Alfred Stieglitz wrote of this wintry urban scene: I found myself in front of the old Post Office. The Third Avenue street railway and the Madison Avenue car systems had their terminals there, opposite the old Astor House. It was extremely cold. Snow lay on the ground. A driver in a rubber coat was watering his steaming car horses. How fortunate the horses seemed, having a human being to tend them.
The steaming horses being watered on a cold winter day, the snow-covered streets...[expressed] my own sense of loneliness in my own country.
Recently returned from nearly a decade in Europe, Stieglitz found not only his subject matter on the streets of New York but also an emotional relationship with the city's anonymity and alienation. This photograph, with its physically tight spaces and faceless inhabitants, expressed Stieglitz's mood in somber tones.