New York in Black and White

Like Narcissus, New York City can’t stop gazing at itself. Now NYC looks good at many angles.

Behold the Chrysler. C. Nelson, 2008.

If you’re like the 106thstreeters, you’ve noticed by now that New York is at its most beautiful at night.

Dark matter. C. Nelson, 2009.

A close second is New York in black and white.

From photography,

Helen Levitt, circa 1940. From Lawrence Miller Gallery exhibit, 2009. Kids walking in Spanish Harlem along the Metro-North, heading downtown.

to graphite/conte on newsprint,

Lloyd Goldsmith. Night Empire State, 1997.

to film,

Pick up on South Street. Sam Fuller, 1953.

Shadows. John Cassavetes, 1959.

we just can’t get enough. That’s why we spent a quiet New Year’s Day viewing our city from the eyes of Sam Fuller and John Cassavetes. Made just six years apart, Fuller’s Pick Up on South Street and Cassavetes’ Shadows, seem like they were made in different centuries. But both show a New York we know. Just at different angles. Pick Up is all noir, commies, cops, dames, hustlers, heroes, subways and South Street Seaport. Shadows is Midtown, jazz, cool kids, Central Park, diners, dancing, and boozy parties. Staring into the reflection of our city, we could not turn away.

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