42nd Street comes to an abrupt end at the East River, then and now.
Above, the intersection of 42nd Street and 1st Avenue in 1940. The buildings all have something to do with the meatpacking industry. There is not much happening in the river, nor on the Long Island City side either.
83 years later, the atmosphere is quite different. On the left there are buildings part of the United Nations, and on the right the air duct for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Across the river, once sleepy Long Island City is not so sleepy anymore. About the only thing surviving is the bed of rock in the river left over from the excavation for two trolley tunnels linking Manhattan to Queens in 1890. Today, the islet is owned by the state and is used as a sanctuary for migrating birds.