One of the crown jewels of Manhattan, the grand dame of New York City, is turning 100. We are talking, of course, about Grand Central Terminal. A century ago, on February 2, 1913 – after a decade of construction – the building that would revolutionize commuter train travel opened its doors.

There isn’t anything to say that hasn’t been said before about the building’s grandiose and tumultuous history. So, we offer something else to commemorate one of the most amazing buildings in the city: a 360 look at Grand Central. Part of a larger project photographing iconic landmarks in glorious 360 degrees, we teamed up with Shots 360 and photographer Thomas Erh, the man behind the lens of interactive 360ยบ panoramic photography, to document some of our favorite Old New York places.


Enjoy!

12.14.2011

A guest post from California: Photographer Rob Hammer

We're super excited to have California-based photographer Rob Hammer guest post on I Love Old New York. Rob has been photographing barber shops and shares some of this thoughts and photos below. Enjoy! 

Angel's Barbershop in Seliman, AZ

Like most things in America with true character, the barbershop is quickly becoming a thing of the past. There is nothing in the world like a real old school barbershop. You know almost before entering the door that you've found one.Each one is so unique, but they all offer that same comforting feeling. The walls of each shop offer you a small insight into what has happened there through the years and the wear of the chair tells how many have come before you. The barbershop is a place where men got to be men. You don't have to worry about manors or hurting anyone's feelings. In the same visit you can complain about your wife/girlfriend and get a tip on that nights ball game. Your barber knows without question how to cut your hair and whatever he has to say is more interesting then anything you could tell him .
Angel's Barbershop in Seliman, AZ

The two shops featured below are a perfect examples of this. Angel's in Seliman, AZ and Lolo's Barbershop on Catalina Island, CA. These guys have been around for ages. All they know or care to know is barbering. Their shops are living testaments to their glorious careers and the friends that have been made throughout the years. As another barber once said to me: "If these walls could talk."

by Rob Hammer 
Angel's Barbershop in Seliman, AZ 
Angel's Barbershop in Seliman, AZ

Lolo's Barbershop on Catalina Island, CA 

Lolo's Barbershop on Catalina Island, CA
Lolo's Barbershop on Catalina Island, CA

Lolo's Barbershop on Catalina Island, CA

12.12.2011

Optimo Cigars M. Butterman Co. | East Harlem


In a not so distant past,  Harlem was filled with mom and pop shops,  since the chain stores stayed well below 96th street. At that time,  M. Futterman,  Inc thrived as a distributor of candy and cigarettes supplying the many local grocers and bodegas.

The business was started in the early 1900 by Bruce Futterman’s grandfather and grandmother. It operated across the street for many years,  moving to the current location at 1759 Madison Ave in the late 40s/early 50s where it has been there ever since – now in its third generation of wholesalers of candy and tobacco products.


When Mr. Futterman first started in the family business in the mid 80s,  a pack of smokes cost around $1.60. “The city killed the cigarette business” he says. We asked Mr. Futterman if he was a smoker. He said,  emphatically: “No,  I can’t afford it.”

According to Mr. Futterman,  the neighborhood changed tremendously once former President Clinton’s office opened on 125th st. “There is a lot of money put into the area,  fancy restaurants.”



The many layers of advertisements and signs throughout the shop are a virtual time capsule of its many years of operation.

Despite the restaurants and the waves of gentrification,  Mr. Futterman continues to hold on to his century-old business. And while smoking faces many restrictions,  sugar and candies are still fair game.  








12.06.2011

Carroll Street Bridge


The Carroll Street Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in New York City and the oldest remaining “retractile” bridge in the country. Built between 1888 and 1889 to provide crossing over the Gowanus canal, the bridge rolls back horizontally on a system of wheels on rails to allow boats to go through. As best as we can tell, the Carroll Street Bridget is one of only four retractable bridges left: one in Queens (Borden Avenue, over Dutch Kills) and two in Boston that are no longer operational.  The bridge was landmarked in 1989 and remains in use to this day.


























The bridge provides crossing between Carroll Gardens and Gowanus. Cars can only travel in the Carroll Gardens - Gowanus direction, but bikes and pedestrians (which seem to be the bulk of traffic anyway) can travel in both directions. 


























The bridge deck is set up on a system of wheels and tracks, which slide inland to provide boats with clear passage through the canal.



Lots more after the jump