be there. How I wish that were true. For now I'll just sit here and revel in each detail of pictures such as this. Thanks again to Dave and all the other posters.
This is time travel in its purest sense, a view into a moment of time frozen forever. Italian cafe, shoemakers, street sweeper, horse carts, vegetable vendor, little children moving around in their home neighborhood. I love it.
The first home I remember was at 1244 15th Avenue in San Francisco. That was 1936. Went past there recently and the street looks exactly the same and it was anything but new when we lived there.
Bet you won't find today's buildings looking exactly the same 100 years from now. You're doing a wonderful job of teaching/reminding us of our history. Thank you.
Wow, I love pictures like this. Not posed at all, just a moment in time caught on film. There are kids playing with something, a guy reading a newspaper, looks like a guy jumping over a broom and every one wearing a hat. The dog, the groceries...perfect. Probably everyone in that picture has already passed on but this one moment in their lives has been captured.
Thanks for the opportunity to see this in a gorgeous and detailed vintage view and in an interesting modern view. I am a big fan of the "Then and Now" type books on different cities, and love to compare shots such as these. While I prefer the 1910 photo (if only filmmakers would get this kind of detail in their period-piece movies!), the Google shot has an interest all its own by virtue of one's being able to manipulate the view! Quite amazing, actually.
Mott Street, 1925 and today
This is a fine neighborhood for Dim Sum, and another site immortalized in popular song lyrics, this time in the 1925 Lorenz Hart song "Manhattan":
And tell me what street
Compares with Mott Street
In July?
Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.
The great big city's a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.
Wow! I walked down that street in December when I was visiting NYC (I'm from Brisbane, Australia). I love the black dog on the right. Somehow, I always spot the dogs.
I love that the buildings have changed barely at all. Really interesting to think of the history in those buildings that the people living there now have probably never considered.


Anonymous said...

I'm researching my family's history and found that my relatives lived at 85 Mott Street around 1907. These photos are wonderful. It is like going back in a time machine. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Agnes and Nicolo used to live on Mott street 1920/1930's. It looks so beautifully quaint back then.