Photo by Jacob A. Riis. Image via Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Roger William Riis
Today, most people probably know of journalist and social reformer Jacob A. Riis through the photographic collection he left behind. But perhaps the most surprising thing you’ll learn about the Danish-born, New York transplant in the new Museum of City of New York exhibit Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half is that photography was merely a supporting part of Riis’ larger journalistic legacy. In fact, while Riis kept careful documentation of his written work – manuscripts, correspondence, clippings, annotated notebooks – he left the photographs in the attic of his house in Queens.
By deconstructing the prevailing myth and narrative that surround Riis, curator Bonnie Yochelson reveals not only the other half of New York City during the late 19th century and early 20th century, but also the other sides of Riis himself. While Riis’ photographic collection belongs to the Museum of the City of New York, this is the first ever exhibition of Riis’ archive, which belongs primarily to the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.
Last night, Untapped Cities contributor Rachel Fawn Alban shared this trippy photograph she took of the National September 11th Memorial, with a footprint of the World Trade Center towers reflected in the fog against One World Trade Center. While this is not the most overt photograph of Veterans Day in New York City by far, the subtleness of the image makes it our pick to mark the holiday – a reminder of those lost and who served on 9/11 and in the conflicts before and since.
Follow Rachel Alban on Instagram @fawn_nyc and read her contributions on Untapped Cities. Next, see the 11 year construction of One World Trade Center in this video.
Image via Instagram user @InvaderWasHere
The last time French street artist, Invader, was in New York, he left quite a mark on the city with his 8-bit street art mosaics. After posting an Instagram of a mosaic with the letters NY, there has been quite a buzz about when he’ll first strike in the city again. Finally, yesterday, we caught a glimpse of his first tags in none other than Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The Gateway to Soho at 599 Broadway
The bright blue, eight-story art piece adorning a wall on 599 Broadway certainly stands out among the surrounding buildings and billboards, catching the eye of pedestrians. Unknown to many of them, however, this piece, called “The Gateway to Soho” (or “The Wall”), actually has a rocky history and even became the subject of a federal lawsuit.
Invader’s last New York trip, 183 Bowery
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Quietly nestled in the East Village between Avenues C and D and stretching between 10th and 12th streets lies one long block with small residential buildings, a school and the Dry Dock park and swimming pool: Szold Place. While most people have never heard of Szold Place, as it is easy to miss, its namesake marks a unique figure among the New York City’s streets: Henrietta Szold was a woman and non-New Yorker.