New York as Crossroads
- Although for centuries an important hub of commerce and immigration, New York became during this period a crossroads for visitors from near and far. Taking advantage of dramatic changes in the world of transportation, travelers made their way to New York with increased frequency. The growing popularity of public lectures attracted to the city many celebrated figures from the arts and sciences. Their presence helped to remove certain age-old provincial attitudes, while simultaneously contributing to a new belief in the city’s exceptionality. Ben-Yusuf – an outsider herself –
- photographed many of these men and women, in part to satisfy the demand from different periodicals for celebrity portraits. The individuals in this section speak to New York’s importance as a destination and a meeting point for an international set of writers, artists, and explorers.