“Try to stop my world from turning…”

Thanks for stopping by the site, despite its dormancy. For a few days, I skipped town to sojourn in the glorious motherland (New Jersey), where I gave up books, the Internet, and medievalism in exchange for adventures with family and friends.

But during vacations, the past stays in sight; you just have to find the right angle. Behold: the main intersection of New Brunswick, New Jersey, sometime before 1940.

Subjected to urban churn, New Brunswick has been continuously redeveloped, with entire blocks giving way to newer, larger buildings. Today, if your ultimate goal is to picture the past, the view from above is perplexing.

But float to the ground, and in just a few seconds…

…you’re 89 years in the past.

7 thoughts on ““Try to stop my world from turning…”

  1. I was standing on the top level of the staircase on French Street that leads up to the platform. A rather frustrating tree prevented me from getting the exact same shot as the one shown in the postcard—but the presence of that tall white bank building on George Street (in the upper right corner of the first two images) made me feel like I got as close to the same shot as possible.


  2. Very cool – I love photo essays like that. Here’s a great one on downtown San Jose, my adoptive hometown: http://www.bvnasj.org/SanJoseThenNow.htm

    Also? Love your song lyric titles (of course!).

    “…inside out.” My husband said the Mighty Lemon Drops gig he went to in the mid-80s was possibly the loudest show he’d ever been to. I’m glad I wasn’t with him for that 🙂


  3. Julie, thanks for the link! I love then-and-now shots like that.
    As for the MLDs, I saw them in New Brunswick in 1990, but they were playing outdoors, so I can’t vouch for their insane loudness. Still, “Inside Out” became a favorite after that.


  4. Jeff,

    You should check out Walks through Lost Paris: a journey into the heart of historic Paris by Leonard Pitt.

    (He is not to be confused with Leonard Pitts, the columnist from the Miami Herald.)

    Leonard Pitt found an old book at a used book store that had pictures of Paris prior to Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. After devouring the book he couldn’t wait to go back to Paris where went to see those streets to discover how they changed and if he could find any common points of reference.

    His book is filled with side by side pictures of then and now. He also has themed walks describing the historical attributes of different neighborhoods in Paris.

    I saw him give a talk and do a slide show last year when I was planning my trip to France. He was nice and very helpful to me. I took it with me when I was there.

    Thank you for pointing out in your reply about the tall white building in your first two pictures, for I had missed that common landmark even though I was looking carefully because I was focused on the foreground.



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