Friday, April 29, 2011

Awe-Inspiring NYC Time Lapse Video

Awfully cool... more than a dozen scenes of time-lapse video. Your head will be swimming, but your heart will swoon.

NYC - Mindrelic Timelapse from Mindrelic on Vimeo.

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: The Bowery, 1930s

Stitched panorama of Bowery between Prince and Spring Streets, June 2009, Jeremy Rowe,

The Bowery in the southern portion of Manhattan, is among New York City's most infamous neighborhoods. By the Civil War era, it had slid from lush gardens and posh theaters into a center of prostitution, crime and gangs. In 1919, one local magazine characterized the nabe as "filled with employment agencies, cheap clothing and knickknack stores, cheap moving-picture shows, cheap lodging-houses, cheap eating-houses and cheap saloons."

As late as the 1970s, the Bowery was regarded as New York's Skid Row, despite a fringe artistic community that brought CBGB's, Bowery Ballroom and the Bowery Poetry Club.

In 2005—for better or worse—Whole Foods Market, the New Museum and a number of high-rise luxury condos along "Gentrification Row" have replaced the low-rise structures that had long been a destination for restaurant equipment and lighting supplies. Today, its identity crisis is fully evident, as white urban professionals continue to push out some of New York's most colorful characters—and buildings. 1935 pic of a restaurant in the Bowery, when the street was lined with flophouses. Note that most meals cost all of 10 cents, though a bowl of oxtail stew will run you 15 cents.
A Bowery flophouse, 1937.

Tattoo parlor pics, 1937. Notice that behind the tattoo parlor above is a hotel "for men only." Hmm, methinks that is a might curious.
Guns for sale! Today, it is illegal to pack a pistol in New York state.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: Mulberry Street, 1900

This wondrous expansive photo of Mulberry Street was taken in 1900 20 feet above the center of the street. It was digitized by Detroit Publishing Co., using a photochrom colorizing process.

The street—which borders Little Italy and Chinatown in Manhattan's Lower East Side—was filled with tenement houses built in the early 1800s, as immigrants poured into New York City. It wasn't until 1901 that a formal housing code required interior flush toilets (many landlords abided with one per floor), fire escapes and ventilation shafts for air and light. The streets, however, remained mobbed with people, since the sidewalks were occupied by vendor stands.

The image at right is more or less the same view in 2010. And below are some extraordinary details of the above shot from its original black and white photo, courtesy of Secondat.

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: Greetings From New York!

As long as there have been stamps, we've sent greetings from our merry travels. Here's an intensive look at New York postcards through the decades! Above is from 1907...
Above: From the 1900s through 1920s.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: 156 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

The sweet red brick building at 156 Henry Street at the intersection of Love Lane in Brooklyn Heights holds a modicum of mystery. Despite hours of research, I could find no info on when it was built or why it stands alone as a quaint two-story structure among so many multi-story apartment buildings on all sides.

What I do know is that throughout its life, the street level has housed three businesses: two supermarkets and now, a CVS. First was Bohack, which opened its first family grocery on nearby Fulton Street in Brooklyn in 1887. After going public, the chain expanded into Manhattan and the Bronx until its demise during the recession of the mid-1970s. The last store shuttered in summer 1977.Next in the location was well-known New York supermarket chain D'Agostino, first opened in 1932 during the Great Depression on the Upper East Side. By 1981, the grocer operated 15 Manhattan locations and one in Brooklyn—at 156 Henry Street.The store was obviously in place long enough to update its logo signage, as seen below.
Within the past decade, D'Agostino departed Brooklyn, making way for CVS to mark its territory in the Heights, competing with drugstore neighbors Duane Reade and Rite Aid. Today, the chain trumps the typical weekly sale prices of its competitors, and often the Key Food supermarket a couple blocks away. I'm certainly there at least a couple times a week. Yes, it may be a national chain, but it saves me big bucks... and looks awfully pretty in that historic building.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Has Sprung In NYC (Yet Again)

Another spring tease has tickled New York City, as it almost reached 80 degrees today. I'll take it!Folks of all ages, nationalities and, uh, shapes and sizes relaxed on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New York City At Night: Utterly Spectacular Images

Established professional photographer Evan Joseph recently took a spectacular series of images of Manhattan by night, sometimes actually dangling his camera from a helicopter 2,500 feet in the air, employing a homemade stabilization device.

Joseph released "New York City at Night" in October 2010. By all means, buy it here after you breathe in and out with utter awe.

What Is Art: Gallery Exhibits vs. NYC's Lower East Side

Thursday evening, Donna Mae Moose, Leo and I cavorted to New York's Lower East Side for an art gallery crawl, soaking in its Third Thursdays event, in which nearly three dozen exhibits are open until 9 p.m. The galleries are centered around Orchard, Rivington, Essex, Grand, Hester and Eldridge streets, allowing for a wide swath of walking.

I found much of the showcased gallery art pretentious, painstakingly precious and downright fussy. One proprietor explained to me the technique her displayed artist employs: dashing a bucket of paint on a canvas, then waiting up to six months for inspiration to guide her toward the ultimate creation. Oh, please, Mary!

The best art I saw was along the streets, on walls, signposts and among the fashionable New Yorkers inhabiting the nabe. That, cool cats, is true art... not a fucking strawberry constructed out of electrical wire that bears a $12,000 price tag.Kara Walker's grainy shadow puppet film Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, portrays the "surreal and violent mythology" surrounding white southern woman and hyper-sexual black men amid slavery in the Mississippi Delta. Furthermore, I just love neapolitan ice cream... Oh, heavens, I got momentarily distracted there... zzzzzzz... Truly inspiring! Along the LES's Freemans Alley... Above and below... truly the best of the gallery bunch. Sheila Gallagher's Deute, a stunning 96x108" fall scene made of assorted melted plastic pieces. Dodge Gallery, 15 Rivington Street. I like.Then again, left, this dude sports a wonderfully unique artistic quality that I wholly dig. And his beautiful daughter offers an ideal juxtaposition to his rustic demeanor. On right: Real (happy) hippy chicks.