Archive for February, 2012

A Tale of Two Talks

Two lecture series are on the radar of most New Yorkophiles, but even those with a more casual interest should take note.

One was held at The 92nd Street Y in Tribeca. A fine theatre with flawless acoustics. And, that most delightful of all things; an audience of regulars with a good sense of humor. One woman told of having kept diaries as a girl and, after reaching young womanhood, burned them. This drew gasps from the rest — and there was subsequent group analysis of the lighter sort. Someone pointed out that those line-a-day diaries all come with locks. But when did those ever thwart a determined mother with a hair pin?

The other venue, pictured below, is the venerable Lower East Side Tenement Museum (Tenement Talks) Visitor Center in its new location, directly across the street from the old at Orchard and Delancey. By 6:00 p.m. on lecture nights, the place is packed. During my talk on January 23rd, there was a free-ranging discussion of diary-hunting methodology to cultivating a precise sense of place. Who hasn’t described a landmark as being “in the vicinity of the Starbucks.” (Mea culpa.) Consensus; New Yorkers should do better—give us the pin on The Grid!

Radio Row, Cortlandt Street, Manhattan. May 25, 1936

NYPL Notes: Men window shop in store selling radios, elevated railroad station, Ninth Avenue line, right center, subway entrance visible. Source: Changing New York.: The New York Public Library. Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.

See more information about this image and others at NYPL Digital Gallery.

Photographs from this series taken by Berenice Abbott  for the Federal Projects Administration. Available at NYPL. · Changing New York, 1935-1938.