Search
The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in January 1943.
VIEW GALLERY | 29 PHOTOS
The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in the World War II era, January 1943.Andreas Feininger—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in January 1943.
Pre-Christmas holiday traffic teaming with double-decker buses, trucks and cars, crawling along two-way-laned, 5th avenue near 34th street in November 1948.
Stormy sky hovers over the Brooklyn Bridge and the ghostly skyscrapers of Manhattan's financial district in March 1946.
Model Carol Lorell walks down the street in the east '60s of Manhattan in January 1940.
A view from New Jersey of the moon shining over Manhattan's RCA and Chrysler buildings as its light shimmers on the waters of the Hudson River in September 1946.
A strolling blind musician plays guitar and harmonica along Broadway at night in the Times Square Area in 1944. "Mr. Skeffington" is playing at the Selwyn Theater across the street.
Aerial view of the crowded beach and pier at Coney Island, including the Parachute Jump amusement park ride (the tall structure at left) in Brooklyn, New York, 1951.
Young boys with sticks run around while playing a street game in Spanish Harlem in January 1947.
A woman walks her poodles along the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue in October 1942.
A view from the balcony at the opening of new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in January 1966.
Off-loaded freight front box cars are hoisted up to jutting loading platforms at Brooklyn Army Terminal in October 1949.
Men leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during an air raid drill in November 1951.
A soldier saying farewell at Penn Station in December 1943.
New Yorkers crowd Broadway below a large billboard depicting actress Marlene Dietrich in October 1944.
A plane flys above New York, NY before landing in October 1949.
Crowed commuters on a train during rush hour on Manhattan's IRT subway in January 1970.
Beautiful, ornate clock at Pennsylvania Station, December 1942
The new Metropolitan Life Insurance Company North Building, left, and the 1909 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower at night, Madison Square, New York City, May 1947.
A trio of sailors walk arm in arm down a dimly lit street near Times Square, searching vainly for fun in the curfew-quiet city, February 1945.
An aerial view of the entrance ramp leading to the top of the Port Authority Bus Terminal against the skyline of New York City in 1950.
Children participate in a bicycle safety program run by the New York City police in June 1954.
Nikita S. Khrushchev and his wife, center, meet the press at the top of the Empire State building in September 1959.
Boys climb on rocks in Central Park, November 1972.
A view of a big snowstorm in New York City in February 1960.
Columbus Circle during a heat wave in August 1944. A large Coca Cola sign and thermometer registers 100 degrees on top of building next to the Mayflower Hotel, New York.
Fire boats greet the SS France as it enters New York Harbor on its maiden voyage in February 1962.
A father and son walk past the Globe Theater in 1971.
A view of bustling, raucous New York City, looking straight down 42nd Street, January 1946.
The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in the World War II era, January 1943.
Andreas Feininger—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
1 of 29

Love Letter to New York: Classic LIFE Photos of the Big Apple

Jan 22, 2013

The monuments and the museums, the pulsing crowds on Fifth Avenue, opera at the Met and stickball in Spanish Harlem, sardines on the subway and the romantic urban vistas of Central Park: Over the years, LIFE's photographers explored every corner of New York, the city the magazine always called its home.

From the countless images of the Big Apple stored away in the late, great magazine's archives, LIFE.com presents a selection of black-and-white photos that show off the the spirit, the architecture, the culture (the high and the decidedly, thrillingly low) of Gotham—visual testaments to a city that, in darkness and in light, remains one of a kind.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.