The urban lens

Featured Story

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.

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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

Featured Story

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

Featured Story

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

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, 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

Featured Story

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

Featured Story

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

Featured Story

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

Featured Story

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

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