Drawing upon the New Museum’s Bowery Artist Tribute archive and the online archive of Marc H. Miller, 98bowery.com, this exhibition features original artwork, ephemera, and performance documentation by over fifteen artists who lived and worked on or near the Bowery in New York.


Coleen Fitzgibbon installing the exhibition “Income and Wealth” at 5 Bleecker Street, 1979. Courtesy Coleen Fitzgibbon


During these two decades, the Bowery was commonly identified with the furthest extremes of metropolitan decline—municipal neglect, homelessness, and substance abuse. As landlords and civil services abandoned the neighborhood, the subsequent cheap rents and permissive atmosphere drew artists downtown. The Bowery’s lofts provided a social network where painters, photographers, performance artists, musicians, and filmmakers exchanged ideas and drew inspiration from this concentration of creative activity.

(READ MORE: via :New Museum)


Pure underground noir.

Danny Lyon is a self-taught American photographer and filmmaker. He was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York and is the son of Russian-Jewish mother Rebecca Henkin and German-Jewish father Ernst Fredrick Lyon. Self-taught, and driven by his twin passions for social change and the medium of photography, the power of Lyon’s work has often derived from his willingness of immerse himself entirely in the cultures and communities he documents.

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(Via: this isn’t happinessby the way of mangum photos)

tumblr_mntxf7iUkn1qzn0deo1_500Allen Ginsberg: My Sad Self

To Frank O’Hara

Sometimes when my eyes are red
I go up on top of the RCA Building
and gaze at my world, Manhattan—
my buildings, streets I’ve done feats in,
lofts, beds, coldwater flats
—on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind,
its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men
walking the size of specks of wool—
Panorama of the bridges, sunrise over Brooklyn machine,
sun go down over New Jersey where I was born
& Paterson where I played with ants—
my later loves on 15th Street,
my greater loves of Lower East Side,
my once fabulous amours in the Bronx
paths crossing in these hidden streets,
my history summed up, my absences
and ecstasies in Harlem—
—sun shining down on all I own
in one eyeblink to the horizon
in my last eternity—
matter is water.

I take the elevator and go
down, pondering,
and walk on the pavements staring into all man’s
plateglass, faces,
questioning after who loves,
and stop, bemused
in front of an automobile shopwindow
standing lost in calm thought,
traffic moving up & down 5th Avenue blocks behind me
waiting for a moment when …

Time to go home & cook supper & listen to
the romantic war news on the radio
… all movement stops
& I walk in the timeless sadness of existence,
tenderness flowing thru the buildings,
my fingertips touching reality’s face,
my own face streaked with tears in the mirror
of some window—at dusk—
where I have no desire—
for bonbons—or to own the dresses or Japanese
lampshades of intellection—

Confused by the spectacle around me,
Man struggling up the street
with packages, newspapers,
ties, beautiful suits
toward his desire
Man, woman, streaming over the pavements
red lights clocking hurried watches &
movements at the curb—

And all these streets leading
so crosswise, honking, lengthily,
by avenues
stalked by high buildings or crusted into slums
thru such halting traffic
screaming cars and engines
so painfully to this
countryside, this graveyard
this stillness
on deathbed or mountain
once seen
never regained or desired
in the mind to come
where all Manhattan that I’ve seen must disappear.

— New York, October 1958


(via: 12bent)


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Another treasure trove of NYC photos:

NYC, c. 1985,” a group exhibition including artworks by Armand Agresti, Amy Arbus, Janette Beckman, Larry Clark, Janet Delaney, Andrew Garn, Nan Goldin, Arlene Gottfried, Keizo Kitajima, Catherine McGann, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, Mark Morrisroe, Christine Osinski, Gunar Roze, Les Simpson, Gail Thacker, and Brian Young. 

Through a wide range of photographic images by both established and less-familiar artists, the exhibition represents a major metropolis in transition. Compared to the 1970s, a restrained optimism prevailed to a certain extent in New York City over the next decade with the Wall Street boom and a general decline in unemployment. However, such appalling blights as homelessness, violent crime, and racial tensions—not to mention the explosion of the AIDS epidemic—all served to shred the very social fabric of the city.

See the show at Clamp Art.

But not… but still.

supposedly legit. (via: NYT)

The photo, the library explains on its Tumblr blog, is “Harlem Loiterers” by the street photographer Sid Grossman (no further details are known about it, unfortunately), and it was stumbled across recently by a curator at the library’s Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture.

This is not unprecedented at the library. In 2011, someone noticed a prisoner in an 1857 photo from the library’s collection who looked kind of like a cross between Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlberg (or so some say).

This kind of thing is bound to happen from time to time with a digital collection of thousands of old photographs and a human brain wired to recognize faces and see similarities.

Perhaps if you browse through the collection you’ll find more?




The tippy top of the Woolworth Building at 792 feet.  The WSJ put together a slideshow here.

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You knew this was bound to happen: ALL THE BUILDINGS IN NEW YORK by James Gulliver Hancock.

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Danger Pays: Something you certainly don’t see anymore — the tattered, tagged, menacing, gritty underworld of photographer John Conn New York City Subways.

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From the NYT Lens Blog:

The late 1970s and early 1980s — when buildings were burning, fiscal crises were raging and the Dead Boys were playing at CBGB — were a macabre time in New York City’s history, a period when it could be said that the city resembled a haunted house.

The photographer John Conn, 62, spent those years documenting the subway system, what was then the dungeon of the city’s haunted house. His images from underground include a bat-wielding man in a hunchback costume, a nun absorbed in a tabloid newspaper with a front-page headline about an attack on the pope and a disembodied arm brandishing a switchblade through an open subway window. The images have a quality of ghoulishness: fear and madness, as if seen through the eyes of a frightened child on a never-ending Halloween night.

“I liked the edge factor,” Mr. Conn said. “Not knowing what kind of trouble I would get in next.”

He claims to have roamed the subways for hours at a time, with no more than a Hasselblad camera and his own blade in his pocket. For nearly a decade, he photographed the graffiti-scarred trains and the denizens of the subway system — capturing everyone from the homeless to shoeshine boys to bathroom attendants at Grand Central Station. Then one day in 1982, as impulsively as it began, his project suddenly stopped.

“I still see images now and then, but I just don’t take them anymore,” Mr. Conn said. “What I did back then, I feel I did it right.”

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Photos by PaulWrightUK on Flickr (via: Retro New York)

If New York were a blank slate, how would you fill it in? (via: The New York Times).


“I remember standing at the top of Manhattan and being terrified,” says Becky Cooper, the 25-year-old New York native behind “Map Your Memories,” a project she started in 2009. Cooper hand-printed hundreds of blank maps of Manhattan, each self-addressed and stamped so they could be mailed back to her. Then she and a friend trekked from Marble Hill — the very top of the borough — down to its southernmost point, handing the maps out to strangers with one simple instruction: fill it in with whatever best captures your experience of the city.

Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers,” is set to be published by Abrams Image in April.



imagesI was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name.
Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly,
musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb,
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships, an
island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong,
light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies,
Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining
islands, the heights, the villas,
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the
ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d,
The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the houses
of business of the ship-merchants and money-brokers, the
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week,
The carts hauling goods, the manly race of drivers of horses, the
brown-faced sailors,
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft,
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the river,
passing along up or down with the flood-tide or ebb-tide,
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d,
beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes,
Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the shops and shows,
A million people–manners free and superb–open voices–hospitality–
the most courageous and friendly young men,
City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!


City nested in bays! my city! (For more information; stroll along Walt Whitman’s SoHo Historic District in New York City)


My City, my beloved, my white! Ah, slender,
Listen! Listen to me, and I will breathe into thee a soul.
Delicately upon the reed, attend me!

Now do I know that I am mad,
For here are a million people surly with traffic;
This is no maid.
Neither could I play upon any reed if I had one.

My City, my beloved,
Thou art a maid with no breasts,
Thou art slender as a silver reed.
Listen to me, attend me!
And I will breathe into thee a soul,
And thou shalt live for ever.

- Ezra Pound

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