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Naked City


Weegee, Naked City, 1945, pp. 148-149

Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomed the New Year…


“Shorty, the Bowery Cherub, New Years Eve at Sammy’s Bar,” 1943
Barth, Miles, Weegee’s World, New York: Bullfinch Press, 1997, p.139


“Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomed the New Year…”
Weegee, Naked City, New York: Essential Books, 1945, p. 148


“Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomes the New Year…”
Weegee, Naked City, Cincinnati, Ohio: Zebra Picture Books, 1948


PM, December 24, 1940


(Only six hours, and one time zone, seperates Weegee Creek, OH, and Santa Claus, IN…)


Weegee, Naked City, 1945, pp.158-159

Not so long ago I, too, used to walk on the Bowery, broke, “carrying the banner.” The sight of a bed with white sheets in a furniture store window, almost drove me crazy. God… a bed was the most desirable thing in the world.

In the summer I would sleep in Bryant Park… But when it got colder I transferred to the Municipal Lodging House… I saw this sign on the wall there. A Sadist must have put u=it up. I laughed to myself… what Cash and Valuables… I didn’t have a nickel to my name, but I was a Free Soul… with no responsibilities…

Slumber-time in a mission… it’s Christmas.

FIREMEN FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
A sign across the front of this seven-story loft building near the Brooklyn Bridge instructed firemen to “Simply Add Boiling Water.” However, cold water was all they had, and anyway it seemed to them that it win this case it might prove more effective. AP Wirephoto.
San Francisco Chronicle, December 21, 1943, p.7

THE FIREMEN FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS
Although the water they used was cold, New York firemen fighting a blaze in a seven-story building did their best to follow directions on a sign on the building: “Simply Add Boiling Water.” (A.P. Wirephoto)
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tuesday Morning, December 21, 1943, p.6


Naked City, 1945, pp.52-53

3. FIRES…
The surprising thing about New York families, living as they do in such crowded conditions, is that they still manage to crowd in pets like dogs, cats, parrots, which they always try to save at fires. At one fire, I saw a woman running out holding a cardboard box with a couple of snakes inside. I questioned her. (It was none of my business, but I’m curious about people)… she told me she was a dancer who used the snakes in her act…
Naked City, 1945, p.52


Minicam, 1947

The Sign across the center of the building refers to the frankfurters, not the firemen! Weegee put his Speed Graphic with 5 1/4″ lens on a tripod and three No. 3 flashbulbs on extensions. Super Panchro Pres – 1/10 at F:8
Minicam, 1947


Third Avenue El, (3 second excerpt), by Davidson (Carson), 1950

The Eye of Fate

Did New Yorkers look completely different 50 years ago than they do today? Where have those kinds of faces gone?

There is cruelty in Weegee’s flash, but there is also harsh beauty. Sometimes it is the almost abstract beauty of light against dark, as in his photograph of a fire at the Hygrade Frankfurters factory — called “Simply Add Boiling Water.” But sometimes it is the raw beauty of emotion that Weegee captures in his subjects.

The faces themselves can hardly be called beautiful. They seem at first to belong not merely to another time but to another world, as remote from the present as the portrait of a Renaissance pope. It is human flesh, but arranged by a rough, unfamiliar hand. It takes awhile, wandering among Weegee’s photographs, listening to a pair of old men remembering Times Square in 1942, to realize that an old-fashioned face still lurks in each of us, if only a Weegee were there to see it when it surfaced.
The New York Times, December 5, 1997, p.30


Weegee (1899-1968), Naked City, 1945, pp. 226-227 (Odds and Ends chapter)


PM, March 9, 1941, p. 18

This Time It Really Snowed in New York – 12 Inches, More to Come

A commuter from New Jersey opened her umbrella as she left the 125th St. ferry, had it turned inside out by a 35 m.p.h. wind.

Thousands of automobiles parked overnight were found like this by owners Saturday morning.
PM, March 9, 1941, p. 18


Weegee, Naked City, 1945, pp. 74-75 (one of the oldest photos in Naked City)

I Cried When I Took This Picture
Mother and daughter cry and look up hopelessly as another daughter and her young baby are burning to death in the top floor of the tenement… firemen couldn’t reach them in time… on account of the stairway collapsing.
Weegee, Naked City, 1945, pp. 74-75


New York Daily Mirror, December 15, 1939

As 2 Kin Died
Mrs. Enrique Torres and daughter Ada, saved from Brooklyn fire, look up at burning tenemnt, with terror in their eyes. They know two relatives are trapped on top floor. Later theur bodies were found.


Daily Worker – Peoples Champion of Liberty, Progress, Peace and Prosperity, December 15, 1939, p.1

Mother and Son Die in B’klyn Tenement Fire
Fire roared through an old tenement in Brooklyn at 2 A.M. yesterday and took the lives of Mrs. Ramionia Malava, 30, and her 7-year old son Edward.

The four-story tenement at 41 Bartlett St. was occupied by twelve families, all of whom managed to get out except Mrs. Malava and her boy, who were trapped in a rear apartment on the fourth floor. Their charred bodies were found near a window, indicating they had been overcome while trying to escape…

Daily Worker – Peoples Champion of Liberty, Progress, Peace and Prosperity, December 15, 1939, p.1


New York Times, May 27, 1941


39-41 Bartlett St., 2011-2019


Weegee, Naked City, 2020


Weegee, Naked City, 1945

Happy Birthday “Naked City”!!!


PM, July 18, 1945, pp. 18-19

Published 75 years ago today…

And there’s a great new reprinting.


Weegee, Naked City, 1945

Naked City Forever!


Weegee (1899-1968), Naked City, 2020

Weegee’s Naked City was republished (excellently designed and printed) this year…


Weegee (1899-1968), Naked City, 1945

The book gets off to a great start… with a pair of selfies…


PM, August 27, 1941