Rylee, Coonhound mix, South Street Seaport Dog Park, New York, NY
Posts tagged nyc
NYC Subway, 1950 by Saul Leiter
One of my editors ordered me to take a break from writing today, and so after meeting him for lunch, I walked over and got lost in the photography section at Strand, where I surprised to find they had copies of Saul Leiter’s "Early Black and White," which was released in Europe earlier this year but has been hard to find here. Apparently, Leiter was a regular at Strand, and before he died last November, he’d made sure they’d get the book as soon as it was released since he’d been talking to them about it for so long. (As of right now, they have 10 copies left.)
I love Leiter’s color photos, but perhaps not so secretly, if you read this Tumblr often, I love his black and white work so much more—particularly all the portraits of his lovers. As the book quite accurately puts it, they are “dark photos that recall active nights”—especially this one, which might be my favorite Leiter photo of all.
But the book also has pages and pages of photos of the New York City subway—another favorite topic of mine—and I wish they were online so that you could see how wonderful they are. The photo above is not my favorite, but it is the frame just before it, where you can see the woman, her companion and the man in the subway car more clearly. It’s photo 78, in volume 2 if you pick up the book—and you should, because it is an amazing collection of work.
So, I posted this anecdote about Saul Leiter and The Strand a few weeks ago. I’m working on a piece about Leiter, and I asked his longtime assistant about the story. It turns out he really did arrange for the store to get the first copies of “Early Black and White” because he was always there. He lived just a block or so away, and even at 89, he still spent many days walking around his neighborhood taking pictures. The Strand was one of his pit stops.
Leiter apparently spent so much time at the store that it actually came up at his funeral. One of his friends eulogized him by saying that if there was a heaven for Leiter, it was The Strand, and they’ll still be able to find him there in the section for “untarnished souls.” Really lovely story about a guy who took pictures almost until the day he died and had a love affair with a bookstore, too.
Goya, West Highland White Terrier, St Marks & Ave A, New York, NY • “Goya, like the Spanish painter. Promise me you’ll look at his paintings”
True story: I went on a walk this morning in Brooklyn Heights and saw a guy showing a lady into a cab. He then picked up his dog—which looked exactly like this one—and used its paw to wave goodbye. I actually teared up—which means a) I am a hopeless romantic or b) I am an emotional wreck because of the book. Probably a little bit of both.