Beach Scenes: Now and Then

Now: Rockaway Beach

Then: Coney Island

Bathers at Steeplechase Park, 1919, by E.E. Rutter
coney island before the imminent gentrification

Nickel Empire consists of over two dozen  vintage photographs of Coney Island dating from 1889 to 1948, displaying  in rare clarity the twentieth century’ s great American playground,  once described as “Sodom by the sea.” Coney Island was a sanctioned  escape from—and alternative to—everyday reality. 

Nickel Empire: Coney Island Photographs  1889-1948, at Schroeder Romero & Shredder, in Chelsea  now thru 2/26.

Bathers at Steeplechase Park, 1919, by E.E. Rutter

coney island before the imminent gentrification

Nickel Empire consists of over two dozen vintage photographs of Coney Island dating from 1889 to 1948, displaying in rare clarity the twentieth century’ s great American playground, once described as “Sodom by the sea.” Coney Island was a sanctioned escape from—and alternative to—everyday reality.

Nickel Empire: Coney Island Photographs 1889-1948, at Schroeder Romero & Shredder, in Chelsea  now thru 2/26.

1953: Coney Island
Newfound Colors  for a Portrait of New York (lens/nyt)
[also on posterous]

1953: Coney Island

Newfound Colors for a Portrait of New York (lens/nyt)

[also on posterous]

“‘The old Coney is gone, darlin’,’ I says to her.  ‘Everything moves. When a man’s glad it’s not scenes of sadness he wants.  ‘Tis a greater Coney we have here, but we couldn’t see it till we got in the humour for it.  Next Sunday, Norah darlin’, we’ll see the new place from end to  end.”
~ O.Henry, The Greater Coney
(pic Andy Levin, lens/nyt)

“‘The old Coney is gone, darlin’,’ I says to her. ‘Everything moves.
When a man’s glad it’s not scenes of sadness he wants. ‘Tis a greater
Coney we have here, but we couldn’t see it till we got in the humour for
it. Next Sunday, Norah darlin’, we’ll see the new place from end to end.”

~ O.Henry, The Greater Coney

(pic Andy Levin, lens/nyt)

[Beach Scene: Woman Wearing Paper Bag Hat, Coney Island, New York/Leo Levinstein photograph from  Coney Island in  the ’70s]

There is a paradox in Levinstein’s approach that is shared by legions of  greater and lesser street photographers: he was hunting for the poetry  of real life, but what he shot was generally the sort of thing that  street photographers generally shoot. Not the types of people or  situations that you barely notice because they are so ordinary, but  people who seem strange, marginal or ridiculous. The Beat generation’s  coolly noirish, anti-bourgeois spirit animates his work.

Streetwise New Yorkers Caught in Their Unguarded Moments (art review/nyt)
“Hipsters, Hustlers and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York  Photographs, 1950- 1980,” at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art, now thru Oct.17

[Beach Scene: Woman Wearing Paper Bag Hat, Coney Island, New York/Leo Levinstein photograph from Coney Island in the ’70s]

There is a paradox in Levinstein’s approach that is shared by legions of greater and lesser street photographers: he was hunting for the poetry of real life, but what he shot was generally the sort of thing that street photographers generally shoot. Not the types of people or situations that you barely notice because they are so ordinary, but people who seem strange, marginal or ridiculous. The Beat generation’s coolly noirish, anti-bourgeois spirit animates his work.

Streetwise New Yorkers Caught in Their Unguarded Moments (art review/nyt)

Hipsters, Hustlers and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York Photographs, 1950- 1980,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, now thru Oct.17

A slanting sun carves patterns in the water and  the sand.
Coney Island, 6:42 A.M.

A slanting sun carves patterns in the water and the sand.

Coney Island, 6:42 A.M.