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Urban American life before the car

This morning I stumbled upon an old (2013) post from Rebel Metropolis that documents urban American life through street photos taken before the automobile. 

Above is Little Italy, New York City, 1900. All of the photos in the post are from Shorpy

The photos are beautiful architecturally and from a photography standpoint. But as is pointed out in the post, they also speak to a different kind of street:

What’s more, the street here is not purely the thoroughfare – it is the essential common gathering place for demonstrations, for buying and selling food, for children to play in, for celebration, for lingering and people watching.

That sounds like a great street. And now I am off to start my day. Because I have meetings all around the city today, I’ll be driving to the office. 

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