This Is New York, 1950

A tour of New York in 1950. To purchase a clean DVD or digital download of this film for personal home use or educational use contact us at questions@archivefarms.com. To license footage from this film for commercial use visit: www.travelfilmarchive.com

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this is New York the world’s largest city the heart of financial networks that encircle the globe the largest single concentration of theatres operas music halls and entertainment centers yes this is New York the mecca for tourists from all over the world what is it that people most want to see here let’s stop with this Pleasant little house in midtown Ohio and find out what the people here would most desire to see in New York this is the Lawrence family and they’re climbing such a trip it seems mrs. Lawrence tore off the right box top and attach the right slogan and won a contest the prize being an excursion to New York for the entire family this is mr. Allen sponsors representative who has come to make arrangements for the trip and to see that the Lawrences get the most out of their stay in New York Junior using the front lawn as an improvised repair shop greets mr. Allen and takes him back to meet the rest of the family this is mr. Lawrence hard-working midtown attorney mrs. Lawrence Mary Lawrence 19 years old and a sophomore estate you authored 21 enters MIT this fall for postgraduate work in engineering and junior 12 years old with certain mechanical interests well now let’s get down to business mr. Allen is to plan the itinerary and so he has to know what each member of the family wants to see in New York Mary has some pretty definite ideas and to her as to many people New York is Times Square the crossroads of the world the Great White Way bright lights the theater good food and dancing to the music of the world’s most famous orchestras with about to romance Mary wants to see the little church around the corner and especially the actus Chapel where countless celebrities of the stage and screen have been married since 1870 this church has been the spiritual home of the theatrical profession for a heart that’s young and gay a penthouse in the sky with a Terrace and garden freshened by clouds yet only 30 seconds from the heart of the city my my look at those starry eyes well that’s all very fine for Mary but mrs. Lawrence as the Prize winner does have a little priority in making up the list first she wants to see Fifth Avenue from Washington Square to 110th Street the sidewalk cafes the towering apartment houses at Wednesday night prayer meetings and on Sundays mrs. Lawrence plays the organ for the church choir so next on her list are the churches and the cathedrals of New York at Fifth Avenue and 50th Street the gothic beauty of st. Patrick’s Cathedral with its twin spires standing like sentinels then at 65th Street and Fifth Avenue the temple Emmanuel the section before the main altar of this Romanesque synagogue seats more than two thousand people and at a hundred and twenty second Street overlooking the Hudson River the towering majesty of the Riverside Church directly opposite grants tomb where rest the bodies of the 18th President of the United States and his wife then the world-famous hotels the Waldorf Astoria this modern giant rises to lofty heights at 50th Street and Park Avenue the Waldorf Astoria with its Starlight roof Empire room and Peacock Alley Broadway after dark attracts mrs. Lawrence too and what could be more thrilling than a box in the diamond horseshoe in New York’s renowned Metropolitan Opera House then a visit to the Radio City Music Hall the world’s largest indoor theater where the Rockettes dance with unbelievable precision and accuracy all right mother we’ll see all that and lots more – mr. Lawrence has been reasonably patient as is proper for the head of the house but it’s his turn now and first on his list is the financial district in downtown Manhattan Wall Street which takes its name from the barricade the early settlers erected here as protection against the Indians Trinity Church and on the right the subtreasury building the New York Stock Exchange wherein this seeming confusion millions of dollars worth of securities change hands every hour mr. Lawrence wants to see the transportation systems that serve the world’s largest cities Grand Central Station standing astride Park Avenue at 42nd Street has 34 miles of yard track all underground and maintains a schedule of more than 500 trains a day Pennsylvania terminal at 33rd Street in 8th Avenue has 21 tracks and through its gates passed more than 109 million passengers a year between 850 and 900 trains a day enter and leave this station 12 mainline railroads have their terminals in the metropolitan area and more than 68 million tons of freight enter and leave the city by rail alone each year one of the most important links in the New York City transportation system is the Underground Railroad the subways they carry more than seven-and-a-half million passengers a day over there 835 miles of track with speed and safety a visit must be paid to the most famous of sports arenas Madison Square Garden especially to see the fights an afternoon at the Yankee Stadium mr. Lawrence has been rooting for the New York Yankees for years and wants to see them in their home park I personally like the Dodgers hit the dirt well those requests sound pretty reasonable dad the list is getting longer but there’s not a dull moment in it now back to the younger members again Arthur was very active in collegiate athletics he follows his father in that and so sports rate number one with him too without a moment’s hesitation off the votes for another trip to Madison Square Garden but this time for the breathtaking speed and daring of ice hockey and lots of basketball as an engineering student he wants to see the bridges that span New York’s mighty rivers the Brooklyn Bridge completed in 1883 then the George Washington Bridge 4/5 of a mile long it carries more than 40 thousand vehicles a day its towers rise to 600 feet above the river and the Triborough bridge which connects Manhattan with Queens and the Bronx Chinatown is an important stop for author for 90 years the Oriental center of New York the old-world customs the exotic foods the little shops in the jaws houses the dragon parades to chase away the evil spirits this is considered home for the 30,000 Chinese in the metropolitan area and there are many native dances and rituals to be seen in this tiny city within a city at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue the Metropolitan Museum of Art then directly across Central Park the Hayden Planetarium we’re against a hemispherical dome images of the stars and planets are accurately projected and their movements explain well that takes care of everybody but jr. and just because he’s been busy with the bike don’t think he hasn’t been making decisions his mind is made up he wants fun lots of fun at Coney Island the giant Ferris wheel that takes you hundreds of feet in the air the thrilling excitement of the parachute jump the carnival gaiety of steeplechase Park all carefully seasoned with hotdogs peanuts and soda pop and before the day ends a swim in the Atlantic Ocean on Bedloe’s Island and upper New York Bay it stands our symbol of freedom and democracy Junior wants to be one of the half-million people that visit her each year and while here he also wants to spend some time at New York’s fascinating waterfront to see some of the 700 piers and docks that birthed the world’s largest ships then up to the Bronx Zoo to see the Lions and the Tigers maybe to ride on the elephant’s back and of course to feed the sea lions no housing shortage here shy little fella is nee junior is pretty positive about another point – he wants to see airplanes lots of them and bright and early on the morning of the big day that wish comes true with a bang for junior and the whole family are at the Midtown Airport to board a four engine luxury airliner for the quick trip to New York ceiling and visibility unlimited a grand morning for the flight soon they’re high over the Fertile farmlands of Ohio and the countless villages and towns that bought in New York and jr. is wide-eyed with wonder and excitement over New Jersey the intricate system of metropolitan roadways their route takes them over New York Bay and the Statue of Liberty with a torch held high and benediction over the ceaseless marine traffic at her feet suddenly we realize the Magnificent speed of flight for now we cross the lower tip of Manhattan and as the pilot settles in to his approach pattern for the landing the Empire State Building rising with pride and dignity from the man-made Palisades of New York seems to not a welcome in less time than it takes to tell the big dc4 has its wheels down and locked and is throttled back for the landing at LaGuardia Field on the shores of flushing Bay every day 600 planes operate from LaGuardia bringing their passengers and cargoes from the west coast Florida South America Canada and Europe mr. Allens pretty good at this arrangement business for a station wagon rolls up to meet the plane as soon as it taxis to a stop this really isn’t necessary since the airline’s maintain an excellent limousine service to all parts of the city but the private car does make it seem more like a party the luggage will be sent on later and so with a light-hearted and carefree wave to the stewardess the families off to the modern Baghdad by the sea New York City the best way to start a tour of the big town is to climb aboard an open-topped 5th Avenue bus and at 59th Street and 5th Avenue the Lawrences do just that 5th Avenue rich in historic lore once the most exclusive residential street in New York now the fashion center of the world here in the smartest shops are shown the latest fashions this is Tiffany’s a name is honored and precious jewels as sterling is in silver here to our Bergdorf Goodman Cartier mark cross Dunhill and Saks Fifth Avenue and across the Avenue Rockefeller Center in the lower plaza this statue of prometheus watches over ice skating in the winter and outdoor dining in the summer our bus continues down the Avenue following a route the Fifth Avenue coach company has been using for more than 50 years flanked on both sides by the most expensive business property in the world down to 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue the busiest intersection in the world here stands the New York Public Library its main entrance guarded by the two faithful Lions of knowledge and power though still a half mile away the Empire State Building towers over the entire city and the whole family leans back in their seats craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the Pete 34th Street and Fifth Avenue this is where the Empire State Building starts yes it starts here but then it grows and grows up and up into the tallest structure on the face of the earth its highest tip reaching thirteen hundred and eleven feet into the sky the observatories at the top offer the best possible view of New York City and its surroundings for from the towering pinnacle can be seen all of New York the rivers that bounded the geography of its streets the outstanding landmarks through the main lobby lined with rare and costly imported marbles pausing for a moment before the huge mural plaque which in gleaming metal outlines New York State for which the building was named covering an area of 2 acres the 102 story building is large enough to house 80,000 people visibility 25 miles that means we’ll be able to see an area of approximately 2,000 square miles and so on to the office for our tickets to the skies it’s only a matter of seconds for dad to do the honors and then we’ll start to the top of this largest of manmade structures built of 60,000 tons of steel and 10 million bricks the Empire State Building has seven miles of elevator shafts and 61 passenger elevators they shoot sky wood at a speed of a thousand feet a minute yet they’re so carefully adjusted that there’s no sensation of movement the big terrace on the 86th floor will accommodate hundreds of people and has a restaurant soda fountain writing rooms and lounges but the first stop of course is at the souvenir counter that’s rather typical of the more than six million people that have visited the observatories since the building was completed in 1931 it doesn’t take long to make the purchase of keepsakes and mementos of the visit for everybody’s very anxious now to see the view there goes jr. now for heaven’s sakes be careful now Junior mother warned you about running on ahead but mother’s concern is soon lost in the enchantment of the fabulous cities stretched out at her feet New York has more skyscrapers than the rest of the world these are some of them looking to the north in the center 42nd Street in Bryant Park and that narrow canyon to the right is Fifth Avenue at the extreme left the meadows of New Jersey then the Hudson River directly ahead Rockefeller Center and behind it Central Park and to the right the slender stately spire of the Chrysler Building this terrorist war completely encircles the observatory this is the east side of midtown Manhattan with its exclusive and expensive apartment houses side by side with the teeming tenements and industrial plants then the East River with the borough of Queens in the background to the right at the top is the Williamsburg Bridge one of the three that links Brooklyn to Manhattan continuing around to the south now we will see the tip of Manhattan Island as it tapers into up in New York the turreted heights of the financial district in the center with Brooklyn on the left and Staten Island directly across the bay high-powered telescopes like this one are a big help to the Statue of Liberty oh boy try to pick up some of the Hudson River traffic that’s out there jr. there that’s it on an average one ocean-going steamer enters or leaves New York Harbor every 20 minutes of each daylight day the Port of New York is so large it could accommodate the six other largest ports of the world and still have room to spare now over to the west side and we’ll get another view of the Hudson River with New Jersey in the background its shoreline with countless docks and piers into the crowded West Side of Manhattan are crammed some of the thousands of manufacturing plants that make New York the world’s largest industrial center although wait a minute here’s a man intent upon business dad straighten your tie Jr pull your coat down and fix your collar you know you just can’t find a better background for a family group picture than the skyline of New York City now everybody smile there that’s it all done here is part of the waterfront with its huge docks and warps that can handle 400 women at once and that’s New Jersey in the background with its great sprawling industrial areas it’s been a long time since lunch and the fresh air and the excitement seem to have affected everybody the same way so it’s a unanimous decision to stop at the Tea Room for refreshments Jr has been subtly hinting along these lines for the past half-hour the service is fast and the food is good for the terrace Tea Room is something of a celebrity corner through the years its visitors have included kings and queens princes and princesses Maharaja’s and prime ministers presidents and diplomats and lots of plain people like the Lawrences who are enjoying the marvelous view from the glass enclosed Terrace while resting and replenishing the inner man hmm good while they were so pleasantly busy Twilight quietly slipped over New York and a whole new fairyland of wonder and enchantment suddenly blossoms into life Broadway the Great White Way lives up to its name it blazes and sparkles like a gigantic fireworks display for the best possible view of this vital living tapestry that is New York let’s hurry to the tower observatory in the main lobby of the 86th floor Terrace we board the tower elevator that runs to the very peak of the building enclosed with aluminium and glass the tower is illuminated from within at night and stands as a shining beacon over the entire city it’s only a matter of seconds from the 86th floor to the tip of the tower at the 100 second 1,250 feet above the street it’s kind of hard to hold the children back but mother and dad stand for a moment and chanted beyond belief wrapped in the magic of a world at their feet as far as the eye can see millions of brilliant sparkling jewels far outshine the stars in the heavens it’s breathtaking unforgettable yes this is New York the world’s largest most exciting city seen from the world’s tallest building

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