New York City

A Brief History of Vintage Matchmaking

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 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

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Portraits of Uninhibited New Yorkers on Coney Island’s Crowded Beach in the 1960s

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

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Fun and Fascinating Art for City Commuters

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

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25 Great New York Movies You Can Stream on Netflix

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

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100 Years of New York Music

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Spike Lee’s Speech and the Problem With How We Talk About Gentrification

You may well have read by now about Spike Lee’s lengthy response to a question about gentrification during a lecture he gave at Pratt in honor of African American History Month (if not, the entire text is here — and, yes, everyone is, unfortunately, calling it a “rant”). As one might expect from such a polemic, there’s been a pretty polarized response to Lee’s views; depending on who you read, either he’s dead right or he’s talking out of his ass. The thing is, though, the current discussion about gentrification in NYC isn’t helping anyone, and the sort of rhetoric that Lee is throwing around is a prime example of why. … Read More

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Poetic Cinemagraphs That Bring New York City to Life

Visual Graphics Artist Kevin Burg and photographer Jamie Beck have captured a cinematic viewpoint of New York City in their series of cinemagraph collaborations. Marrying their specialties, the duo creates a living image that captures a slice of life in the great metropolis. The resulting artworks are poetic and offer a peaceful pause in what can often be an otherwise chaotic setting. Several of the cinemagraphs are viewed through a pair of glasses, which makes them feel more intimate. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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Stunning Black-and-White Photos of New York Architecture From the 1970s

In this Instagram-filter world we’re living in, it’s easy to snap a photo and make it look vintage. Still, there is something unmistakable about a truly great old photograph, one that you know was actually shot on a camera using film and not an iPhone. And there may be no other place in the world that lends itself so well to black-and-white photography. … Read More

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Fantastic Photos of Iconic New York City Diners During the 1990s

You can’t beat a good diner and a strong cup of coffee. In the city that never sleeps, they’re essential. New York City diners have become part of the pop culture fabric, featured in movies and television alike, and photographer Gregoire Alessandrini has captured several great Big Apple diners during the 1990s. “I’ll always miss the Moondance, which to me was a real part of SoHo and the West Broadway area of the ‘90s,” the artist related to us in an email. On Friends, the Moondance doubled as Monica Geller’s (Courteney Cox) place of work — the exterior shots, anyway. Alessandrini is also a fan of the abandoned Lost Diner, since the name reminds him of David Lynch’s Lost Highway (and who can forget the diner scene in the director’s Mulholland Drive?). A number of the diners featured here have since been demolished or left to decay, but Alessandrini’s images capture them in all their greasy spoon glory. To purchase prints of these beauties, which we first spotted on Kottke, visit the artist’s website. … Read More

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15 Eye-Catching Calendars to Keep You Organized in 2014

The new year approaches, and for those of you unwilling to let go of certain paper ephemera (we understand), it’s time to purchase a 2014 calendar. If scribbling your personal appointments on gorgeous letterpress paper or livening up your kitchen with 12 months of pop culture-inspired photos makes you tingle, we have some delicious calendar candy for… Read More

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