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NYC Grid is a photo blog dedicated to exploring New York block-by-block and corner-by-corner. Each post covers a new street or feature with a focus on the mundane and ephemeral.


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Before & After - Bowling Green (Again!)


The above photo is interactive. Drag the yellow handle in the middle to reveal more or less of the before or after image. Alternatively, you can simply click anywhere on the image to move the slider automatically.

Bowling Green was previously featured on Before & After in August

A site of frequent change, the streets surrounding Bowling Green rarely go a decade without some new feature being brought in. For example, recent years have seen a new subway entrance and the addition of CitiBike racks. Looking closely at the sidewalks, it also appears that they've reduced the width of the streets adding more room for pedestrians.

These were all things I noticed as I attempted to re-shoot today's photo. The presence of a fire hydrant and numerous lampposts, to say nothing of the surrounding buildings, should have made this an easy spot to pinpoint since those features rarely change over decades. Unfortunately my confidence was shaken by the aforementioned modifications to the area, and I was getting mixed signals from my surroundings. The thing that threw my off the most is the fire hydrant: As you can see, it's shifted dramatically to the left in my modern photo, despite the fact that I'm almost certain it's the exact same piece of hardware (it had similar spray paint markings). From what I can tell, the sidewalk was widened at some point and the hydrant was shifted to be closer to the new street edge. At least I hope that's the case, otherwise this is the worst Before & After I've done.

Photo source: Tom Riggle, Flickr

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Reader Comments (3)

You're very close with getting the buildings to match, so the only logical explanation is that they moved the hydrant. Very odd.

January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I think you got it right. Although it looks like so much of the hardware (hydrants, lampposts) have moved, the buildings line up

January 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Pesa


I don't know if you have already mentioned it in a previous post, but I am pretty sure that the thing on the right side of the present photo which seems to be a pole base is the same behind the man on the right side of the old photo, with its base today covered by new pedestrians layers. Check it and tell me what you think...


June 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermatteo brestuglia

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