“Striking Beauty”

Weegee's book Naked City with a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge
Weegee, Naked City, 1945

Apparently the Brooklyn Bridge opened on this day, May 24th, in 1883… More importantly… Naked City opens with a noirish, scene-setting, landscape foto starring the Brooklyn Bridge and a bunch of buildings, lights, wet cobblestones, a star-free sky… Not a bad way to enter Manhattan and a perfect way to enter a book… big bridge… flash of lightning… a beginning… (One of the few people-free fotos in NC.)

Photo was published in the Daily News on Monday, July 29, 1940… On the same page as a map of Malta and a pair of photos: “Death From The Sky. This is the first foto of the bombing of Malta by Italian planes…” And “Prisoners Of War,” a long line of captured English soldiers marching… (A majority of the photos in Naked City can be connected to the war, in fact, Naked City is a portrait of Manhattan during wartime, the homefront.) Foto was published with a few different titles in different editions, including:

Striking Beauty
This remarkable foto shows a brilliant bolt of lightning apparently striking City Bank Farmer’s Trust Co. at 20 Exchange Place, during storm. The fotog shot foto on South St., near Brooklyn Bridge.
New York Daily News, July 29, 1940

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