These are so great.
Man walks up holding small child.
MAN: Have you a trash can? To put him in. He is garbage.
These are real things tourists say to Times Square hotel concierges.
So very, very real.
This is happening tonight!
You should come if you a) love to laugh about the tough stuff; b) enjoy an after-work drink; and c) are interested in your money going, in part, to a foundation that expands educational opportunities for young women, namely Soledad O’Brien’s.
Also, you should come if you want to hang out with me, cos I’ll be there, too.
And I mean that title with the utmost of respect.
I’ve been a denizen of this fair[ly crappy] city my entire life, in one way or another. I spent some time in LA during college, but don’t worry, I got over it. The one thing, though, that I’ve consistently heard from around the US is that New York is a rude city.
This is, I feel, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what this place is.
"The New York of our imaginations has to end sooner than that — maybe it collapses under the weight of our own preconceptions, or maybe pinning so much responsibility on a city serves to mask the way the passage of time can alter us: when we arrive we are willing and eager to fold ourselves into different shapes, to make ourselves fit, but as we grow older, acts of contortion become more difficult, or at the very least, less desirable."
Farewell to the Enchanted City by Elizabeth Minkel
CONEY ISLAND - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Summer crowds are the essence of Coney Island. From early monrning, when the first throngs pour from the Stillwell Avenue subway terminal, humanity flows over Coney seeking relief from the heat of the city. Italians, Jews, Greeks, Poles, Germans, Negroes, Irish, people of every nationality; boys and girls, feeble ancients, mothers with squirming children, fathers with bundles, push and collide as they rush, laughing, scolding, sweating, for a spot on the sand. … From the boardwalk the whole beach may be viewed: bathers splash and shout in the turgid waters close to the shore; on the sand, children dig, young men engage in gymnastics and roughhouse each other, or toss balls over the backs of couples lying amorously intertwined. Luncheon combines the difficulties of a picnic with those of a subway rush hour; families sit in wriggling circles consuming food and drinking from thermos bottles brought in suitcases together with bathing suits, spare clothing, and water wings. …
After sunset the Island becomes the playground of a mixed crowd of sightseers and strollers. … [The] shouts of competing barkers become more strident, the crowds more compact. Enormous paintings in primitive colors advertise the freak shows, shooting galleries, and waxworks “Chamber of Horrors.” Riders are whirled, jolted, battered, tossed upside down by the Cyclone, the Thunderbolt, the Mile Sky Chaser, the Loop-o-Plane, the Whip, the Flying Turns, the Dodgem Speedway, the Chute-the-Chutes, and the Comet. Above the cacophony of spielers, cries, and the shrieks and laughter, carrousel organs pound out last year’s tunes, and roller coasters slam down their terrific inclines. …
About midnight, the weary crowds begin to depart, leaving a litter of cigarette butts, torn newspapers, orange and banana peel, old shoes and hats, pop bottles and soiled cardboard boxes, and an occasional corset. A few couples remain behind, with here and there a solitary drunk, or a sleepless old man pacing the boardwalk. The last concessionaire counts his receipts and puts up his shutters, and only the amiable roar of the forgotten sea is heard.
—New York City Guide (WPA, 1939)
* * *
Martina Albertazzi is a Guide to New York and New Jersey. She’s a freelance photographer who was born in Rome, but has now settled in New York City. Other than photography, her biggest interests are: her dog Ugo, people, good food, good wine, and books. Follow her on Tumblr at martina-albertazzi.tumblr.com.
Welcome to CATCALLED, a collection of women’s stories about street harassment in New York City. For two weeks this August, eleven women in the city kept a log of their harassment experiences, and how the presence (or absence) of catcallers affected their actions. Their experiences may surprise you—they certainly surprised each other, and at times, even the participants themselves.
Street harassment is a tricky issue. Its interpretation is almost entirely subjective, and the experience of it can range from violated and frustrated to annoyed. Harassment itself is hard to define, as well. What’s the difference between harassment, a catcall, flirtation, and a compliment? At the same time, it’s difficult to argue that sexual harassment is anything but an unfair burden placed on women in urban spaces, and one that can be incessant and invasive.
Part of the story of this project has been discovering that most women have found a way to deal with harassment on a regular basis. Even if an individual woman may feel that the status quo is acceptable, she is usually able to point to precautions she takes to feel safe as a woman. Even if an individual woman feels flattered by catcalling, she can probably point to a situation in which she felt extremely vulnerable due to catcalling—probably as a young teenager. We believe that all women, in some way or another, have to grapple with objectification and safety in public spaces, whether that space is Central Park or Times Square.
CATCALLED is an attempt to give that struggle a voice. Over on the right you can see 11 different badges, one for each of our 11 participants. The women who wrote for this project live in four different boroughs and have a range of sexualities, ethnic backgrounds, and life experiences. There is no one place to start reading, no one person to focus on. Each participant has an introduction from me, giving you a sense of what you might get out of reading those entries; each woman has additionally highlighted her own entries, to reflect what she has found most valuable. After the project was over, all 11 participants responded to someone else’s logs for their exit interview, beginning a conversation about different experiences that we hope you continue. You can add to the dialogue by clicking respond. In addition to publishing questions, comments, and ideas on our blog, we will also be featuring readers’ daily logs—a single-day entry about street harassment. And of course, if you would like to contact us more directly, you can find out how to do that here.
We hope you get something out of this—men and women, in the city and out of it. We have learned a lot from beginning this dialogue, and we can’t wait to see how you respond.
Rad. Check this out.
From the Museum of the City of New York, a collection of photos taken by Stanley Kubrick in 1946 of New York City subway passengers.
Oh look! People were rude assholes on the subway in 1946, too. GET YOUR FEET OFF THE DAMN SEATS WERE YOU BORN IN A BARN
Speaking of amateur superheroes, The New York Times describes the man in this video, referred to as “Snackman,” as such: “He was cool incarnate. No weapons. No visible bloodshed. Not even a loud word. A newcomer to the city, munching on chips, and a poker face for the ages.” Real name? Charles Sonder. Real snacks? Pringles and Gummi-Bears.
I’m the Snackman
Ski bi di bi di do bap do
Do bam do
Bada bwi ba ba bada bo
Baba ba da bo
Bwi ba ba ba do
Underground New York Public Library is an awesome new Tumblr featuring photos of people reading while they wait for the subway. The arresting photos speak for themselves.
Long train commutes make New York one of the most literary cities in the U.S. And because New York as one of the fashion capitals of the world, you have all the ingredients you need for one very stylish documentary project.
H/T: In Other News
Yes! I love book snooping. See also: CoverSpy.
Today’s flashback friday has some things old, some things new, some things borrowed AND some things blue (and other colors too). We’re not talking about weddings here - though we’re sure you’ll find a few items that will suit… NYPL and FIT have launched a new website, Andre Studios Digitization Project, allowing one and all to browse our archives of Andre Studios from 1931 - 1940. There are 18 images of snoods alone and don’t even get us started on yokes!
But don’t take our word for it, check out what the fashionable folks at the New York Times had to say!