As one of the world’s most respected film directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers and editors, it’s really no surprise that Stanley Kubrick was also quite the shutterbug. Well before creating mind-bending movies like A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick was shooting for New York’s (now defunct) LOOK magazine as a way to help make ends meet. His street photos, which are quite dramatic in subject and composition, give us a look into the mind of a young Kubrick, who at just 17 was already showing a talent for creating atmosphere with a lens.
Last week we took a look at why there are three Broadways in Manhattan–the thoroughfare proper, East Broadway and West Broadway– and learned that Broadway actually extends through the Bronx and into Westchester. There’s even a one-block street in Harlem called Old Broadway. As if that weren’t enough confusion, though, there are four other Broadways in the outer boroughs–one in Brooklyn, one in Staten Island, and two in Queens.
It’s hard to imagine the Lower East Side without all of its barflies and bros, but get ready for a blast from the past. Bowery Boogie has found an amazing video that gives us a glimpse into the neighborhood’s quirky past—well before it became a nightlife mecca for New York’s downtown set. The four-minute film, aptly titled “Planet Ludlow,” takes us through the block via Ludlow Street circa 1995.
Even true New York City culture buffs may have never heard of the Elevator Historical Society Museum (or known that such a society exists), so if you really want to impress a crowd with your knowledge of little-known urban trivia, be sure to sign up for tomorrow’s tour of the Long Island City museum. The private tour, hosted by the New York Adventure Club, is being led by the museum’s founder and curator Patrick Carrajat, who has collected more than 2,000 pieces of elevator ephemera like manuals, metal identification plates, pop culture paraphernalia, and obscure mechanical parts from the early days of vertical travel.
Image via the Historic Districts Council
What once seemed unheard-of in terms of where to rent or buy in tertiary neighborhoods is now a thing of the past—be it Harlem, Williamsburg, Hell’s Kitchen, Long Island City, or the Lower East Side. But one of the best examples of rapid transformation is Brooklyn. Certainly there are many coveted communities such as Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, and Park Slope, but there is another neighborhood making what looks like a very successful run at gentrification: Crown Heights.
Mother and daughter in Flatbush
An online gallery from the New York Public Library provides a stunning glimpse into domestic life in Brooklyn in the 1970s, courtesy of photographer Dinanda Nooney, who traveled through the borough from January 1978 to April 1979, capturing locals in their homes and asking them to then suggest other subjects. The black-and-white photos range from everyday scenes of Brooklynites to the residence of a local celebrity biker to the childhood home of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Earlier this week, the Ukrainian community rang in the new year, so we thought it appropriate to take a look at one of the city’s largest centers of Ukrainian-American life.
Located at 2 East 79th Street at the corner of Fifth Avenue, the Fletcher-Sinclair mansion was built in 1897 by famed architect Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert (C. P. H. Gilbert) as a single-family home for Isaac D. Fletcher, a banker, broker, and railroad investor. Today, the French Gothic masterpiece houses the Ukrainian Institute of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art, music and literature of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora. But how did this massive home become home to the Institute?
Part of the proposal, “A Really Greater New York”, that shows the East River infill and southern Manhattan peninsula
The East River may not be the most beautiful body of water we’ve ever witnessed, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’d like to see it paved over. That’s exactly what T. Kennard Thomson, an engineer and planner, proposed in 1911, hoping to create a mega-Manhattan. Plus, he wanted to add a long hunk of infill at the southern tip of Manhattan, creating a new peninsula bolstered by Governor’s Island, add more new land in the Hudson between Bayonne and Manhattan, and relocated the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Broadway is arguably the most famous street in New York City. It’s synonymous with the Theater District; it runs from the southern tip of Manhattan all the way up to Westchester County; and it’s the oldest north-south thoroughfare in NYC. While we might not all know these fun facts about the street, we undoubtedly know a thing or two about Broadway and its nonconformity to the street grid. But did you know there’s also a West Broadway in Tribeca/Soho and an East Broadway on the Lower East Side/Chinatown? They’re not extensions of Broadway proper, so how did they receive their monikers?
Seventy years from now, new generations of New Yorkers will be able to watch old episodes of Law & Order or Girls to get a glimpse into a past life in the city. Our generation isn’t so often afforded that luxury, unless we’re looking at a grainy black-and-white video. But a clip from the 1949 film Mighty Manhattan – New York’s Wonder City showcases some of the NYC’s most iconic sights in amazing Technicolor.