The urban lens

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City Living, Features, The urban lens

The Urban Lens: Fly over NYC during ‘golden hour’

By Diane Pham, Fri, February 17, 2017

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Alexey Kashpersky takes us above NYC at daybreak. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

We couldn’t think of a better day than this frigid Friday to lose ourselves in the warm glow of Manhattan during golden hour. Having ventured where many would dare not go—i.e. several thousand feet up in the air in a doorless helicopter—artist Alexey Kashpersky shares photos of his recent sky-high journey above New York, revealing a glorious metropolis at daybreak shining a fiery red and orange. From the piers of Battery Park City to hovering just above the tip of the Chrysler Building, lose yourself ahead in the quiet beauty of our dear city.

see more here

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Features, People, photography, The urban lens, Upper East Side

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Sam Golanski gives Park Avenue doormen their moment in the spotlight. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Sam Golanski grew up in a small town in Poland, but has been residing in Manchester, U.K. since 2005. Though he thinks New York is “a tough place to live,” he fell in love with its energy as a child watching films set in Manhattan from the ’60s and ’70s. Now all grown up, he comes to New York frequently to visit friends and work on his urban and social photography projects (“I have to admit I shredded a few pairs of shoes by just walking up and down for days everywhere with my camera bags,” he says). In his series “Park Avenue Doormen,” Sam gives the men who safeguard the Upper East Side’s ritziest buildings an opportunity to step from behind the velvet ropes and in front of the camera.

See all the photos

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Features, photography, The urban lens

Village East Cinema, Yiddish Rialto, Louis N. Jaffe Theater

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning photographers James and Karla Murray return with a look inside the spectacular Village East Cinema. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Moviegoers at the Village East Cinema may be surprised to learn that they are visiting a recently restored New York City designated landmark. The Village East Cinema has a fascinating history as one of the last surviving “Yiddish Rialto” theaters along Second Avenue in the East Village. Today, the cinema is known for premiering many independent films and an eclectic mix of art and commercial releases. The theater’s most significant visual aspect, however, is its main auditorium’s ornate and colorful ceiling, which is regarded as having one of the most remarkable works of plaster craftsmanship in New York City.

explore the spectacular space here

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Brighton Beach, Features, photography, The urban lens

Chaz Langley, Brighton Beach, Russian culture NYC, NYC photography

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Chaz Langley explores the people and establishments that breathe life into Brighton Beach. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

6sqft recently featured Chaz Langley‘s photo series “A Stroll in Chinatown,” where he captured the neighborhood’s unique cultural establishments and the everyday comings and goings of its residents. He’s now taken the same approach with Brighton Beach, Brooklyn’s beach-front community that’s often referred to as “Little Odessa” for its strong Russian community. Langley, a Nashville native who moved to New York almost a decade ago to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter/actor/model, has taken to sharing his location-specific collections on Instagram, integrating his graphic design background in their presentation. From a fruit stand to boardwalk, his Brighton Beach series certainly paints a picture of the neighborhood.

See all the photos here

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Features, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brazilian designer Nei Valente presents his series of nighttime newsstand photos. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

By day, Nei Valente is a designer at branding agency Brand Union, but in his free time he photographs street scenes around the city, many of which are taken once the sun has set. In “Newsstands,” he captures the changing face of newsstands around the city, exploring how their evolution relates to our shift from print to digital media. Inspired by Moyra Davey’s newsstand series of 1994, Valente finds it fascinating how newsstands have changed over the last couple of decades.

Read more

Featured Story

Features, holidays, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning photographers James and Karla Murray return with a look inside Pete’s Tavern, a Gramercy favorite with beautiful holiday decorations and an interesting historical connection to Christmas. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Pete’s Tavern lays claim to being NYC’s oldest continuously operating bar and restaurant. Established in 1864, it’s become famous for the fact that O. Henry is said to have written the classic short Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi” while dining and drinking here. We recently visited Pete’s to photograph its lovely holiday decorations and to chat with restaurateur Gary Egan and manager A.C. about the establishment’s unique history, connection to O. Henry, and time as a speakeasy during Prohibition.

All the photos and the interview

Featured Story

Features, History, photography, The urban lens

Langdon Clay, Cars New York City 1974-1976, langdon clay car photos, 1970s cars, 1970s cars nyc

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Langdon Clay shares photos from his new photo book “Cars — New York City 1974-1976.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

New York as a grimey, crime-ridden metropolis sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel, particularly as we sip our soy lattes and brush artisanal donut crumbs from our lips. But as photos from Langdon Clay’s book “Cars — New York City 1974-1976” show, 40 years ago, Manhattan was more about crowbars and break-ins than cronuts and Airbnb.

In the 18 years Clay lived as a young man in New York City, he spent three of those years exploring the streets of Manhattan in the middle of the night alone. During those wee hours Clay took to some of the city’s most dangerous streets with his Leica camera and a few rolls of Kodachrome, snapping photos of the colorful cars he saw parked against the forlorn urbanscape. Ahead Clay shares with 6sqft some of his favorite images from that time.

Explore the series and hear from Langdon

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Features, Midtown, photography, The urban lens

Harlan Erksine, midtown past midnight, nyc photography

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brooklyn resident Harlan Erskine highlights the Midtown lobbies and streets past midnight, during the Great Recession. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Though Midtown is now booming with larger-than-life skyscrapers and blockbuster condos along the likes of Billionaires’ Row, 9 years ago at the peak of the Great Recession, it was a much different story. In 2008, Brooklyn photographer Harlan Erskine took to the city after dark and documented the ghost town that was Midtown. While New Yorkers are today used to seeing bustling crowds spilling into the streets at all hours, Harlan’s photographs depict the polar opposite: empty office lobbies, streets and sidewalks.

photos this way

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Features, holidays, Murray Hill, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning photographers James and Karla Murray return with a look inside Rolf’s German Restaurant, known for its over-the-top Christmas decorations. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Beginning the last week of September, a six-man team starts the process of adorning Rolf’s German Restaurant with 15,000 Christmas ornaments, 10,000 lights, and thousands of icicles. By the first of November, the process of turning this historic Murray Hill restaurant into a holiday wonderland is complete, attracting both locals and tourists who are eager to see the one-of-a-kind display of Victorian-style decorations.

We recently paid a visit to Rolf’s, capturing everything from dolls found in New England antique shops to 19th century German ball ornaments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we’ve shared an interview with owner Bob Maisano where he talks about the building’s past life as a speakeasy during Prohibition, German history in NYC, and what makes Rolf’s a unique holiday destination.

All the photos and the interview with Bob

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Bushwick, Features, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Meryl Meisler captures the artists and performers of Bushwick’s bar and event space Bizarre. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

When he moved to NYC, French filmmaker Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire squatted in a boarded up Bushwick building until he eventually owned it. Along with friend Gregory Baubeau, he decided to turn the building into a bar, performance space, and gallery inspired by the wild stories of Greenwich Village’s underground, avant-garde Café Bizarre. Their own BIZARRE opened in 2013, and shortly thereafter they exhibited photographer Meryl Meisler’s iconic shots of the neighborhood in the glam/gritty ’70s and ’80s.

Now, Meisler has come together with Sauvaire and Baubeau for a new exhibition that showcases the “assorted madness and the unexpected” of present day BIZARRE. They’ve shared their energetic photos with 6sqft, capturing all those who make the venue special–the acrobats, artists, burlesque, circus, drag kings and queens, fire spinners, magicians, musicians, poets, patrons and more–and Meisler has given us the inside scoop on this unique scene.

See the collection here

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Chinatown, Features, photography, The urban lens

Chinatown photography, Chaz Langley

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Chaz Langley explores the people and establishments breathe life into Chinatown. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Nashville native Chaz Langley moved to New York to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter/actor/model, but along the way began snapping iPhone photos of his adopted city as another creative outlet, finding the process therapeutic. Through his Instagram account, he tells the stories of the people, places, and things that inspire him, using his other skill set of graphic design as a way to curate his collections. In “A Stroll in Chinatown” he captures the unique cultural establishments of Chinatown and the everyday comings and goings of the neighborhood’s residents.

See all the photos here

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East Village, Features, History, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Ira Fox takes us back in time to the East Village of the ’90s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Ira Fox is best known for his use of black-and-white photography and cinematic approach, credited to his background in theater. He focuses on urban New York scenes and portraits, one example of which is his series “Wigstock at the Palladium.” Wigstock was the annual Labor Day drag music festival in the East Village that was co-founded by Lady Bunny and hosted the likes of Crystal Waters, RuPaul, and Leigh Bowery in the ’80s and ’90s. In his shots, which were taken outside the famed Palladium nightclub, Ira captures the diverse characters who partook in the jubilant event during the ’90s.

See all the photos here and find out about a special promotional offer for 6sqft readers

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Features, Greenwich Village, holidays, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning photographers James and Karla Murray return with a series of snapshots from last year’s debaucherous Village Halloween Parade. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Started by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee in 1973, the Village Halloween Parade began as a “wandering neighborhood puppet show.” The event was a walk from house to house in Lee’s neighborhood, created for his children and their friends to enjoy. In the three years that followed, the parade took on new shapes and sizes, propelled first by George Bartenieff and Crystal Field of the Theater for the New City, who staged the production in its second year as part of their City in the Streets program; and then two years later when the parade became a non-profit with its own resources to put on a major show. By 1985, the parade morphed into an extravaganza that marched down Sixth Avenue, attracting 250,000 participants and onlookers. Today, the Village Halloween Parade is the largest celebration of its kind, considered by Festivals International to be “The Best Event in the World” for October 31st.

see more here

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Architecture, Features, photography, The urban lens, Urban Design

trel brock, Sixth Avenue near 50th Street

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Trel Brock redefines the city through double exposures in medium format. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Trel Brock moved to New York City nearly four decades ago and he’s been photographing every angle of it since. While much of Trel’s work today centers on high-end interiors (he’s currently working on his third book with Rizzoli), in the past he spent his days assisting photography’s upper echelon—including Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and Eric Boman, to name a few—shooting world-famous rockstars and supermodels. But beyond the borders of high-fashion and high-society, Trel also dabbles in fine art photography. In the series he’s curated for 6sqft ahead, he uses the city’s landscape as a vehicle for an abstract visual exercise akin to Rorschach’s famous inkblots.

more photos here

Featured Story

Bushwick, Features, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment photographer Meryl Meisler documents the current artists and creatives of Bushwick. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Earlier this year, TIME included Meryl Meisler on their list of “the greatest unsung female photographers of the past century,” not surprising considering the great success she’s had with her first monograph, “Disco Era Bushwick: A Tale of Two Cities,” which documents the glam/gritty 1970s and ‘80s (more on that here). Now, after more than 40 years, she realized that Bushwick won’t always be the artistic hub she’s come to know and love, and therefore needed documentation. In her new exhibition “Bushwick Chronicle” (on view at Stout Projects until October 30th) she returns to her analog roots of printing in the dark room to display photos of “the artists, gallerists, journalists, and organizers of Bushwick.” These images are paired with her illustrative painted photographs of Bushwick from the 1980s, as well as writer and art critic James Panero‘s musings on the area.

Get an inside look at Bushwick Chronicle

Featured Story

City Living, Features, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Brooklyn resident Attis Clopton offers us a look at his stunning portraits. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

If you ask Attis Clopton what his day job is, he’d quickly respond “musician.” However, the drummer, who’s travelled the world recording and performing, would be remiss not to mention his impressive photography skills. Though not formally trained, Attis has developed an eye and the ability to capture subjects in a way that many professional photographers struggle with throughout their career. But what may set Attis apart from his contemporaries is his openness, his curiosity and his unpretentious disposition, all of which help him lock into the moment and keep his photos from looking overthought or overdone. Ahead he shares some of his recent favorites with 6sqft.

more this way

Featured Story

Features, Lower East Side, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, photographer Bob Estremera documents the historic buildings and businesses of the Lower East Side. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

When Bob lived briefly on the Lower East Side in 2011, he loved “walking its crumbling sidewalks and admiring it’s equally crumbling architecture.” But the neighborhood’s gentrification was already underway: “Tucked away among the little stores, restaurants, apartments and barber shops, upscale boutique restaurants were making themselves felt with prices and menus that could only be supported from clientele outside the neighborhood,” he describes. So he decided to return to the LES and capture what he feels is the area’s essence. In this resulting black-and-white series, he turns our attention to vestiges of the early days, “the decayed store fronts and once proud architecture and businesses that have vanished and others still clinging barely to life.”

Hear more from Bob and see all the photos

Featured Story

City Living, Events, Features, photography, The urban lens

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, award-winning authors and photographers James and Karla Murray introduce us to the faces and food vendors that make up the 2016 Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

2016 marks the 90th anniversary of the Feast of San Gennaro, which is held in the “Little Italy” neighborhood of lower Manhattan from Thursday, September 15 through Sunday, September 25th. The Feast is an 11-day salute to the Patron Saint of Naples, Saint Januaries, and it is the longest and most popular street fair in New York City (anticipated to bring in one million tourists and New Yorkers this year).

Little Italy was once known for its large population of Italian immigrants and is now centered on Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets. Italians first began to settle in the area during the 1850s, but by the 1960s, wealthy Italians began to move out and Chinese merchants for the first time began to move north of Canal Street—the traditional boundary between Chinatown and Little Italy. Observing the changes in the neighborhood, Italian merchants and restaurateurs formed an association dedicated to maintaining Mulberry Street north of Canal as an all-Italian enclave, which it still largely remains.

Ahead we document some of the longtime New Yorkers, tourists, and decades-old Italian vendors who’ve added their own flavor to this year’s festivities.

our account and more photos here

Featured Story

Features, History, photography, The urban lens

The Luncheonette, Privilege Signs, James and Karla Murray, disappearing storefronts, NYC mom and pops

6sqft’s new series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In the first installment, award-winning authors and photographers James and Karla Murray brought us 15 years of images documenting the changing storefronts of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Now they share more amazing images, this time of privilege signs, an industry term for the promotional signs installed by large corporations on storefronts. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on 6sqft? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Privilege Signs are an industry term for the promotional signs installed by large corporations such as Coca-Cola and the Optimo Cigar Company. They were popular in the 1930s through 1960s and received their name because store owners were given the “privilege” of completing the signs with their own copy. Large companies benefited from the signs because they were an easy way of weaving a marketing campaign right into a building’s façade. The signs were not only given free to store owners, but they also brought people into the store with instant brand recognition.

Today, they read retro and antique, standing out as a testament to a business’ ability to endure even in the face of the monumental challenges in a city known for its rapid pace of change. When compiling our books on disappearing storefronts, we were immediately drawn to facades that still had these type of signs, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorites ahead.

See all the photos ahead

Featured Story

Features, gentrification, Greenwich Village, History, photography, The urban lens

O. OTTOMANELLI & SONS PRIME MEAT MARKET, NYC signage

6sqft’s new series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. To kick things off, award-winning authors and photographers James and Karla Murray bring us 15 years of images documenting the changing storefronts of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on 6sqft? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

Bleecker Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenue South was once a huge Italian enclave with many traditional “mom and pop” stores catering to the large Italian families who resided in the neighborhood. By the late 1930s, it also had a significant bohemian population with many artists, writers, poets and musicians living in the area who set up galleries, coffee houses and music shops. Due to widespread gentrification and escalating real-estate values, the neighborhood has changed drastically and its unique appearance and character is suffering.

We are here to take you on visual tour to experience how many of the truly authentic shops remain on this venerable Greenwich Village street, and to show you what has replaced the ones that have vanished. Many of the shops you’ll encounter ahead have been featured with full-color photographs and insightful interviews with the store owners in three of our widely acclaimed books on the subject, but we’ve also rounded up several more ahead.

Walk the Greenwich Village of yesteryear and present

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