Explore 1930s New York: “The Wonder City”

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Get ready to take a serious head trip through pre-World War II Manhattan, from Wall Street to Harlem, in this 1938 video from Castle Films. You’ll get glimpses of the Bowery, “famous in song and story, but a dingy street today,” the Lower East Side, “its squalor and tenements rapidly being replaced by wider streets and better housing — but the push markets still survive,” Harlem, whose population is “not always prosperous, but seemingly, always happy,” and of course, “Chinatown: exotic, mysterious, where thousands of Orientals live apart in their own peculiar way… a fascinating place, especially on ceremonial occasions.” Well, we won’t deny that Chinatown is rather fascinating, but we’re happy to report that our fair city has come a long way — at least in some respects. Click through to watch the video, and let us know what you think in the comments!

[via Laughing Squid]