Don Friedman

A Local Landmark

The picture above, from the New York State archive, is labelled “New York City, 98th Street”. It seems more like Brooklyn than Manhattan because of the lack of bigger apartment houses interrupting the lines of the almost-rowhouse-sized walk-up apartments. Besides the title, there are two ways to identify the exact location: the elevated train running over …

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Anthropomorphizing In Fashion Terms

The title of Berenice Abbott’s 1935 photo above, “Broadway near Broom Street”, is slightly misleading. We’re looking west on Broome Street to Broadway and beyond. Given the date, this must have been one of her earliest photos in the “Changing New York” project. The center of the photo, with regard to both print geometry and …

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The oldest monument in a New York park is the statue of George Washington in Union Square, erected in 1856. The subject and the form (an equestrian statue) are not very surprising. The second oldest, erected the following year, is more satisfyingly obscure: the General William Jenkins Worth Monument across the street form Madison Square. …

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Another Rooftop, Another View

In 1986, while killing time, I built a prefab paper-craft model of the Chrysler Building. It’s about three feet tall and has followed me around every since, moving from apartment to apartment. On those occasions when someone has asked, I explain that it’s my household god and they are welcome to conduct a ritual sacrifice …

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