When the Nostalgia Train ran last month, straphangers itching to experience or relive riding on trains from another era had the chance to do so. It wasn’t quite the same as being there though as the cars, as they’re usually kept on display, have a decidedly museum-y feel to them. Yet, the novelty never wears off.
For a different kind of glimpse back into the city’s history, we have Enrico Natali. In 1960, the photographer would surreptitiously capture scenes from the New York City subway. Today, we do the same with cell phone cameras and digital devices, but Natali used a Yashica. Starting this weekend, his photos will be on display in California, a far ride from New York, but luckily for the Internet, we can view them from the comfort of our own computers.
The Daily Mail has a bunch of shots and a small article about Natali, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography has a page of 28 Natali photos. My favorite is this capture of 51st Street. The missing tiles on the wall are evocative of stations that today are in need of repair. After 52 years, some things never change.