History is everywhere: in dull textbooks, yes, but also in the bend in a road, shape of a building and site of a church. Hidden in plain sight and scattered all over are clues that tell of life gone by.
Lower midtown for example is rich with these features. A fence that is cow-high and pig-tight suggests that midtown was once a quite different place. A special advantage to the home teams at Madison Square Garden points to a most significant predecessor building. A simple street intersection shows what the area was long ago, and suggests how New York became primary to world affairs.
A commercial building meant to frighten people away, a mark in the road for television performers, a mooring mast for zeppelins (!) and various other forms and structures demonstrate the continuing character and ethic of New York City.