NEW YORK NOIR: The angular shadows, the foggy side streets, footsteps in a deserted alley, the dame in distress trying to find the private dick’s office. Those great silver screen moments seem still alive in the shadowy alleys in New York at midnight. The Madison Square Park area abounds with such atmosphere that you might just expect to see Lauren Bacall following Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe to his dimly lit office while danger lurks around every corner of our wonderful narrow art deco imposing side streets.
WEST SIDE STORY: The cast iron district of Manhattan also known as NoHo and Soho, features some of the most wonderful cast iron buildings in the world. The idea of building with cast iron revolutionized the building process from 1840 – 1880, you didn’t have to stack all those thousands of little bricks. All the parts were shipped to the building site. The door frames, windowsills, columns, staircases, beams, windows and doors, skylights, turrets, ornamentations, etc. Like a giant Tinkertoy or Lego set. Now all you had to do was install the interior walls and the floors and the building was finished in one third the time of a conventional mortar and brick building. The two neighborhoods have the largest collection of all or part cast iron buildings in the world, 250, and . . . if you have a magnet on you it will stick to about every third building in the area.
The best time to walk the streets is just before sunset and you see these wonderful dramatic shadows cast by one of the quintessential items of New York – the cast iron fire escapes. Film noir drama.
Here I tinted the photo red to accent the angles and recreate the feel and look of the original graphics of “West Side Story.”
CONCERTO: Tango in the dark. The Naumburg Orchestral Concerts at the bandshell in Central Park.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012. The artists Lara St. John and friends celebrate the 25th anniversary of classical tango artist Astor Piazzolla’s 1987 concert at the bandshell. It was quintessentially New York. Classical radio station WQXR broadcasts the performance live. Wine corks are popping, brie is being passed around with the fine crackers and grapes. My good friends the Garcia’s are perfect picnic hosts. The stars above start to twinkle after a beautiful summer’s sunset.
Then as it became dark, I noticed these wonderful exaggerated shadows on the wall. And all it reminded me of was . . . the classical music scenes from the Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. cartoons! Astor Piazzolla – forgive me 🙂