Vintage Photograph from 1981 Shows a Hot Dog Vendor Under the West Side Highway

Hot Dog Vendor Under West Side Highway, 1981
Hot Dog Vendor Under West Side Highway, 1981

The Lively Morgue is a daily photo blog from the New York Times in which an original photo from the newspaper's archives is reposted along with tidbits of information gleaned from the historical article it accompanied. Along with a rescan of the original photograph, the backs of each photo are also scanned, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process of one of the world's best newspapers.

Today's post shows a hot dog vendor underneath the then-recently-closed West Side Highway, now The High Line, in 1981.

May 29, 1981: Miraculously, the best hot dogs in Manhattan could be found underneath the West Side Highway, where “tailgate vendors” peddled their wares, profiting from the closing of the elevated highway, which diverted traffic to where sellers of things could flag down motorists. “Entrepreneurs, working from cars along West Street, had varied items for sale, ranging from car booster cables,” The Times reported, “to cowboy hats,” which, presumably, could be enjoyed with a superlative frankfurter.

The original article from 1981 has more.

(photo back)
(photo back)
Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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