These photos by Berenice Abbott off the How To Be A Retronaut website paint a wonderful portrait of a vibrant, bustling, clean New York City in the mid to late 1930s. The images are courtesy of the New York Public Library.
We love the voyeuristic thrill of these photos by Gentle Giant that ran on the Retronaut website and reveal a vibrant, thriving, bustling New York in 1971 that looks vaguely similar to the New York that I experienced between 2006 and 2011. Minus the beehive hairdoes, flares, and the big red phone booths, of course.
The Atlantic, which has to be the finest magazine in America, have compiled a remarkable collection of photos from the newly released database of the New York City Municipal Archives. Their collection numbers some 2.2 million images of New York in the twentieth century, from which, 870,000 photos have been made available for public use. It’s truly inspiring to see the wonderful city evolve over the decades.
Man, I miss living in New York. I miss the energy, the vibrancy, the overwhelming scale of it all. There is no other place on earth quite like it, and by the looks of these shot off the Retronaut website, not much has changed in the city over the past 72 year. Awe-inspiring now, just as it was back then.
There’s so much visually that is unique to New York that you can literally look at a photo from any era and immediately recognise it as being from Manhattan or Brooklyn or Queens. These photos from Michael Sean Edwards, which were published on the How To Be A Retronaut website, are a stark reminder of just how gritty, tough, colourful and lively New York was some thirty odd years ago, and how much of that unique character has been stripped away in the intervening decades.
Having ridden the New York subway system for five years, it seems the only real perils these days are rats, panhandlers, and being taken out by an errant cross kick from an energetic breakdancer. These photos from the How To Be A Retronaut blog are a wonderful reminder of a more colourful and edgy New York that is (perhaps sadly?) long since passed.
Having spent five years living in New York, I can attest from first hand perspective that the city has a definite mysticism that just translates so well to film. These old school shots of kids cruising the streets on old school skateboards remind me of how little has actually changed in the city over the 53 years since the photos were taken by Bill Eppridge for LIFE magazine.
Yola Monakhov’s project Empire Pictures weaves together images loosely connected to the Hudson River and her depictions of people leave me stunned. This photographer’s heightened interest in and sensitivity to the lives of others give her subjects dignity and importance. Strangers she has met in passing seem to be sharing openly with her camera what we are too shy to admit to ourselves. Somehow, they are as curious about her as she is about them.
Stanley Kubrick was a writer and director famous for movies such as Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. Before he began directing, he was a photographer for LOOK Magazine between 1945 and 1950. The Museum of the City of New York and VandM have recently chosen 25 of Kubrick’s photographs out of 10,000 negatives to sell, with the majority of the proceeds going to the Museum of the City of New York.
Having lived in New York for over two years now, transplanted from the sunny beachside landscape of Sydney, Australia, I appreciate the gritty realism, yet positiveness and vibrancy in the photographic series on Manhattan locals by British writer and photographer, Ian Woolverton. In addition to his talents with the lense, Woolverton also has two humanitarian awards: one for the Australian Red Cross Service Medal for his achievements in the Bali bomb response and the other, Australian Government’s Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal, for covering the tsunami in Aceh.