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Mott Street: 1910

Mott Street: 1910

1910. Mott Street in New York's Little Italy, now Chinatown. At the left, 166 Mott (Raffaele Venezia Cafe) is now Face to Face Skin Care. Google Street View. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Raffaele Venezia Cafe or Store circa 1910

I am looking for info on my friend's ancestor, the above named, who had a shop at 166 and/or 171 Mott Street at the turn of the last century.

Any info appreciated.

Lynne Funk AIA

Time and Again

The time travel novel referred to below was called "Time and Again" and in my opinion is one of the best novels of its kind written. It's also illustrated with old photographs of places that the hero visited. That goes along with my "sliced cheese" theory of time, in which past, present and future exist simultaneously like slices of cheese in a package, and to travel from one era to another all you have to do is figure out how to peel back the paper separating them. Looking at these great, large format photos with all their detail makes me feel like I could really travel back in time if I really concentrated.

[What if time is more like a box of crackers? Or a jar of olives? (The kind with pimentos.) - Dave]

Time travel, indeed

I recall a time travel novel that had as its basis the fiction that if one were to be so imbued with a time and place and strove to "live" as though you were in that period in a locale that existed now and then, one would wake up some fine day, open the shades and voila, 1910 would be there. How I wish that were true. For now I'll just sit here and revel in each detail of pictures such as this. Thanks again to Dave and all the other posters.

Time Travel

This is time travel in its purest sense, a view into a moment of time frozen forever. Italian cafe, shoemakers, street sweeper, horse carts, vegetable vendor, little children moving around in their home neighborhood. I love it.

Built to Last

The first home I remember was at 1244 15th Avenue in San Francisco. That was 1936. Went past there recently and the street looks exactly the same and it was anything but new when we lived there.

Bet you won't find today's buildings looking exactly the same 100 years from now. You're doing a wonderful job of teaching/reminding us of our history. Thank you.


Wow, I love pictures like this. Not posed at all, just a moment in time caught on film. There are kids playing with something, a guy reading a newspaper, looks like a guy jumping over a broom and every one wearing a hat. The dog, the groceries...perfect. Probably everyone in that picture has already passed on but this one moment in their lives has been captured.

[Very true, although, practically speaking, there was no film back then. This was caught on glass. - Dave]

Thank You Thank You

Thanks for the opportunity to see this in a gorgeous and detailed vintage view and in an interesting modern view. I am a big fan of the "Then and Now" type books on different cities, and love to compare shots such as these. While I prefer the 1910 photo (if only filmmakers would get this kind of detail in their period-piece movies!), the Google shot has an interest all its own by virtue of one's being able to manipulate the view! Quite amazing, actually.

Mott Street, 1925 and today

This is a fine neighborhood for Dim Sum, and another site immortalized in popular song lyrics, this time in the 1925 Lorenz Hart song "Manhattan":

And tell me what street
Compares with Mott Street
In July?
Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.

The great big city's a wondrous toy
Just made for a girl and boy.
We'll turn Manhattan
Into an isle of joy.

I Heart NYC

Wow! I walked down that street in December when I was visiting NYC (I'm from Brisbane, Australia). I love the black dog on the right. Somehow, I always spot the dogs.

Really amazing...

I love that the buildings have changed barely at all. Really interesting to think of the history in those buildings that the people living there now have probably never considered.


I've noticed the last three pictures have been watermarked. Are you going to be watermarking everything from now on?

[We've always watermarked the really nice ones that are likely to be used elsewhere. They represent hours of labor by yours truly. - Dave]

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