A look at New York City before the cars totally took over

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Video screen capture MOMA video An amazing movie restored and released by MOMA shows a city that’s both the same and very different. In 1911 the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern made a movie of a visit to New York City; the Museum of Modern Art has adjusted the speed and added a bit of a soundtrack and released it on Youtube. I do not live in New York but have spent a lot of time there, and recently have been writing about the conflicts between people who drive, bike, take transit and walk. In many ways, New York looks much the same; the road patterns and many of the buildings survive. But there are many differences; there is not a single person of either sex in the movie who is not wearing a hat, and in most cases, they are walking wherever they want. The sidewalks are almost always wider and more comfortable, and they are always busy, This photo shows 264 Fifth Avenue, and the sidewalk appears as wide as two car lanes. Here it is today, and there are six car lanes. On the other hand, the area in front of the Flatiron building at Broadway and […]

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