Saturday, November 12, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - Times Square part 2

Today's "Anything Goes Saturday" takes us back to New York City, along 7th avenue at 44th street. This is sort of a followup to a post from July...


Anyway, there's lots of fun details here. The Paramount Theater is showing "The Sound and the Fury", starring Yul Brynner and Joanne Woodward. To our right you can see the famous billboard for Camel cigarettes; a puff of smoke wafts from the mouth of the guy with the goggles. This billboard was there for years, and the image of the smoker changed occasionally - he's been a soldier, a pilot, a radio announcer, and so on.

Beyond that is a building that sold Bond clothing for years (at least since the 30's). On top is an enormous advertisement for Pepsi Cola (love that old-fashioned logo). There's a Woolworth's, and the little theater out front is showing Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty". I also get a kick out of the swarm of people, and the taxis, all showing the hustle and bustle of NYC.


Using Google Maps, I tried to capture the same view. This is as close as I could get! Plenty of construction is going on, which is almost always the case in the city. It's still and exciting place to visit, but lacks so much of the charm that was evident in 1959.

10 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Well, I've never been to Times Square, but from the "then and now" photos it appears that just like Disneyland, it used to be a nicer place.

The mention of Yuhl Brenner and cigarettes reminds me of his anti-smoking ad for televsion that he filmed just before he died and that ran AFTER he died. He started by saying something like, "Now that I'm gone......." Anyone else remember that?

Chiana_Chat said...

Looks like I'd rather be there in 1959...

Anonymous said...

As with Disneyland, I prefer the Times Square of the 1970s. Sure the area back then was down-at-heel and not a little dangerous, but it certainly had a gritty charm all its own. I find the redeveloped Times Square unspeakably grim – it reeks of desperation and exploitation. One day a rain is gonna come, indeed!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Awesome Times Square. I remember that Pepsi sign like I was there yesterday. Only it was 1957. It was huge (to a 10 year old it was GIGANTIC!!!) Great pic Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, Times Square is still an amazing place (particularly at night), but in an entirely different way than it was in the 50's. Many large international cities (in Asia, perhaps) have a central area with big animated signs and flashing lights, and I think that Times Square is very much like those nowadays.

Chiana, it does look great, doesn't it?

Anon, I have read other accounts from people who fondly remember the Times Square of the 70's. While I have no personal experience with it, I do remember places here in California that used to be more run-down and funky; they've since become gentrified and generic (they all seem to have a Pottery Barn, a TGI Fridays, an Apple Store). Nice in a way (cleaner, safer), but certainly blander as well.

Steve W said...

So I'm checking out this photo with pleasure because I love old photos of Times Square and then I realize...
I saw Sleeping Beauty at the Criterion!!
Man, I feel old (but thanks for the photo).

Anonymous said...

I live on Long Island, just outside of Manhattan. I've been to Times Square a hundred times. In fact, I was there about two weeks ago (after visiting the new World Trade Center-under construction-beautiful!). And beleive me,Times Square in the 70's was the worst cesspool you can imagine.Prostitution,porn,drugs,the worst hell-hole in America. Now its bright, clean, vibrant, exciting and safe. It gets better every time I go there! Dennis, Levittown NY

Chiana_Chat said...

...sorta suspect I'd have liked Times Square of '59 or the present better than the '70s...

King of Jazz said...

I agree with Anonymous about Times Square in the '70s; it had all the charm of a rancid toilet. Thank goodness it's now a safe and far cleaner place. The '59 photo makes me recall the days of the 1964-65 Worlds Fair; an extraordinary time to experience back then!

JG said...

Great pictures, thank you.

I love the look of cities from that era, and the parts of cities today that still look like that.

Cities are a significant human invention and I love them, in spite of their problems. The central square is usually one of the best parts.

JG