The Mysterious Man on 42nd Street

I spend a lot of time digging around on ebay trying to find interesting things, one thing I like to do is comb through the huge photo archives for sale on there, always looking for anything interesting of unexpected. Yesterday I was looking for photos from New York’s 42nd Street and found this interesting picture:


At first look I assumed that the bloke lying on the floor had been blown over by what looks like the extreme weather conditions, everyone else in the photo is battling the wind and rain and it looks like 42nd street is in the middle of a full-blown storm.  So him being bowled over by the brutal wind made sense, but that’s not what actually happened… Luckily for us the photo seller had also put up the reverse of the photo which gives us a breakdown of what had actually happened just seconds before it was taken:


Here’s what the text from the photo actually says:

New York Bureau – END OF ROUND ONE

NEW YORK: With tempers a bit short on this stormy morning in New York City Nov. 12th the pedestrian at left finds himself in an unusual position – prone – at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. He got that way after taking exception to a chauffeur’s driving ability. The driver got out of his car, flattened the pedestrian and continued on his way. The storm continues unabated. 11/12/68

So what a terrible start to the day for this poor pedestrian, he’s probably on his way to work, battling the weather, he then finds himself being punched in the face, ending up on the cold wet floor, getting no help from anyone (the chauffer has had time to get back into his car and drive away before the picture is taken and still no one is helping him!), plus he’s got the final insult of it being captured on film by this photographer from the other side of the street! And now, were here 46-years later still looking at him lying prone on a cold, damp, windy, unforgiving 42nd street!

Welcome to New York!