Craft-beer halls fashioned out of reclaimed wood. Formerly fearsome neighborhoods that boast outdoor markets full of artisanal wares. And on the once-fearsome waterfront: an unholy expanse of glimmering new high-rises. Suffice it to say, New York City has undergone some dramatic cultural renovations over the past 50 years. Lest we forget, TNT’s new cop-and-crime series Public Morals (premiering August 25 at 10/9c) is here to remind us of the city’s seedier past.
Executive-produced by Edward Burns and his Saving Private Ryan director, Steven Spielberg, Public Morals tails two morally ambiguous Public Morals Division cops, Terry Muldoon (played by Burns) and Charlie Bullman (Michael Rapaport), who grapple with a surge of unsavory activity predominantly at the hands of the Irish-American mob. All the while, Officer Muldoon struggles to raise his kids with wife Christine (Elizabeth Masucci) on the straight-and-narrow. Prostitution, pornography, and greasing palms lie at the heart of this Manhattan project, which wrestles with crime and corruption.
In anticipation of Public Morals’ debut, we’re taking you back to times past on a “Then and Now” tour that shows you just how much Manhattan has changed. Click the circular button to see the barely recognizable transformation that the City That Never Sleeps has awoken to over the decades.
The steps of the New York Public Library, where lions Patience and Fortitude continue to stand guard.
The fountain at Washington Square Park photographed by John Atherton in 1967; and today. After lying dry for many years, the fountain has been restored to its original glory.
A chess match at the tables in Washington Square Park. We miss the days when men wore suits and hats on a summer afternoon.
A street merchant in the 60s and in 2015. The wares may change, but the New York streets remain a viable place to sell what you’ve got.
St. Mark’s Place embodies the continual transformation of the city as the fish mongers gave way to the punks gave way to the ramen joints gave way to the yuppies.
155 First Avenue in the East Village. The First Avenue Market was constructed in 1938 at 10th street. A bustling neighborhood market that sold cheese and vegetables until 1965, it’s now the avant garde Theater for the New City.
Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Rain or shine, 1960s or 2015, kids always find their way to the park in summer.
Outside The New York Public Library. Note the inverse proportion of tree size to hair size in the span of five decades.
The 72nd Street subway station in the 1960s, and in 2015. Note the old newsstand out front, a once ubiquitous post.What Is a Sponsor Story?