Film begins showing location of New York City on a world globe, at the mouth of the Hudson River on the East Coast of the United States. It transitions to an aerial view of the Southern tip of Manhattan Island at the junction of the Hudson and East Rivers and slowly shows views moving Northward along the Hudson River. Piers along the Hudson are visible. Scene shifts to above those piers, looking South at the cluster of Manhattan skyscraper buildings, and beyond to New York Harbor, the borough of Queens, and Brooklyn, and beyond to Long Island in the misty distance. Next the skyscrapers are seen from Queens,across the East River. A large ocean liner is seen underway in New York Harbor, among ferry boats, barges, and tugboats. The Statue of Liberty is seen in the background. An animated map shows regions around New York and traces the Hudson and Mohawk valleys into the Great Lakes. The map is then overlaid with numerous lines representing transportation routes by lend, water, and air. View of Brooklyn Bridge, wharfs, and Manhattan skyline in hazy background. Seagoing freighters loading and unloading at New York's piers. A truck and other cargoes being moved by cranes. Passenger trains moving in the New York city area. View of the famous Beaux-Arts style Penn Station by architects McKim, Mead, and White, at West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, in Manhattan. Train station interior crowded with travelers and commuters. Commercial aircraft taxiing at a New York area airport. Closeup of two young children watching the planes. Passengers deplaning from a large aircraft. Sign for Peruvian International Airways atop an airport building. A Swissair passenger plane being serviced. Passengers boarding a TWA Lockheed Constellation airplane. A family watching airplanes from an airport observation deck. The Lockheed Constellation starting its engines. A Douglas DC-4 aircraft taxis out and takes off, as several boys watch from the observation deck. Closeup of another group of boys watching planes from the observation deck. Aerial view of Manhattan skyscraper buildings from an overflying airplane. Traffic at Times Square. The Astor Hotel at the left and the Times building straight ahead. Several other street scenes in Manhattan, crowded with pedestrians. A view residential apartment houses along Park Avenue. Views of African Americans crowding the sidewalks in Harlem. Views of "Little Italy" in the lower East side of Manhattan, where Italian restaurants and other businesses are seen. Chinatown is seen with some of the business signs in Chinese. A man of Chinese heritage reading a letter. Asian American children playing together in a neighborhood. New high rise apartment buildings are seen replacing older homes in parts of Manhattan. Mothers wheeling their children on sidewalks in one of the new neighborhoods.
Manhattan Island in New York City, United States. A map shows the location of the five Boroughs in the New York City. A sign reads ' New York City' and marks Route 25D (Horace Harding Boulevard) on boundary between Queens County in the city and Nassau County on Long Island. .Camera pans to the Nassau County side where newly constructed homes are seen. Closeup of one of the houses, shows a small child coming out the front door to pick up two bottles of milk left by the milkman on the stoop. More views of homes in this neighborhood. A man throws a newspaper on steps of a house. Commuters (mostly headed to Manhattan) fill the platform at a station of the Long Island Railroad, and board a train as it arrives. View of the train heading West with Manhattan skyline visible in distance. View of train in major rail yard in Queens, with skyscrapers of Manhattan visible in distance.The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings are recognizable. Views of Ferry boats crossing to and from Manhattan,with sky scrapers in background. Passenger's view of ferry approaching battery terminal and docking. Commuters leaving the ferry.
View of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. View of the George Washington Bridge, and automobiles at its toll plaza (e.g. 1948 Lincoln). Cars move on New Jersey and Manhattan parkways. Street sign pointing to the 'Queens Midtown tunnel.' Trucks and cars headed toward the tunnel. Traffic entering and leaving the Lincoln Tunnel, including a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer truck. Manhattan commercial markets, where trucks deliver various food supplies. Men unloading the fresh food boxes. Fresh fish is poured into baskets outside the Geo F. Fish market. The food items are supplied to central markets and the grocery stores.
"City Pastorale" shows citizens of New York hurrying about their business during workday on a street in New York City. Vehicular traffic and pedestrians. People riding on the subway. Views of workaday foot traffic along New York sidewalk. Macy's department store. Racks of clothes being wheeled along the streets and sidewalks. Scenes of New Yorkers in hectic activity. In contrast, are shown peaceful scenic views of New York City. Penthouse gardens. Clothes drying on a rooftop line. People entering a number of different churches in Manhattan, New York. A woman in a garden. A man and a boy sit and read newspapers in the garden. The young boy looks at the "funny papers" (comic strips). A man walks with a child on a sidewalk. Cars parked. People chatting on the sidewalk of a New York city street. The Chrysler Building and nearby skyscrapers. People taking pictures with handheld cameras at a playground. Families with babies. Children playing in a park. Quiet streets. Car drives beneath an elevated train. Men walk on a ramp. People relax on beaches. Older women gathered together on the beach talking, while boys play in the sand at the edge of the surf. A huge crowd seated in a baseball stadium and watching a game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, including a shot of Giants pitcher, #36 ( Mickey McGowan ?), throwing from the mound and, in another scene, Giants #23 (Clint Hartung ?) batting and striking out. Views of the fans watching the baseball game, including some men in suits and boys sitting together in the bleachers watching the game and eating ice cream on a stick. Visitors stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Views of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Fifth Avenue and New York Public Library. Pedestrians, cars and other vehicles along fifth avenue. A sign advertising Coca Cola. 'Fifth avenue coach' can be seen written on the bus. Pedestrians along 42nd Street.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in New York City during the Great Depression. Aerial view of New York City as a plane flies by and clouds part to show Manhattan island below. Buildings and skyscrapers of New York City as seen from river and harbor views, with some ships and tugboats seen. Trucks on roads of Governor's Island at tip of Manhattan. An older home seen under renovation and reconstruction. View of the Brooklyn Navy Yard with WPA workers busy building and improving new roads and shops and warehouses near the docks. A bulkhead construction project is shown at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, to reclaim land from the waters of the Bay. The work includes construction of a new Boulevard and sanitary and sewer system improvements. View of the front entrance of the Beaux Arts style Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green at the tip of Manhattan. Pedestrians and WPA workers are seen in front of the building. WPA laborers on an unidentified Manhattan street (with elevated railway running in background) are busy removing old street car rail lines from the streets, in sections, and loading them into truck beds to haul away. Large public swimming pool and bath house construction projects are shown, influenced by city planner and avid swimmer Robert Moses (scene possibly shows McCarren Park pool - note archway seen under construction). WPA workers are seen building the new East River Drive, including highways, walks, and flanking parks. Construction workers seen building the roadway, with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background. A model of the project is shown with the new drive from Grand Street to 14th Street. Camera pans down from the Empire State Building to show the roof of the New York Public Library teeming with WPA workers as they remove the old corroded copper roof and replace it with a new metal roof. View of busy Manhattan streets below the workers, including a street car passing by.