Williamsburg Bridge

Lower East Side Histories

Williamsburg Bridge 1937

(The Lower East Side, Williamsburg Bridge & East River Park. New York, around 1937)

A stunning image posted from our friends at “The Lower East Side” Facebook page; The East River Park under construction sometime around 1937. Old warehouse buildings against The River, now long gone, remnants of the industrial rise of New York City in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Pictured here, the City’s transformation of its coastline from one of industry to one of parkway and leisure.

Steadfast and solid, bisecting the picture, is the Wiliamsburg Bridge; constructed at the dawn of the 1900’s.

An Urban Image can be so telling; in this instance a City Kinetic. Virtually all of this landscape is different now, save for the bridge and the river that runs through the churning maze of Lower Manhattan. A new buffer constructed against the decaying storefronts awaiting their next chapter to be written.


Vintage Stock of NYC

Vintage Stock_Williamsburg

(Construction of The Williamsburg Bridge, New York, 1903. Image by Ewing Galloway)

For all the mapping fans, and the historical photo fans of New York’s History: The New York Public Library has released an interactive photo map highlighting numerous locations across The City. For a fun historical tour of many familiar and some long gone places, you can click HERE.

It’s the Vintage Stock of NYC.

Domino Sugar, Down

Domino Demolition

(Domino Sugar, Williamsburg, New York. Photo by Greg Gordon Canaras. April 2014)

The transformation of a building site is raw and beautiful, from a perspective of mass demolition leading to renewal. In this pictorial shot, large swaths of the Domino Sugar Factory are being torn down for a new wave of Waterfront Towers. Urban demolition, excavation and rebirth are part of a constantly evolving process that The City undertakes in order to remake itself and adapt to change. This process oftentimes undercovers the layers of a place, frozen in time. The next day, it may all be gone.

Location of this Urban Transformation site can be found HERE, in Williamsburg, New York.

On Axis , Under New York

Williamsburg Bridge

(View looking East under the Williamsburg Bridge)

Good Morning New York! A photographic post to start the day: Urban inspiration, and the amazing technological feats of man’s aspirations, can be viewed travelling in and around The City. The poetics of Early 20th Century engineering, under the Williamsburg Bridge.

Corlears Hook, Forgotten Corner of The Lower East Side

Corlears Hook Aerial

(Late 1800’s Pictorial of Manhattan, with Corlears Hook on the Right)

From marsh land to farm land to dockland, and now Parkland, the Southeast bend of Manhattan has seemingly had many lives. The poetry of this changed landscape is hidden within history books and articles of scholarly reference. Walking through on this day, the casual observer would see a park with high-rise dwellings around; a beautiful, though not atypical New York landscape. It seems that people pass through this place, rather than linger.

Ole’ imagery of Corlears hook hearkens back to the rough and tumble days of the Lower East Side. Thriving during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, this place was filled with seedy tenements, boat docks, brothels, gangs and just about any form of low class activity society had to offer. A famous photograph from the Jacob Riis collection, references imagery of the Hooks underbelly. Further investigation into this now quiet, quasi-derelict promontory of land also reveals a link to a linguistic etymology, the origin of the word “hooker” (reference can be found in the sites below).

Under Docks

(Famous Image by Jacob Riis of the Short Tail Gang, under a pier in Corlears Hook, 1887)

Present time, standing here now, it is hard to imagine that this once was a crossroads for all forms of trade. This peripheral landscape, now occupied by the meandering East River Park, is a “Green” lung for the residents of The City. The passage of time has seemingly wiped the traces of past histories away, leaving a vast canvas for the urban flaneur’s imagination to roam free.


(Corlears Hook Park, after the clearance of the docklands, in the early 1900’s)

Link to NYC.GOV map of Corlear’s hook can be found HERE.

Other links of relateable note can be found here: