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Through the Lens of Anthony Angel: New York City Rail Infrastructure in the 1950s History Photos

As a photographer, explorer, and now-New Yorker I’ve found myself curiously drawn to the work of Angelo Rizzuto. Anthony Angel, as he called himself, was a street photographer who captured the city from the late 1940s until his death in 1967. His body of work was largely overlooked by the fine art world, seen more as snapshots from a madman with a camera than any sort of photographic art. Yet from a historical perspective, the images resonated with me. Angel created a nearly 60,000 image strong visual time capsule of New York City—his photos of the old Pennsylvania Station, of...

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Riding the Harlem Division Football Special (to see the worst team ever) Trains History

As the Vietnam War raged and John Lennon ruffled feathers declaring the Beatles “more popular than Jesus,” the Giants were losing, bigly. 1966 may have been the year that Star Trek hit the airwaves and Camaros first rolled the streets, but it was also the year the Redskins absolutely crushed the Giants 72-41, setting the (still-standing) record for the highest scoring game in National Football League history[1]. Objectively, the 1966 Giants were quite awful. Playing their home games at the old Yankee Stadium, they proceeded to lose every single match except for one. They managed to tie their first game...

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Wednesday Wandering: Denver Union Station Photos

An amalgamation of several different aesthetic eras, Denver Union Station stands as an intriguing monument to railroading history. When gazing upon the building, it almost feels as if you could close your eyes and let yourself be transported to an array of different points in time. Focus on the rusticated red rhyolite exterior of the wings and you’ll fly to the 1880s when the majestic Romanesque revival depot was initially constructed. The granite beaux-arts stonework will whisk you to the 1910s when countless stations nationwide were being constructed in similar style, including this section of the station rebuilt. The neon...

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Trainspotting in Flight Observations Photos

Beyond a few short jaunts on Metro-North weekly, and an occasional Amtrak train to Philadelphia, I haven’t been on trains very frequently this year. I have, on the other hand, been to LaGuardia Airport too many times. Plenty of people seem to have little love for that airport, but I don’t really mind it. Though the newly built sections and renovations are actually quite attractive, my favorite part about the airport tends to be the views you get while in the air. Subway tiles and mosaics at the new LaGuardia Airport. Many New York landmarks are reproduced in tile, including...

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Grand Central Stargazing: Secret Signatures on the Ceiling Observations History Photos

In its century-plus of existence, over a billion travelers have traversed the hallowed halls of Grand Central Terminal. But how many of that intrepid number, as they gazed up at the magnificence of the constellations overhead, knew that the ceiling held a secret? I’m not talking about how the constellations are “backward”—doesn’t everybody know that? Nor am I referring to the fact that the ceiling today is not the original fresco from when the Terminal opened its doors. No, I’m talking about the secret signatures that span the mural, encircling stars and hiding inside the appendages of the towering beasts...

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A Parkway, a Station, and a Hotel. White Plains: Part 2 History Photos

In Part I of our history of White Plains, we took a look at the arrival of the New York and Harlem Railroad, and how its vital link to New York City kicked off White Plains’ growth from a sleepy little village into one of Westchester’s notable cities. Along that journey a monumental train station rose and fell, man asserted its dominance over nature, and several swaths of civilization were wiped from the map, all in the name of progress. The transformation of the area around the train station in the early twentieth century was quick, and massive. The railroad’s...

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