Rare Vintage NYC Subway Trains, by Danny Lyon

Photographer Danny Lyon‘s images of New York City subway riders in 1966 were featured in an exhibit by MTA Arts & Design. Lyon has had a distinguished career as a photographer and filmmaker, most notably documenting the Civil Rights Movement and motorcycle gangs in the 1960s. Returning to New York City in late 1966, Lyon’s mother gave him the advice, “If you’re bored, just talk to someone on the subway.” Using a Rolleiflex camera and color transparency film, the images in “Underground: 1966” have never been publicly exhibited prior to this.

(via ABC News)

Brooklyn Streets Originally Native American Trails

Indian Villages, Paths, Ponds, and Places in Kings CountyWhile we take for granted the paths and roads we use on a daily basis, it’s interesting to find out how they came to be. It’s not a new concept that paths worn by the comings and goings of early dwellers and subsequent settlers in a particular area became roads, streets and thoroughfares, often with names that reflect their beginnings. Brooklyn Heights Blog (via Viewing NYCshares some insight into Brooklyn’s familiar roads that began as Native American trails on a 1946 map titled “Indian Villages, Paths, Ponds and Places in Kings County.”

The map, which comes to us courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society, was published in 1946 by James A. Kelly, who was the Brooklyn Borough Historian at the time. It’s noted that “some of the trails that exist today as major thoroughfares, like Fulton Street, Flatbush Avenue and part of Atlantic Avenue.”

Vintage New York Blizzards, by The New York Times

Early New York Times photographs of snowstorms really capture the havoc, misery and peril a blizzard could visit on the city in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Blizzard of 1888, for example, dumped 21 inches of snow on the city and killed an estimated 200 New Yorkers. But even a garden-variety snowstorm in those days would menace New York’s main form of transit — horses — and impose human suffering of all kinds, while posing the immense logistical challenge of clearing an entire metropolis of snow.

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NYC Subway, by Willy Spiller

In 1979, there were 250 serious crimes reported in the New York subway system – per week. There were six murders in the first two months alone. No other subway in the world was more crime-ridden and infamous.

Hell On Wheels” is a joyous and soulful trip in the bygone era of the New York subway system in the years between 1977-1984. Swiss photographer Willy Spiller, living in New York at the time, documented his underground travels with the curiosity of a foreigner, fascinated by the rush and the madness of its time. It’s the period of the first rap music, graffiti, The Warriors in the cinema, Guardian Angels on the trains and Ed Koch in charge of a broke and crime-riddled city. Willy Spiller’s images are as much a visual document of this incomparable realm as they are a syncopated, colorful poem to the city of New York and its people.

(via Vintage Everyday)