North view of the Bowery, framed by the Third Avenue Elevated tracks. Visible on the left are the Gaiety Theatre and an advertisement for Casperfield Cleveland Diamonds & Watches. split On the streets, horse-drawn carriages and trolleys are used for transportation. The Bowery was “the boulevard of the Lower East Side, the city’s Cosmopolis,” The Times declared. The street ran through “an area of gaunt tenements,” harboring the kind of social misery that inspired reformers like Jacob Riis. Commuters traveled to and from their workplaces in Lower Manhattan on the steam-powered Third Avenue Elevated line, safely above the human sea. This photo published in The New York Times Magazine on Feb. 1, 1953, in an article on the history of New York City.