2nd and 9th

I’ll have to break my one-photo rule on the ONE SHOTS category, which I haven’t previously done. Above is a photo taken sometime in the Fab 50s by previously unheralded photographer Vivian Maier, showing a huge throng facing a speaker who is apparently standing in the middle of 2nd Avenue. The photo isn’t captioned, so I have no idea could have been speaking. It was likely either a labor leader or a stumping politician. In those days, you could draw quite a crowd, with not much on TV and no internet.

The  shop on the southwest corner was a five and dime store. Visible further down the avenue was the Stuyvesant Polyclinic, built in 1884 to serve the medical needs of a primarily German population.

Do I use Google Street View? You bet I do, and I enjoy it. Mostly everything from the 1950s view is still there, including the Polyclinic. The corner shop is now “Max Brenn: Chocolate By the Bald Man.”



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10 Responses to 2nd and 9th

  1. chris says:

    And barely visible at the extreme left is the marquee of the st.marks theatre where you could see $1.00 movies.I saw billy jack there and the patrons were always courteous and well mannered and billy jack sucked out loud.Whatta rip off!

  2. FerryBoi says:

    Don’t see any traffic signals in the older pic? Do you know if there were any on that portion of Second Ave in the early 1950s, or are they just well hidden?

  3. Eric says:

    I don’t see the streetlight in the google view. What type was it?

  4. stever says:

    Great pic. Thanks! This must be early 50s, no? When I see these iconic NY street scene pics from that era, it’s hard to imagine that the world really wasn’t just black and white! So hard to imagine this scene in color.

  5. Stephanie says:

    That’s an old Google view–that location of Max Brenner closed several months ago.

  6. pre war walt says:

    Please post more “then & now” photos like this when you can.
    Really wonderful stuff, and inspires me to go see the location for myself
    the next time i am in the city. Thank you so much.

  7. Doug says:

    Rudolph Valentino died on August 23, 1926 at Polyclinic Hospital,137 Second Avenue, which is still standing.

  8. Birgitta says:

    I moved to the neighbourhood a year ago, never saw that Max Brenner place. It’s a bank now.

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