I found the shot I had taken of the NYC subway train oncoming. Again a bit impressionistic, but you can still feel the difference between it and the other city’s subways that I’ve photographed, even though the car isn’t at all visible in the exposure. I THINK this is the N/Q/R platform at 5th avenue and 59th street- it’s been a while since I took the shot.
Here are a couple more of my subway shots as a comparison. Please pardon the repetition of the recent post:
All shots taken with my Rolleiflex 2.8E. Film used was either Ilford FP4+ for the b/w shots or either Kodak Portra 160 or Ektar 100 for the color.
I was up to New York twice in the span of two weeks and brought along the Rolleiflex both times. I only got to put a roll through each time (I was rather time delimited in both trips, and was not there to photograph but to attend specific functions). Here are some of the shots I took:
This was a store window in Rockefeller Plaza, facing 5th Avenue. The Cole-Haan store had done up a display made of their driving loafers in the shape of a classic Jaguar E-Type (one of my favorite vintage sports cars).
The Financial Times building – love the clouds behind it, backlit in the morning sun.
A pair of female torsos by Jim Dine at 6th Avenue and 52nd Street. Please ignore the file name – I got it completely wrong when saving the file before looking it up.
The cast-iron facade of a late 19th Century building on lower Broadway, as seen from the fourth floor window at ABC Carpet & Home. If you’re not familiar with ABC Carpet & Home, it’s a gigantic interior decor store, with four floors of everything from linens and fashion and furniture, from antiques to ultra-modern to Asian-inspired. Not for the faint of wallet – even little decorative tchotchkes are $30. But it’s a cool place to browse for inspiration.
I took a quick jaunt up to New York for Memorial Day. This time, I ran around in Brooklyn a lot more, as I’ve spent plenty of time in Manhattan and am well familiar with the sights and sounds, pleasures and distractions it has to offer. I stayed near Times Square, and took in a play at the Lyceum Theater (how can you go to New York and NOT see something at the theater??).
The play I went to is “The Nance”, starring Nathan Lane. It’s about a burlesque theater company in New York in 1937, and Nathan Lane plays the part of Chauncey Miles, the “nance”, who performs comic relief bits between the striptease acts. The Nance was a common trope in burlesque theater, a sissy whose lines and mannerisms were full of double-entendres and sexual suggestiveness. They also often ran afoul of the morality police for “promoting indecency”, although their routines were fully clothed, and even the dialog was never sexually explicit. Nathan Lane is brilliant as Chauncey, (not that I would have expected anything less from him), and I was riveted throughout the performance. I wish I could have photographed the theater interior, not just the lobby, because it was itself something out of another era, and a unique experience. I had balcony seats, and even though they were in the third row of the balcony, and had an excellent view of the stage, the balcony is five flights up, and is pitched at a vertiginous slant, with very little walking space between the seats and the backs of the row in front, with no guard rail until the front row. Fortunately they did see fit to squeeze in bathrooms on the balcony so you didn’t have to hike up and down five flights.
The Brooklyn Bridge is so iconic. I didn’t get to walk across it this time (next trip), but I saw it from the Brooklyn side and got my photo with the skyline of Manhattan framing it. Looking at it here and now it’s hard to imagine what this view would have looked like when it was first built in 1883, with the bridge being as big as many of the buildings behind it. Now of course, Freedom Tower behind it is actually taller (with the spire) than the Brooklyn Bridge is long (1776 feet vs 1596 feet).
On the East River, at least, bridges are a defining feature of New York. Here is the view from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, the new name for the neighborhood between the bridges, for those unfamiliar with the term) of the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge to the north.
Amazing, isn’t it? There are green spaces in New York, besides Central Park. This is my friend Tomo, sitting on the lawn at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park itself is fairly new, and runs south and west from the Manhattan Bridge, under the Brooklyn Bridge, and on down the East River, reclaiming a number of old piers that no longer support shipping.
What trip to New York would be complete without a ride on the subway? Here’s a staircase to the platform, I want to say at the 57th Street F train station.
My friend Tomo, waiting for the train to Brooklyn with me.
This shot would have been better in color, I know, but black-and-white was what I had loaded in the Rolleiflex at the time. Pedro’s is a Mexican restaurant in the heart of DUMBO, just a block or so down the hill from the York Street subway stop. Didn’t try it, so no comment one way or another on the food, but it sure looks like it would be fun. I’ll give it a try on my next trip, unless any of you have warnings for me!
I found another photographer in New York to add to my map. This is a case of one photographer taking over the same studio of another – in this case, a Mr. A.W. Jordan took over the premises of Abraham Bogardus’ old studio.
I found the reference to A.W. Jordan on an 1870s Carte-de-visite of a civil war veteran multiple amputee, and the same address was used by Bogardus in the velvet pad on one of his daguerreotypes. It would be interesting to find out if there was another tenant in the studio between Bogardus and Jordan, or if the studio was sold to Jordan directly from Bogardus.
I discovered Melissa’s wet plate collodion work through a link someone posted on APUG, and I felt it was worth sharing. She has done a beautiful seet of wet plate portraits of the Mohawk Ironworkers who for the last century have been responsible for building the skyscrapers of New York City. The inspiration was the 9/11 10th anniversary last year, and the construction of Freedom Tower on the site of the old World Trade Center. I just felt her work was worth sharing. Please browse her website linked below to see more of her work and to find out more about her.
Here’s a pair of stereoviews of the scenery around Madison Square Park in New York City. They’re effectively a matched set because the one is a view of the Flatiron building looking south from Madison Square Park, and the other is looking up Broadway past Madison Square Park from the Flatiron. The Flatiron building is so-called because of its triangular shape which reminded people of the shape of a clothes iron. It is also one of the most iconic buildings in New York City, and one of the most photographed. It was the first “skyscraper” in New York, and while today it is almost petite in comparison to its uptown neighbors, it was a marvel of construction and engineering in its day.
I’m really remiss in posting these, as it’s been three weeks almost since NY Pride. I didn’t post much because I really didn’t shoot much, and only took a cursory glance at the parade because I was tired and ready to go home, what with the bone chip in my right ankle acting up. But here’s a few goodies to sate someone’s curiosity. Unlike DC Pride, I shot these on film (I wanna say Kodak Ektar 100) with my new-to-me Contax RTS III and the 50mm f1.4 Planar lens. It’s not a bad combo for ‘street’ shooting, especially at an event where everyone is some kind of exhibitionist and WANTS to be seen/photographed.
Talk about exhibitionists… someone who really doesn’t care 🙂
And a couple of generic New York photos, to help clean your brain after seeing that last one…
Just a random CDV I acquired, because I have another CDV from the same photographer – R.A. Lewis, at 152 Chatham Street, New York. The address no longer exists – the approximate location is near 1 Police Plaza in lower Manhattan. The street grid was completely ripped up and re-done in that area when 1PP was being built, and so there are numerous streets that either changed names or vanished altogether. This is one of them.
I liked the image because the photographer knew how to arrange the gentleman’s pose to show his height in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
I’ve found two more Washington DC parlors and one New York Daguerrian studio:
J. Golden – 819 Pennsylvania Avenue
Henry Ulke & Bro. – 278 Pennsylvania Avenue
The New York Daguerrian parlor is:
A.J. Beals – 156 Broadway
The address for Henry Ulke’s studio would put him today squarely on the grounds of the US Capitol, not far from the Spring Grotto, if the address is correct. Either they had a different street numbering scheme, the address is in Southeast DC instead of Northwest DC (which would put him at an even more unlikely location, a tiny triangle park just beside the Library of Congress building), or the Capitol grounds were greatly enlarged sometime between the 1870s and 1900. Given how so far so many of these studios’ locations can be accurately pinpointed today, even though the streetscape has changed a lot, I’m liking the probability that the address is correct, and that the streetscape has changed, rather than the location being inaccurate.