Saturday, June 30, 2007

Manhattan #25, Architecture #17, Dead Presidents #22

Fashionable society was composed of two classes. There were, first, the people of good family,—those whose forefathers at some time had played their parts manfully in the world, and who claimed some shadowy superiority on the strength of this memory of the past, unbacked by any proof of merit in the present. Secondly, there were those who had just made money,—the father having usually merely the money-getting faculty, the presence of which does not necessarily imply the existence of any other worthy quality whatever, the rest of the family possessing only the absorbing desire to spend what the father had earned. In the summer they all went to Saratoga or to Europe; in winter they came back to New York. Fifth Avenue was becoming the fashionable street, and on it they built their brownstone-front houses, all alike outside, and all furnished in the same style within,—heavy furniture, gilding, mirrors, glittering chandeliers. If a man was very rich he had a few feet more frontage, and more gilding, more mirrors, and more chandeliers. There was one incessant round of gaiety, but it possessed no variety whatever, and little interest.

Of course there were plenty of exceptions to all these rules. There were many charming houses, there was much pleasant social life, just as there were plenty of honest politicians; and there were multitudes of men and women well fitted to perform the grave duties and enjoy the great rewards of American life. But taken as a whole, the fashionable and political life of New York in the decade before the Civil War offers an instructive rather than an attractive spectacle.

Theodore Roosevelt, New York (1906)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Godard #7, Scenes from a Life #8, Cinema #19

JLG and Jean-Paul Belmondo prepare for shooting the final scene of Pierrot le fou.

...Pierrot n'est pas vraiment un film. C'est plutôt une tentative de cinéma. Et le cinéma, en faisant rendre gorge à la réalité, nous rappelle qu'il faut tenter de vivre.
JLG, Cahiers du cinéma, no. 171 (October 1965)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Scenes from a Life #7

Lee Marvin shoots pool at the Playboy Mansion (early 1970s)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Godard #6, Scopitone #22

"Ma ligne de chance," Pierrot le fou (1965)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Outer Boroughs #5

Tennis, Great Lawn, Prospect Park (late nineteenth century)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

America #20, Scenes from a Life #6

A Negro conjure-doctor. Illustration, Folk beliefs of the Southern Negro, by Newbell Niles Puckett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, Western Reserve University. (1926)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Obsolete Morality #3

Showing the relation between drug addiction and crime.

photo and caption, California Narcotic Committee Report on Drug Addiction in California (1935)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Manhattan #24

First Avenue tenement dweller watches the United Nations Secretariat under construction. (1949)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Word of the Day #20


Monday, June 04, 2007