Hanging out on Sullivan Street

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Here’s a great photo from the 1930s – a bunch of boys hanging out on Sullivan Street in Brooklyn. I like that the boy at top reading the newspapers looks as if he’s reading the comics. It sort of looks like the Daily News Sunday comics section. Doesn’t it?

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Ladies mile

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Saw this old photo online somewhere. Love it. I can stare it it and just see so much going on. Look at the dog. Look at the lady getting onto the carriage. Is she posing for the photo? Was this just a nature shot? I’m guessing this is 6th Avenue because of the elevated train to the right and the buildings look like so many of them that are still there up and down 6th Avenue in the teens and 20 (streets).

This photo is Ladies Mile in NYC in the year 1897. Ladies Mile was a shopping district in the late 1800s. It went from roughly 15th Street to 24th Street and from Park Avenue South to west of 6th Avenue. A large part of Broadway, also comprised Ladies Mile.

So many of the buildings are still there today. When I’m walking around New York City, I can’t help but feel their presence. They are kept in such great shape, especially the old department stores. Many are separated into a few different stores, but the old buildings look as if they were just built. Some have golden cupolas on the roof and they all seem to have those great Beaux Arts and Queen Anne style arches and layers.

As I walk through the city, and not just in the Ladies Mile area, building seem to jump out to me and speak to me. What I do is google the address and all sorts of wonderful history pops up. I get the history of the building, when it was built, what it was originally used for and so on. There were so many department stores back in the day and not just department stores, smaller buildings pop up as being rooming houses for men, or an old fire houses or old livery stables. It’s quite interesting.

In October, this year, I think it was, I had an old photo of buildings on Union Square from the late 1800s. It was on my phone. I was holding the phone up and trying to match the view to see if I could find the exact buildings. As I was holding the phone up, it looked as if I was taking pictures, but I was just looking at the image to compare it to the current street. I had the phone up to one guy’s face and I got embarrassed.

I showed him the photo and told him what I was doing and he started laughing. I think he thought I was taking pictures of him.

I never did match the buildings. I did match the exact location, just not the buildings.

Graffiti and ground zero

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courtesy CBS

I had seen these murals in New York this past summer. CBS Sunday morning did a story on it. The murals are right outside the World Trade Center in NYC, right at the Oculus.

This CBS piece is a great story on history and art. Here is the link to the video: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/leaving-their-mark-graffiti-artists-decorate-the-wtc-site/

And here is the story with photos: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/decorating-hallowed-ground-with-street-art/ 

What’s interesting is right across the street is Trinity Church, where that land was purchased and deeded in 1696. The first church was built on that location in 1698 and the current church and graveyard are there from 1839 after being rebuilt three times since the 1600s. It’s amazing to take it all in, where you see the 1600s to today in one glance.

This graffiti story is cool because it was commissioned by the 87-year-old owner of the property Larry Silverstein, who purchased the Twin Towers six weeks before they were destroyed. Through is vision and the vision of the artists, the area is alive again.

So from the 1600s until today, the area is ever-evolving and alive.

Visiting the New York Herald again

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This image of Herald Square is from 1903.

I’m not sure why I am obsessed these days with the old New York Herald building. This past summer I spent a lot of time in front of the old site looking at it. It’s an ugly mid century (1960s) square block building now with a bank and drugstore in the space.

I was standing to the right of the trolley shown at the right of this photo; standing right in front of the site. Macy’s is the left today.

One day I was on my way to meet a friend to see Hello Dolly, 10 blocks away, and on the way I stopped here and just contemplated the location. So much history is still in New York, but so much is gone. I saw Hello Dolly in the Shubert Theater, which was opened in 1913. The Herald building was standing at the same time a few blocks away.

The Herald building opened in 1894 and they left around 1924 after a 30 year lease. A clothing store took over the location and retrofitted the newspaper offices and press room but around 1940, the building was demolished for the ugly new structure that is there today, which is almost 80 years old. The actual newspapers only lasted in that location for 30 years.

You would think Herald Square would have kept the Herald building. Times Square still has the Times building. It’s behind all those neon signs, you have to look hard to see it.

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The ugly building that replaced the NY Herald at Herald Square.

Thinking of newspapers

Newspapers are not where comics are most popular these days. Millennials, as we know, don’t read the newspaper, at least not the printed version.  It took me a long time to come to terms with that regarding my own work. It’s like making a movie and having it go straight to video. That is how I felt not having my comics in the newspapers. Comics were created for newspapers. But it’s a new era.

I think of the kids born today or in the last few years. Will they ever know the feeling of going outside and picking up the newspaper off the front porch, taking it in, smelling the ink and the paper, getting the feel of it all and reading the news from cover to cover, in black and white? There was a time when the ink came off on your fingers. Now they just flip through it all on their phones.

517AbN9Y1+L._SL250_I think of the days of George Herriman, George McManus, Rudolf Dirks, Bud Fisher and the others, when cartoonists were the celebrities of the day. What was it like in 1905 or 1915? I’m glad I’m here today, but I like to think back sometimes and wonder about those times were like. I think of the excitement of the newspapers, the deadlines, the camaraderie.

If you haven’t read the book on George Herriman and Krazy Kat by Michael Tisserand called, “Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White“, do yourself a favor and read it. It will transport you back to that time, you literally are immersed in that period. You feel as if you are in those old newspaper newsrooms and walking the streets of New York and Los Angeles. I am about to read it again. It’s sort of like “Breaking Bad” to me, I can just envelope myself in the story and get lost at any time of day.

NY Daily News; sign of the times

 

The New York Daily News has an editorial about itself called, “Local journalism is sick; don’t misdiagnose the disease.” They explain their current situation where they have been gutted by Tronc, their current owner. They say it’s more than Tronc cutting the staff by more than half, it’s the times, it’s the internet, it’s so much more.

To be honest, I didn’t buy one newspaper the whole time I was in New York this summer and that is saying a lot.  I usually buy The Daily News every single day when I’m in the city, I pick it up with my breakfast, and most days I would buy the Daily News, the NY Post, The NY Times and Newsday, all four daily newspapers, but even if I didn’t buy all four, I would always buy the Daily News. I’m not sure why I did not purchase the papers. I think it all started with my Miami Herald fiasco this past winter and I just got out of the habit. Reading the newspapers is a habit, sort of like having breakfast every morning.

The NY Daily News itself is now down in an office building down near the Staten Island Ferry, they aren’t even in the actual Daily News building on 42nd Street, which has been the case for years.

I took a short video of the Daily News building in November, here it is.

The Daily News Building is a beautiful Art Deco building and the Daily News should be in that building. I wrote about the strike in 1945 and showed an incredible video where it shows millions of newspapers being sold per day as people waited in long lines to plop down a nickle for the Daily News and all of the other New York newspapers at the time – the Mirror, the Journal-American, the Sun, etc. Newspapers were the world back then.

Today the sports department has been gutted. That’s the one thing my father would always mention when I would give him copies of the newspapers that I would bring home with me – the New York Daily News and the New York Post – he would admire the size of their sports section, putting down the puny Miami Herald’s sports section, asking, “Why can’t the Herald be like the New York papers?”

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The ubiquitous camera in the masthead

And the photography department at the Daily News has been gutted, too. No photographers at New York’s Picture Newspaper!!! No photographers! Should they remove that iconic camera logo that has been part of their masthead since day one in 1919?

Two newsgirls

This is sad. I’m in Hoboken often and now every time I pass these locations I’ll think of these girls. Here are two young girls selling newspapers in Hoboken in 1912; the actual locations were visited a century later and superimposed with public domain and CC-licensed resources.

Library of Congress photography by Lewis Hine from the National Child Labor Committee Collection (loc.gov) is remixed here with Creative Commons-licensed music by Kevin MacLeod.

Video copyright Lyndon F. Lorenz, all rights reserved