Harlem was not always synonymous with African Americans. In the late-nineteenth century, it was home to a predominantly Jewish community – in his book When Harlem Was Jewish, historian Jeffrey Gurock estimates that almost 200,000 Jews lived there on the eve of the First World War. By 1930 that had fallen to just 5000. ‘Harlem’s era as a landmark on the Jewish map of New York was over’, Gurock observes. The reasons for the transformation were many and complex – […]
The slideshow above is of photos from Light Infusion, my photography site. All the photos there are available as prints (very handy for Christmas…). And below are some of my favourite photos from 2014, some of which I have already published on Pandaemonium. My images of New York I published over three posts, Darkness falls on Manhattan, On the High Line, day and night and The Big Apple in black and white. The photos of London at sunset were taken from […]
There are few cities that give themselves more to black and white photography than New York. So, in this third and final selection of New York photos – the previous sets were of New York at night and the view from the High Line – here is the Big Apple in black and white. There are more photos on my photographic website Light Infusion (from where you can also buy prints), and on Flickr and 500px.
The High Line is New York’s newest public park, built on a reclaimed elevated freight rail line above the streets of west Manhattan. It has become both a battleground for green politics and a magnet for real estate developers who are now throwing up luxury condos all along the line. It is also quirky, surreal and often quite magical, especially at night, a space that wonderfully reworks the idea of an urban park. It is difficult to convey the experience […]
Yes, I know, it’s a photographic cliché. But as a photographic subject, New York at night is quite enthralling. So here is Manhattan as darkness descends, seen from five different perspectives – towards the Satue of Liberty, from Brooklyn Bridge, from beneath the bridges that span the East River, from the East River itself and the Hudson, from the High Line, New York’s new elevated park reclaimed from an old train line (I will publish a proper portrait of the […]
On the anniversary of 9/11, and while I am in the city, here is a collection of some of my favourite poems about New York. It is, as ever, an eclectic choice. There are many others that I might have included (Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, Claude McKay, Elizabeth Bishop, to name but a few) if I had the space, but I decided to restrict myself to seven. There are many that I have forgotten, many more that I simply don’t […]
On the anniversary of 9/11, here is a playlist of my 20 favourite songs about New York. Given that no city can boast as great a back catalogue, there are many tracks that I have been forced to leave out – Public Enemy’s ‘A Letter to the New York Post‘, for instance, the Ramones’ ’53rd and 3rd’, Ben E King’s ‘Spanish Harlem’, Billie Holiday’s ‘Autumn in New York City’, to mention but four – and there will be many more […]
New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik presented this week a wonderful, sideways look at New York in his BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Take the A-train’, a history of the A-train and of its importance to New York, to new Yorkers and to jazz. There is also a short video cut of Gopnik’s documentary (with some superb photographs). Take the A Train was, of course, one of Duke Ellington’s great standards, and so here, for no reason other than it is a […]