Tenement Penthouse

“The hot weather last night took Weegee, the photographer, to the lower East Side, where he found these children sleeping on a tenement fire escape at Irving and Rivington Streets. Weegeee says he gave the kids $2 for ice cream, but their father took charge of the dough.”
PM Daily, Vol. 1, No.243, May 23, 1941, p.10

“In summer I always keep an eye out for hot weather pictures. I got this one on the East Side – looking down on the fire escape. There were more children, but I couldn’t get them all in. I used to sleep like this summers myself when I was a kid.”

But the other fire escape is somewhat overcrowded… it’s not so bad sleeping that way… except when it starts to rain… then back to the stuffy tenement rooms.”
Weegee. Naked City. New York: Essential Books, 1945, p. 23

“Sleep. It’s hot tonight-it has been for eleven straight days and nights. The papers have played it up big. Yesterday was the hottest day in twenty-three years. The wave is approaching a record (for some reason heat waves always are). No matter what is going on in the world news, people who meet on the street during a hot spell, whether it is Park Avenue or the Bowery, always talk about it. The conversation is filled with all the old cliches… “It isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity”… “It wouldn’t be so bad if you could only sleep”… “Yeah, it’s the no sleep that murders you.”
Well, here are some pictures of sleep on a broiling hot July night in New York. It’s people on fire escapes, in the parks, anywhere there might be a breath of air stirring.”

Tenement Penthouse in Manhattan, one of the studies of life on New York’s fire-escapes as seen through Weegee’s lens.”

“Weegee’s ‘Kids on the fire escape’ exemplifies the power over men’s thinking that the camera can have – when used with warm emotions as well as technical, visual, and journalistic skill.”
Whiting, John R. Photography is a Language, New York: Ziff-Davis, p. 35

“On a tenement roof-top in summer…”

“Air conditioned dreams… tenement fire escape on a hot night.
Weegee, and Mel Harris. Weegee’s Secrets (of Shooting with Photoflash). New York: Designers 3, 1953, p.55

Tenement penthouse.
Weegee. Weegee by Weegee. New York: Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1961

Heatspell, 1938. Children sleeping on the Fire Escape, the Lower East Side
Stettner, Louis, ed. Weegee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977, p. 34

Children on the fire-escape, 1938
Coplans, John. Weegee’s New York: Photographs 1935-1960. Munich, GmbH: Schirmer Art Books, Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 1982, p.193

Heat spell, May 23, 1941
Barth, Miles. Weegee’s World. New York: Bullfinch Press, 1997, p.46

Enfants dans l’escalier de secours. 23 mai 1941.
Weegee dans la Collection Berinson, Paris: Gallimard, 2007, p.217

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