Friday, June 17, 2011

Images Of Old Industrial New York

Industrial Queens

Industrial Brooklyn

Many say you can't compare, NYC with Pittsburgh because New York has no industrial past.

In fact--Every major city in the era before modern transport and refrigeration had a large industrial component--ports where cargo was laboriously off loaded by hand, local factories, slaughterhouses, Breweries and hundreds of local warehouses.

New York was of course, the nation's primary port until the early 1960's and it's leading area for shipbuilding, which was very much a heavy industry. It also was a leading manufacturing area for garments, jewelry, toys, electrical components and many other products.

The neighborhoods of NY, with the closest resemblance to Pittsburgh are on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront, where long before the subways were built, dense clusters of worker housing sprung up around the ports and factories.

Until about early 1980's Manufacturing still accounted for over a half million NY jobs-a number that today is much, much lower. The city's efforts to protect many former manufacturing districts through strict zoning codes, have only very recently changed. Almost all of New York's famous art districts grew up illegally in these former industrial or warehouse areas.

These are a few shots I took around these now very rapidly changing areas in Queens and Brooklyn.

(FYI--Blacks and Puerto Ricans did not originally migrate to NY "to collect welfare", but to find work mostly in New York area factories.)

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