“las machinas” aka the carnivals that once dotted South Bronx landscape in empty, rubble-strewn lots during summer months, was one of the surprise finds encountered at 80s.nyc. This particular site is at Third Avenue and 156th Street where Aldi’s, Foreman Mills and many other stores are located.

In the mid 80s, over the course of about 5 years, the City of New York sent out photographers to literally photograph every single property in the five boroughs resulting in over 800,000 images.

While I was perusing the interactive map, I was pleasantly surprised with seeing an old style carnival aka “las machinas” on Third Avenue and 156th Street which is where Aldi, Rite Aid, Foreman Mills, and others now stand.

These images were to be used by the Department of Finance to determine market value of properties for tax purposes but inadvertently created a time capsule or even a time machine of sorts if you will and now thanks to 80s.nyc can readily access the maps and just see what’s available.

What’s really jolting is seeing so many buildings abandoned in the South Bronx block after block without end sometimes and shuttered storefronts but then you’d get to an area like The Hub at Third Avenue and 149th Street and bright colored storefronts and droves of people all over the place further illustrating that life went on despite the hardships we went through during those decades.

Check out the website for yourself but be prepared to lose a lot of time going down memory lane…literally! Oh and thanks to Bronxite Javier Medrano for this awesome tip!

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