So much of the lore surrounding New York City is saturated with the notion that you “just missed” the real New York. This comes as no surprise in a city that’s meant so many different things to so many different people, and that hurdles forward at a violent pace on both the micro and the macro level. Old New York and Then New York and Now New York is a divide that’s never not in flux. The Museum of the City of New York has a new take on that trope, which I must admit, sounds rather appealing. Their new exhibit Analog City takes a look at NYC in the pre-digital age. I’ll definitely be stopping by to check it out.
The Museum of the City of New York is located at 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St. and open Thursday 10–9, Friday through Monday 10–5.
Analog City: NYC B.C. (Before Computers) uncovers the array of tools, technologies, and lost professions that supported New York City as it exploded into a global metropolis in the pre-digital era. Focusing on the period between the 1870s and the 1970s, Analog City examines the technologies that enabled the city to reach its position as the “capital of the world” in an age before the speed and capacity of today’s digital technologies. Set against a contemporary backdrop of 24-hour news cycles and high-speed trading—in which questions about privacy, truth, and the impact of social media are increasingly pressing—the exhibition uncovers this bygone era of paper files and pneumatic tubes, of note cards and telephone directories, and examines how New York thrived as a center of finance, news, research, and real estate in an era before personal computers and the internet.
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