by Kevin Walsh

I got this image on an absolute gem of a day in 2000, on the SW corner of 5th Avenue and 23rd Street, opposite Madison Square. It shows a classic Type 24M Twin post, the variety that along with the earlier Type 3 Twin dominated 5th Avenue, and other selected routes around town, from 1896 to 1965. A few days ago, I noted that the one at 6th Avenue and Walker Street had been put back after its removal for street repairs.

The intersection of 5th Avenue, Broadway and 23rd Street at one time boasted three classic Twins, but around 2005 the number was reduced to two when this post, which had been given NYC Landmarks status, was run into by a truck, and apparently was too damaged to be repaired and put back. There’s still a Type 24 in the center median at this corner, and a hybrid post with a Type 3 Twin top — the only original one with that design left in NYC — combined with a Type 1 Bishop Crook shaft still stands at the northeast corner of 5th and Broadway.

I haven’t color corrected this picture at all in Photoshop — Kodak 35MM film provides some of the most vivid color photos in my collection, and I’d return to it were it not for the fact that buying color film was one of my chief expenses in Forgotten New York’s early days.

There’s a lot going on in the photo. The pair of payphones — owned by Bell Atlantic, New York Telephone’s predecessor — have now been removed. The stoplight has since had a modern streetlight mastarm placed at its apex, complete with an LED lighting fixture. I worked in the building in the left background, 200 5th Avenue, as a temp at Tiffany & Co. for a few months from 2013-2014, an experience that enriched me monetarily and temperamentally. The ad on the phones touts fast internet service in an era when pokey dial up modems were still the dominant access.

I got the photo on my lunch “hour” from Macy’s. When I worked in the offices at their midtown flagship at 7th Avenue and 34th Street, I’d take my film camera in now and then and proceed to rove all over at lunchtime, sometimes taking the train and getting as far as Brooklyn or Inwood, way uptown. Occasionally, I’d take as much as two hours. This sort of thing makes modern-day managers blanch, and at jobs these days, I adhere strictly to custom, but it’s my belief that employees should take all the time they need for lunch provided their assigned tasks are done in the correct time frame. Add to that, I was never paid overtime at Macy’s as everyone, including the drones in the bullpen like me, were considered “executives.” When I worked at suburban Publishers Clearing House in Port Washington, my teammates knew I had been out walking, sometimes as far as Sands Point, by how sweat stained my shirt was when I returned after lunch.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Sonny March 2, 2019 - 11:27 pm

In that distant time, pray tell, why did the menfolk wear suspenders that crossed in the back?

spinetingler June 27, 2019 - 10:46 am

All four-point suspenders cross in the back.


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