Archive

Naked City


“Heat Wave”; Ethel Waters; Berlin; Columbia (2826-D); 1933


Weegee, Herald Tribune, August 4, 1940

Heat-Wave Nocturne in Downtown New York


Weegee, “Naked City,” 1945


“Heat Wave”; Marilyn Monroe; 20th Century-Fox Orchestra and Chorus; Irving Berlin; RCA Victor (20-6033); 1955


“When My Baby Left Me”; Cootie Williams and his Orchestra; Williams; Vinson; Eddie Vinson; Capitol (266); Publication date: July 19, 1945


The New York Post, July 19, p. 19

Photography

By John Adam Knight

Worth Anyone’s $4
[$4 in July 1945 had the same buying power as $65.48 in June 2022.]

All of this is background for a brief review of a fine new picture book, Weegee’s “Naked City” (Essential Books, 243 pp., $4). This is Weegee at his former best, which means virtually unequaled. Most of these pictures were made before the Museum of Modern Art’s kiss of death took effect, and the purchaser need have little fear of being stuck with serious “art.”

What he will get for his $4 is a collection of grauvre reproductions of about 200 stark almost primitive photographs of death, despair and degeneracy in New York between midnight and morning. Though technically poor photographs, almost every one of them tells a gripping, human story, one of the best reasons I know for the invention of the camera.

The paper shortage denies me the pleasure of describing dozens of these pictures individually. I have space only to urge every one interested to buy the book and learn the lesson that Weegee once knew that honesty, a genuine interest in people – all people – and a recognition of what constitutes human interest in pictures can make any of you nearly as great as Weegee once was.

The New York Post, July 19, p. 19


“Echoes Of Harlem”; Cootie Williams And His Orchestra; Cootie Williams; Duke Ellington; Capitol (266); Publication date: July 19, 1945


“Don’t Worry ‘Bout That Mule”; Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five; Louis Jordan; C. Stewart; W. Davis; D. Groaner; F. Moore; Decca (18734 A); Publication date: July 18, 1945


PM, July 18, 1945

Rave Notice

There’s a new book in the stores today by Weegee, who bills himself as “the famous” – and is…

PM, July 18, 1945


Weegee, Naked City, 1945

77 years ago today…

Happy “Naked City” Day!


“Buzz Me”; Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five; Louis Jordan; F. Moore; D. Baxter; Decca (18734 B); Publication date: July 18, 1945


“Yesterdays”; Kathryn Meisle; Harry Sosnik; Jerome Kern; Otto Harbach; Decca (DA 23572 A); Publication date: May 7, 1944


PM, May 7, 1944, p.32

Weegee meets a great man.

Weegee brought in a photograph of an old man sitting on a cot, his hands in his lap. Weegee is the cigar-smoking, crime, fire, and seamy-side-of-life photographer who lives across the street from police headquarters and does his best work from midnight on.

“This is Stieglitz, Alfred Stieglitz,” said Weegee. “He’s a great photographer…”

Stieglitz invited Weegee to his gallery. But first they stopped at a druggist’s, where the aged photographer left a prescription. Then they walked up to 509 Madison Ave. and took an elevator to the 17th floor…

Stieglitz pointed to a phone near his cot. It never rings, he said. I have been deserted…

He was a failure, he told me…

…and he never used the products of Eastman Kodak because of their slogan You push a button. We’ll do the rest.

…And I left quietly and shut the the glass door with the words painted on it, AN AMERICAN PLACE.

“It doesn’t seem right that such a great artist should have such a little reward,” said Weegee.

PM, May 7, 1944


“The Touch of Your Hand”; Kitty Carlisle; Alfred Drake; Kathryn Meisle; Harry Sosnik; Jerome Kern; Otto Harbach; Decca (DA 23574 A); Publication date: May 7, 1944


Weegee, Naked City, 1945


“Lovely to Look at”; Kitty Carlisle and Alfred Drake; Harry Sosnik; Jerome Kern; Dorothy Fields; Jimmy McHugh; Decca (DA 23572 B); Publication date: May 7, 1944


“Big City Blues”; Wynonie “Mr. Blues” Harris and His All-Stars; Wynonie; Harris; Aladdin (196B); 1947


Screenshots filmforum.org


(copied from youtube)

File under: Current Events: Movies

Here are some interesting facts about the New York City population:

With a July 2015 population of 8,550,405, New York is the most populous city in the United States, more than twice the size of the second largest city, Los Angeles.
About 1 in every 38 people living in the United States resides in New York City.
New York has the highest population density of any major city in the United States, with over 27,000 people per square mile.
Over 3 million of New York City’s residents are foreign-born; over one-quarter arrived in 2000 or later.
Nearly 2 million New Yorkers are under the age of 18.
New York City has more people than 40 of the 50 U.S. states.
New York City has grown by over 1 million people since 1990.
The 2014 median age in New York City was 35.8 years, almost two years lower than the national median of 37.7 years.
Over one-third of the population 25 and over in New York City has a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 30 percent nationally.
There are nearly 400,000 more women than men in New York.
There is a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes.
There is a death in New York City every 9.1 minutes.
The borough of Brooklyn on its own would be the 4th largest city in the United States; Queens would also rank 4th nationally.
The average commute for New Yorkers is just over 40 minutes, about 14 minutes longer than the national average.
New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia.
Half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home.
Over 200 languages are spoken in New York City.

nyc.gov


“Shorty George”; Count Basie And His Orchestra; Count Basie; Brunswick (80134); Publication date: February 16, 1938


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

Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomed the New Year… Sophisticated Lady


“So Long, Shorty”; Erskine Hawkins (The Twentieth Century Gabriel) and his Orchestra; Ida James; Wilbur “Shorty” Bascomb; Livingston; Symes; Neiburg; Bluebird (B-11485-B); 1941


Barth, Miles, Weegee’s World, New York: Bullfinch Press, 1997, p.139

Shorty, the Bowery Cherub, New Years Eve at Sammy’s Bar, 1943


“So Long, Shorty (You’ve Got a Long Way to Go)”; Una Mae Carlisle; Barney Young; Bluebird (B-11507-B); Publication date: February 13, 1942


Weegee, Naked City, 1945, p. 148

Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomed the New Year…


“Shorty’s Got to Go”; Bill Johnson and his Musical Notes; Bill Johnson; Lucky Millinder; RCA Victor (20-2225-B); 1947


Weegee, Naked City, Cincinnati, Ohio: Zebra Picture Books, 1948

Shorty, the Bowery cherub, welcomes the New Year…



“Shorty George Blues”; Sippie Wallace; Eddie Heywood; Geo. W. Thomas; H. Thomas; Okeh (8106-A); Publication date: October 26, 1923


“Sherry Lynn Flip,” by Slam Stewart Trio; Errol Garner; Stewart; Harold West; Publication date: September 7, 1945


Daily Argus, September 7, 1945

…”Naked City,” by Arthur Fellig, is a collection of satiric photographs, showing a cross-section of life in New York…”

“…held on display for one week at the Public Library so that readers may have an opportunity to examine them before they are circulated.”
Daily Argus, September 7, 1945, p.4


“Blue, Brown, and Beige,” by Slam Stewart Trio; Errol Garner; Stewart; Harold West; Publication date: September 7, 1945


“Don’t Worry ‘Bout That Mule”; Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five; Louis Jordan; C. Stewart; W. Davis; D. Groaner; F. Moore; July 18, 1945


PM, July 18, 1945

From the Editor

Rave Notice

There’s a new book in the stores today by Weegee, who bills himself as “the famous” – and is.

It’s a book of pictures – pictures such as you’ve never seen before, except maybe in PM. it is called Naked City, published by Essential Books, sells for $4 – and is worth it…


“Buzz Me,” Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five; Louis Jordan; F. Moore; D. Baxter; July 18, 1945


PM, July 18, 1941

Wrong Number: At least that’s the expression on Rainbow’s face…


“Wrong Number”; Red River Dave; McEnery; The Texas Tophands; 1949


Uncle Moses, p. 125


Uncle Moses, p. 134


Uncle Moses; a novel, Sholem Asch (1880-1957), Isaac Goldberg (1887-1938), translator, 1920


“On a Sunday at Coney Island,” Gordon MacRae and the Cheerleaders; Carmen Dragon; Vernon Cross; Jeffrey Curtis, 1951

Celebrating the solstice with a trip to Coney Island in June… (And an early reference to “a naked city…”) “…Everything was permissible; the whole world intermingled.” Weegee, the war-time photographer, filled a centerfold with pictures and words of the “escapist crowd,” made on a Sunday at Coney Island… (Like a Stonehenge for midsummer sweltering city-dwellers…) The spread is a sequel of sorts to the previous years’ successful Coney centerfold: “Yesterday at Coney Island… Temperature 89… They Came Early, Stayed Late.” And a sprinkling of songs released in June 1941; possibly heard on the portable radios playing swing…


“She’s Love Crazy”, Tampa Red, Hudson Whittaker, June 1941

Coney Island Revisited… Pictures and Words by Weegee

I was one of 800,000 people – cops’ estimate – at Coney Island yesterday afternoon. It as an escapist crowd. Portable radios played swing instead of war news. Some planes flew over, but nobody paid much attention.

Most of the people arrived with bathing suits under their street clothes and undressed on the beach. A lot brought their lunches, too, and spread newspapers on sand to eat. It was 87 degrees when I took this picture.

First aid for ripped slacks. I don’t know how Mama happened to bring along her needle and thread, but I didn’t pose the picture. You don’t have to that to get amusing pictures at Coney. I go out every summer to photograph the crowds. They’re always the same – and always different. One difference from 1940 and yesterday was the number of soldiers in uniform on boardwalk looking over the gals on sand below.

Waiting three hours to get a picture of the official first lost child of the season when a man came over to the Park Department attendant with this and and, “Lost child.” Pretty soon his wild-eyed mother came up and took him away. The child was making such a rumpus, and the mother seemed so excited about it all, that I didn’t want to bother them to ask their names and address. PM Photos by Weegee

PM, June 9, 1941, pp. 16-17


“Sixth Avenue Express”, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons, June 1941


“Rock Me Mama,” Art Tatum And His Band, Joe Turner, Jones, June 1941


“Lonesome Graveyard”, Art Tatum and His Band, Joe Turner, Jones, Williams, June 1941