Before there was Times Square there was the Metropolitan Opera House, pushing into the wild, dangerousn territory north of 34th street in 1883.
Well, it wasn't that wild, but the Times Tower was almost a decade away. The interior of the theater was intimate and ineffably civilized; Stowkowski himself pled with people to save the structure. In a story that prefigures much of what you're about to see, it went down for an enormous indistinguishable dullard.
Next, we'll go to 1909, and see some details of a streetcorner.