10/11/16

NEW YORK: A VIEW OF THE '20s



I post old footage compilations of New York and LA quite a bit and after awhile the sources begin to dry up. So I was surprised and delighted when I stumbled upon the above three-minute reel of various New York sites, streets and stuff shot in the 1920s. I'd never seen it before and from the measly three-digit page views apparently only a few others have. We see great views of the El Train in action--shot at eye level from the tracks. We pass the Hippodrome, linger in Riverside Park, spend a nice afternoon in Central Park (the Bow Bridge is featured in a very romantic shot) and, finally, we wind up at Coney Island, with its oversized funhouse slides, beaches and attractions. I'm not crazy about the Sidney Bechet accompanying soundtrack--too 'dixie' and aggressive. I suggest turning down the sound and rolling the below instead. It's Gene Austen's 1927 recording of 'My Blue Heaven'. I prefer the wistful counterpoint to the images--so much more haunting and a way to point up one of the things that I always find fascinating in this documentations of the past; the people were watching have long vanished from this earth, their lives and complications having faded from all human consciousness. If that's too depressing for you then I've also posted the 1920 Paul Whiteman recording of 'Whispering'.





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