Happy Birthday Weegee!

All photographs made by the amazing and brilliant Simon Nathan at the book release party of Weegee’s People at Sammy’s Bowery Follies, New York, November 11, 1946

(The film in Weegee’s borrowed Bolex can be seen in the sublime and startlingly non-linear Cocktail Party. The party was filmed for CBS television. Among the many notable people present, some with cameras, some with signed books, were Alexander Hammid, Fannie Hurst, Hans Richter, and Lee Sievan. Weegee’s People, an under-appreciated victory lap of a book, is dedicated: “To My Mother.”)

Weegee’s (People) Party
Pint-sized photographer shocked Bowery folks – he came formal!
Every few minutes the doors would open to admit another swell from uptown giving the guys and dolls who grouped about the entrance to Sammy’s Bowery Follies another chance to ogle the goings-on inside. And what they wouldn’t believe from the Mayor of the Bowery himself, their eyes told them was true. Their pal, the guy with the camera and the pop bulbs who gave character to their existence, color to their neighborhood, was all decked out in a tux. “Must be something big to get Weegee into one of those things,” muttered a somewhat disillusioned old character. It was – for Weegee. He was throwing a big promotion party in Manhattan’s famous tavern for editors, publishers and name friends to plug Weegee’s People, his latest book of photos taken about town.
About 10 o’clock, Weegee deemed two hours celebration sufficient, announced over the mike, “From now on, everybody buys their own drinks.” For most folks, including photographer Simon Nathan, the party was over.
U.S. Camera, February 1947, p. 29

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