Photos of decaying urban environments are all the rage these days, and while some of them are probably deserving of the “ruin porn” epithet that gets thrown at them, the majority have a curiously compelling and emotive quality to them. NYC photographer Will Ellis was something of a pioneer of this style — his blog Abandoned NYC is dedicated to exploring the forgotten corners of the city, and his photos are both fascinating and somehow deeply moving (especially since many of them catalog the ruins of asylums and hospitals — the majority of these pictures are from North Brother Island). One of our favorite photo blogs, the consistently excellent Feature Shoot, recently took a look at Ellis’ work. Here are some of the highlights. … Read More
New York City
I’m always riding the subway around Brooklyn to do photo expeditions in one location or another, and it’s often occurred to me that some of my favorite views of New York City can be seen from the subway itself. The problem is, shooting photos from an elevated train means shooting through warped, scratched, and filthy plastic windows. Or maybe that’s not a problem after all? One day this past February, with the city blanketed in snow and illuminated by amazing winter light, I decided to toss my perfectionism aside for a month and make a virtue of necessity, shooting a series of warts-and-all landscape photos from Brooklyn’s elevated subway lines — called, naturally, Elevated Landscapes. Since there’s no other way to capture these particular shots, aside from possibly renting a helicopter, it seemed a shame to let them get away. And I think the smudges and distortion add a certain quality that I’d never have been able to achieve in Photoshop. … Read More
You never know when Bill Murray will randomly show up at your next party. The actor has a penchant for playfully interrupting the social gatherings of strangers before vanishing like the mythical creature of cool that he is. There’s even a website tracking his whereabouts and spoofing his stunts, all of which seem to end with Murray telling a group of shocked strangers, “No one will ever believe you.” There are endless stories about the wryly jovial screen star surprising fans and being awesome, but we’ve gathered 14 of the best Murray moments for your enjoyment. … Read More
The year 1984 was a treasure trove for movie lovers. Classics like The Karate Kid, Footloose, and A Nightmare on Elm Street made their way to theaters, but it was an especially fine time for comedies. The foul-mouthed Beverly Hills Cop, teen sex romp Revenge of the Nerds, Police Academy, Gremlins, and Romancing the Stone are just a few of the movies that debuted that year. But let’s not forget the film that combined elements of horror, slapstick funnies, big special effects, and some of the best comedic actors: Ghostbusters. This August, audiences will have the opportunity to catch Ghostbusters on the big screen. They’ll also get to enjoy a 30th-anniversary Blu-ray edition. To prepare for these moments, we’ve gathered 25 fun facts about the movie that you might have missed. … Read More
Compare present-day New York to any photo from the 1970s, and it’s instantly understandable why anybody who lived here 40 years ago will tell you that it’s become an entirely different city. Back then, it looked like the end times were fast approaching: buildings were falling apart, people were dancing, doing drugs, and having sex with reckless abandon, and it seemed like the city was about to collapse for any number of reasons, from financial to infrastructure. Taking her medium-format camera out to Studio 54 in the 1970s and then to the now rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick in the 1980s, Meryl Meisler shot some of the era’s greatest photos. Now, they’re finally getting their due with a book and exhibition, both titled A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick. Click through to see some of her… Read More
We are an obsessed culture, and there are few things we tend to fixate on more than finding love. Over 41 million people in the United States have attempted to find a partner through online dating — a billion-dollar industry that banks on our desire for a connection. But services like OkCupid, Tinder, and Match.com weren’t the first computer-based dating platforms — or the first matchmakers. We spotted eight vintage matchmaking devices and services that demonstrate how dating was done before the age of the Internet. … Read More
This holiday weekend marks the start of the summer vacation season. City dwellers across the country will be making a mass exodus to nearby sandy beaches to catch the first rays of summer sun. Many New Yorkers will pay a visit to the city’s most famous beach, Coney Island.
Between 1961 and 1963, photographer Aaron Rose ventured to the Brooklyn hotspot with camera in hand, capturing intimate portraits of sunbathers and swimmers. There’s a wonderful diversity across Rose’s images of uninhibited beachgoers — New Yorkers of all races, ethnicities, sexualities, and body types. Coney Island is famous for its boardwalk attractions, but Rose proved some of the most interesting scenes were happening on the beach. Rose worked with chromogenic color film, experimenting with the new process by increasing the speed and grain. This gave his works a sun-kissed glow, reminiscent of his half-nude subjects.
The Museum of the City of New York is hosting the first exhibition of the photographer’s work, on view until August 3 — and we have a preview of the show in our gallery. See how New Yorkers embraced the crowds, sand, and surf of Coney Island during the 1960s — and let it all hang out — below. … Read More
Commuting in a big city can be a dreary task — one usually occupied by general malaise. Artists around the world have channeled the experience of the daily hustle in fascinating ways — or at least ways that shed light on some of the beautiful moments found amongst strangers on a train. After spotting a unique video installation inspired by Seoul train travelers on Co.Design (featured after the jump), we decided to highlight other works that pay homage to he human experience (and sometimes general weird) of public transportation, also citing those artworks that only a city commuter could appreciate. … Read More
Plenty of movies have been set and shot in New York City, the metropolis becoming a character of its own for each film. Part of the excitement of living in New York comes from seeing our city depicted in various ways on screen. It’s also fun to see different sides of the city than the one we know, particularly from decades past when New York looked drastically different. The good news for us is that many of the most important and iconic films set in New York are available to stream on Netflix; here’s a collection of 25 you can watch tonight.… Read More