Joy of YOLOing…

Weegee, [Police and bystanders with body of Stanley Sandler, a passenger in an automobile that crashed into a Third Avenue El pillar and caught fire, New York], April 16, 1942 (14129.1993)

Weegee, [Greenpoint Hospital attendant Mary Biscarei tagging body of Agnes Clark, who jumped to her death when a fire swept through her three-story wooden home, Brooklyn], May 15, 1944 (147.1982)

Weegee, [Dead body on cobblestone street], ca. 1941 (14068.1993)

Weegee, [Body of girl hit by car on Park Avenue, New York], ca. 1938 (2051.1993)

Weegee, “Murder La Humoresque,” ca. 1944 (2314.1993)

Amazeballs! In celebration of YOLO becoming an official word, here is an amazeballs post (or, mere clickbait)… A few amazeballs Weegee photos of people who have (presumably) only lived once… (Wonder why the wrangling of new words seems to be the work of the whelpish.) Let me, more hot mess than hench, mansplain this, before I (sincerely smellfungus, and no longer unbearded nor bloomy) get another side-eye from the editor…

Here are a few favorite and amazeballs Weegee photos of crimes and criminals (who are no longer alive, who have yelled their last “YOLO!”), who Weegee covered, were covered by newspapers, and covered (or almost covered) in newspapers (and a shoe)… Black and white and red all over… an old joke… and the totally adorbs (unarmed dummy wearing dark heels and revealing more than a side boob) “Murder La Humoresqe.”

Yoyo-ing between YOLO and immortality, life and death, the anonymous dead people’s and Weegee’s presence lives on in silver gelatin, bits, bytes, and now pixels… YOLO! Unless you’re in an amazeballs Weegee photo… then YOLForever…

Coming soon, (as soon as I stop cotching) an adorbs to zonkey post…

(An amazeballs related post, a Fansinaflashbulb classic, illustrating the 2009 Oxford University Press word of the year, unfriend, can be seen here.)

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51st Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Unidentified Photographer, [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.138)

Unidentified Photographer, [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.136)

Unidentified Photographer, [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.143)

Unidentified Photographer, [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.140)

Unidentified Photographer, [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.137)

To commemorate the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom here are five unique photographs of the march.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech can be heard here.
A PDF of the speech can be found here.
“We are free at last.”

A very interesting Fansinaflashbulb post by Erin Barnett commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom can be found here.

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World War One @ One Hundred

Unidentified Photographer, This man-age-81-lived in a cellar-with his wife-who was killed by a shell…, ca. 1916-1918 (2010.83.1)
Written with ink on verso: “Couchy-le-Chateau (This man-age-81-lived in a cellar-with his wife-who was killed by a shell in 1916, during the four years of war. Although he was within the line of fire-the huns did not evacuate him to a safe place-because his age would not permit him to work.
Photo made when he was en route to his little plot of land to try and raise a crop-amid the tangle of wire and shell-holes.”

Unidentified Photographer, U.S. Infantry advancing to attack. Meuse-Argonne, September-November 1918 (2010.83.29)
Written with ink on verso: “Meuse-Argonne. U.S. Infantry advancing to attack. White smoke is the “creeping” barrage.”

Unidentified Photographer, Meuse-Argonne, September-November 1918 (2010.83.30)
Written with ink on verso: “Meuse Argonne. A wrecked Church-used as an evacuation station for wounded.”

Unidentified Photographer, Place de la Concorde, July 14, 1919 (2010.83.26)
Written with ink on verso: “Place de l’Concorde- July 14, 1919. One of the heavier long range terrors usually called “whiz, bangs” used as a means of viewing the Victory Parade. This type of special 210 m.m. cannon-fired a shell weighing about 250 pounds. Fitted with an extra false nose-in order to reduce the resistance-it had a range of nearly 20 miles.”

Unidentified Photographer, A monument, July 14, 1919 (2010.83.16)
Written with ink on verso: “A monument of captured cannon at Rond Point. Ave des Champs Elysees, Victory Parade. July 14, 1919.”

The War That Will End War.

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Aerial Photos of Peru by Marilyn Bridges

Marilyn Bridges, Nazca, Peru, “Concorde”, 1979 (450.1983)

Marilyn Bridges, Killer Whale, Nazca, Peru, 1979 (449. 1983)

Marilyn Bridges, Pathway Into Infinity, Nazca, Peru, 1979 (448.1983)

Marilyn Bridges, Feathers, Nazca, Peru, 1979 (447.1983)

Marilyn Bridges, Birdman, Nazca, Peru, 1979 (446.1983)

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Secret Lovers

“It was after midnight and jet black. One of those nights when the moon forgets to come out… but the sweethearts like that. I took my shoes off so as not to get sand in them and went walking in my stocking feet on the beach, being careful not to bump into couples. I wouldn’t want to disturb them for the world. Once in a while I would hear a giggle or a happy laugh, so I aimed my camera and took a picture in the dark using invisible light. It was so still. Once in a while there would be a flicker of a match lighting a cigarette. Love making is so exhausting… a happy kind of exhaustion… and a cigarette gives one a chance to rest up and hear the heartbeat of one’s partner….”, Weegee

Weegee, [Young man and woman embracing on the sand, Coney Island, Brooklyn], ca. 1943 (2042.1993)

“I walked nearer to the water’s edge and stopped to rest against a Life Guard Station look-out. I thought I heard a movement from above so I aimed my camera high and took a photo, thinking it was a couple who like to be exclusive and do their love making nearer the sky. When I developed the picture, I saw that the only occupant on the look-out had been a girl looking dreamily towards the Atlantic Ocean… What was she doing there alone among all the lovers….?”,  Weegee

Weegee, [Girl on lifeguard station, Coney Island, Brooklyn], ca. 1940 (136.1982)



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Sand Hogs of New York City

Carl Mydans, [Sand Hog, working under the East River, New York]1939 (190.2005)

New Yorkers are no stranger to train delays…weeknights, weekends; no time is exempt from rerouted or non-existent service. But who are the tireless workers who control the fate of our commute? Meet the Sandhogs, the faces behind the (re)construction of our city’s bridges and tunnels. In 1936 ground was broken for the construction of the Midtown Tunnel and in 1939 Carl Mydans captured these unsung heroes in action.

Carl Mydans, [Sand Hog, A hundred feet below the East River in NYC, calls out the number of inches of the “shove”]1939 (188.2005)

The sandhogs, the colloquial name given to these urban miners, have been plowing and excavating large portions of the city since 1872. The Queens-Midtown Tunnel Sandhogs were paid $11.50 to push and prod at each end of the tunnel–eventually plowing through to the center.

Carl Mydans, [Sand Hog tests cast iron plate in frame of  tunnel during construction under the East River, New York]1939 (200.2005)

Sandhogs, so named because of the soft sediment that they dig through, have one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. Hundreds have died during the construction of the tunnels, bridges, and wells that keep the city functioning. Because projects often span decades, it isn’t rare to find multiple generations of one family working at the same site.

Carl Mydans, [Sand Hogs, building Mid-Town tunnel, New York], 1939 (201.2005)

According to the Local 147, the Sand Hog Union:Today we are busy on a number of projects – finishing the second stage of a vital new water tunnel – City Tunnel Number Three, extending the 7 line of the subway over to the far west side of Manhattan, connecting the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, and building a new filtration plant for the city’s water system in the Bronx. These are all projects vital to the city’s future and on each project we strive to work hard, efficiently and safely – as we always have. We are proud to be New York’s Sandhogs – the men who make New York work.”

Carl Mydans, [Sand Hogs working under East River, New York], 1939 (204.2005)

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Odamasa Store, Hiroshima


United States Strategic Bombing Survey, [Distorted steel-frame structure of Odamasa Store, Hiroshima], November 20, 1945 (2006.1.68)

On November 1945, merely three months after the United States detonated an atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman sent 1,150 military personnel and civilians (photographers included) to assess, document, and record the extent of the destruction that the bomb had caused. The name of this operation and its team was the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. This board of experts had already assessed the damage of Anglo-American bombing on Nazi Germany, under the direction of Henry Stimson and ordered by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. The Japanese surveys came afterward, and had a separate section dedicated solely to the atomic bombs. The whole survey and accompanying documents on Japan was published in 1947.

The photograph above was taken at the first “Ground Zero,” term used to describe and circumscribe the perimeter of damage caused by the bomb in Hiroshima. It depicts a colossal fallen structure that could resemble–if we imagine it prior to disaster–a bridge, or–anachronistically–a communications tower. In fact, it is the distorted infrastructure–the steel skeleton–of the Odamasa store. The survey had originally categorized it as a theater.

The nature of the distortion allowed the survey to conclude that this building had had strong roofing, and sides made of materials such as wood sheathing or corrugated iron. The typical damage to a building of this type was “crushing and mass distortion of the structural frame away from the blast.”[1] The damage was aggravated by fire in some cases. This building sustained terrible damage especially when compared with the buildings made out of corrugated asbestos, which showed little distortion or damage.

The nature of the group of photographs to which this one belonged is one void of a human presence: in fact, the division responsible for this specific type of documentation was the Physical Damage Division (PDD), whose task was the analysis of the remaining buildings, infrastructure, and industrial left-overs in the area. The structures were organized and accordingly annotated in relation to their distance to the epicenter, or Ground Zero (denoted GZ) and moving outwardly, from GZ1000 to GZ7000+. The photograph was located at GZ2000.

Laura A. González, ICP-Bard 2014

[1] Barnett, Erin, and Philomena Mariana, eds., Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl and New York: International Center of Photography, 2011.  pp. 82-83.

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