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

The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in January 1943.
Andreas Feininger—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
The silhouette of the Statue of Liberty in the World War II era, January 1943.
Culture
1940
1972

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 its unparalleled archives, LIFE.com presents a choice selection of classic black-and-white photos that show off the the spirit, the architecture, the culture (high and decidedly, thrillingly low) of Gotham — visual testaments to a city that, through darkness and in light, remains one of a kind.

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