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West Side Story: 1959

West Side Story: 1959

September 15, 1959. "Photos show 14-year-old José Rivera, a Puerto Rican immigrant, his friends, family and neighborhood on New York City's Upper West Side; playing stickball on street; on streets during day and night; playing pool and basketball at a community center; making boxes in a pizza parlor; at church; with family in their apartment." 35mm negative by Paul Fusco for the Look magazine assignment "The Real West Side Story." View full size.

 

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Take your places

I could not find this street so I asked someone knowledgeable. He responded: None of the buildings on that block look familiar. Given that this was an article about Puerto Ricans on the Upper West Side and the connection to "West Side Story," I would wager that this was taken in the San Juan Hill neighborhood, bulldozed between 1955 and 1969 to make way for Lincoln Center.

Freewheelin'

I was immediately reminded of this iconic album from my youth.

Well technically speaking

Puerto Ricans aren't immigrants per se. They are United States citizens. They gained that right on March 2, 1917.

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