A photo from March 11, 1940, mislabelled as “Midtown Manhattan.” Midtown ends at 59th Street, the southern edge of Central Park, and that big swath of open land is the park. This is the Upper West Side in the foreground, the Upper East Side in the midground, and the East River and then Queens in the background.
That’s the still-new reconstruction of Riverside Park and the Henry Hudson Parkway (AKA the northern extension of the West Side Highway) along the Hudson River at the bottom of the photo. Those two small piers and the adjacent traffic circle are the 79th Street Boat Basin. In The Power Broker, Robert Caro describes how Robert Moses pieced together funding for the park and the highway from multiple sources, and the boat basin came about because some of the money was earmarked for docks.
Way off in the distance, there’s a group of gleaming white buildings:
The Trylon and Perisphere make it obvious that’s the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow Park, halfway through its two-year run.