People complain about a “lack of sidewalk access” nowadays due to all the pandemic-emergency dining shacks that are still out there by the thousands. Well, this was 14th Street in the 1970s, way before the busway. It was taken between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, looking east.
As for what all the congestion was about in the 50-year-old shot, the photographer, Harry Pincus, didn’t recall exactly.
“It looks more like a three-card Monte game than an accident or a crime,” he said. “I think I see a cardboard mat or something on the ground. Fourteenth Street always looked like that!
“That was spontaneous. It wasn’t expensive restaurants setting up permanent barriers. I don’t recall encountering any maître d’s out there!”