The past year I’ve noticed, everyone – both males and females, young and old – are all wearing hats. I don’t mean baseball hats. I never cared for them, but lovely, elegant “old fashioned” hats.
Me: “I love your hat!”
Woman: “Thank you. Pity I have to wear it, but I’m glad to say the hair is slowly growing back. Thank you for noticing.”
A woman asked me if we had a book of photos by Weegee. She was looking for a specific photo he’d taken about 75 years ago, of a New York City street.
She explained: “It was a very hot summer day and a group of kids were splashing around a broken fire hydrant. One of those kids was me. We lived in New Jersey, and that Sunday we were visiting our cousins who lived in the apartment upstairs.”
Unfortunately we didn’t find the photo.
Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig, (1899-1968), an American photo-journalist (born in Austria). His nickname is taken from the word “Ouijie, because he’d always arrive at scenes of crimes, fires, or accidents minutes after they were reported to the police.
His black-and-white photos are a brutally honest document of life in the lower east side of New York City during the 1930’s and 40’s:
accident scenes, fires, opera openings, showgirls, lovers, drunks, families sleeping on fire escapes to stay cool, tenement children playing in fire-hydrant spray, murderers being arrested and countless victims of misfortunes.
If you’re interested to see his photos, here’s a link to his book “Naked City“.