Well I'm in between jobs again. I shall soon return to taxi. But I have a little bit of time on my hands so I came across some great pictures tonight. Pictures from the 80's, and more: pictures from as far back as 1857. etc.. etc.. from the starting point of these links, you could get pretty far.
I made a few Gallery pages on flickr, this is one of them: Steven Siegel's 80's New York
and then a topic that needs a lot more work and a lot more photographs, and many essays and maps to explain- probably should be in a blog by itself: Old New York: The Development of our Metropolis, A collection of images from Herbie in the Hills, of pictures dating back to 1857 from inwood, the neighborhood that still retains the most natural landscape in Manhattan today. if you look at Herbie's profile, you'll find even more images, and that goes for Steven Siegel too, they've both got oodles, and oodles.
Just came across this - Frontier New York, A portfolio of New York City landscapes from 1988