Friday, April 20, 2018

Snapshots in Time

I've been going through my backlog of items for quite a while now and just came across this photo album I picked up at least a year ago.

It's a collection of black and white snapshots of a couple's trip to New York and New Jersey around June of 1944.  I don't know their names, so let's just call them "Alice" and "Stan".

Meet "Alice"

And here's "Stan".  Stan was obviously a service member. Perhaps on leave, perhaps on their honeymoon, perhaps both.

They spend time at the USO beach. Unfortunately, I don't know where the USO beach was, but it's written on the back of the photos.

The back of this photo is labeled "USO Bathing Pavilion", but a close-up reveals it's actually the Avenel Bathing Pavilion.  Avenel is a town in New Jersey, so it's likely that's where the beach was.  What's odd is, looking on a map, Avenel is landlocked and a fair distance from the ocean.

What I always find amazing about old black and white photos is how far you can zoom in on the details and still make things out. The full photo is only 3"x4".

 Apparently, an officer is present given the saluting going on.

 But these guys seem unfazed.

A couple takes a walk

A girl looks on at two sunbathers in the distance.

Note the guys on the right checking out the young ladies.

Beach frollicking with Alice and Stan

This is a K-Class Blimp used by the Navy for anti-submarine warfare.  Less than a year earlier, one had been shot down in the Straits of Florida.  The crew survived with the exception of one man who died after being attacked by a shark.

Asbury Park Boarkwalk in New Jersey.  You can see the proxmity of the photographer from this photo taken at a later date:

I'm fairly certain that says "Palace Amusements" which was an indoor amusement park built in 1888.  It closed 100 years later in 1988.

No trip to New York would be complete without a visit to Coney Island.  Here you can see the famous "Cyclone" roller coaster.

"Faster Than Ever"

On the other side of the picture, you can see Nathan's biggest competitor, "Feltman's" which is still serving hot dogs on on that same corner on Coney Island today.

The Empire State Building

Nikola Tesla lived in the Hotel New Yorker and died there just a year earlier.

Hotel New Yorker today

Hotel Ten Park Avenue.  I wonder if this is where they stayed.

The view today.

A little zooming in reveals a swabby, perhaps his first time to New York...perhaps his first time out of his home state.  I hope you made it back, sailor.

Times Square, 7th Ave and 42nd Street

The 5th War Loan Drive ran from June 12 through July 8, 1944 and raised $20.6 Billion dollars.

A close-up of the cash register from another photo found on the internet.

And close-ups from the original photo.

7th Ave and 42nd Street today

Finally, a little R&R.

Goodbye Stan.

Goodbye Alice


  1. wow, what a great photo set! that first pic of Alice and Stan on the beach seems like it could've been taken last week. Pix of people swimming in the Atlantic always make me say "BRRR!" -- not that the Pacific is all that much warmer, but i've always thought of the Atlantic as being freezing. maybe i'm influenced by all those stories about the Titanic.

    i LOVE the photos of Coney Island! i would love to ride that old Cyclone... and the pix of NYC are also interesting. the city is so different today. it looks more built up and crowded now in some way.

    Apropos of nothing, did you hear the awful news about Huey Lewis? i hope he'll be ok. i'm regretting not seeing him more recently... they played up at Tahoe frequently, and i was always telling friends that they put on such a great show. SIGH.

    1. >i LOVE the photos of Coney Island! i would love to ride that old

      I'd love to go to Coney Island some day too.

      > the city is so different today.

      Yeah, the buildings in the photos are all dwarfed and cramped today.

      >did you hear the awful news about Huey Lewis?

      I did hear about Huey. Terrible news (no pun intended). I haven't seen him in concert in years either and I regret it too. Hopefully, something can be done for him.

  2. So great that you saved it and posted it, saving them from obscurity. Sort of sad they are strangers now, in their own photos.

  3. Wow what a crazy glimpse into somebody's past!


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