Visiting the past

I was talking about visiting places back in time in a previous post. It reminds me of a couple of NY stories. This image of Union Square fascinates me since I am always in that location. There are literally hundreds of pictures in that area from the past century and beyond.

Back when I read The Alienist for the first time, I started noticing something – the places written about in the book were written in such vivid detail, even directions on how to get to and from places. So I started writing them down. This was probably 1994, when the book was first published.

It takes place in 1881-82 NYC. There are tv shows now based on The Alienist, but I highly recommend the book.

The next time I was in NYC I started a little tour of all those locations and lo and behold – they were all still standing! Author Caleb Carr used current locations that were there in the 1800s. I remember 19 Washington Square South, where the grandmother lived – still there – part of those high end row houses across from the park. And Wanamaker’s store and Grace Church and all those wonderful places!

Anyway, just recently I saved an old photo of Union Square on my phone, from the late 1800s. I took the photo to Union Square and I held it up to the buildings, trying to match the image exactly. The funny part is that I had the phone basically up to guy’s face as I was searching.

He looked at me, wondering, why are you taking my picture? I showed him the image on the phone and told him what I was doing and we both got a good laugh.

I have seen so many photos of Union Square and so many of those buildings are still there and so are the statues. I also like to visit the two Andy Warhol Factory locations that are still standing at different areas of Union Square – just wondering what life was like back then.

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