“The most beautiful sight in the world is…”

Weegee, [The Capitol, Washington, D.C.], ca. 1955 (6818.1993)

Weegee, [The Capitol, Washington, D.C.], ca. 1955 (6819.1993)

Weegee, [The Capitol, Washington, D.C.], ca. 1955 (6840.1993)

Weegee, [Baby elephant a top of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.], ca. 1960 (3041.1993)

PM, March 2, 1941, p. 50 (photo by Weegee)

Unidentified photographer, [Weegee in front of the back of the U.S. Capitol], ca. 1950 (20587.1993)

Weegee visited Washington D.C. a few times times, most significantly in February or March 1941. The story and pictures, “A N.Y. Police Reporter’s Impressions of Washington,” filled an entire page of PM. It begins: “Things were quiet all week in New York. Nothing was popping. There were no big time murders…” So he took a bus very early on a Saturday morning after having his photo taken by “an automatic photo machine.” (In 1950 and 1960 he visited Washington on movie related projects. In 1941 he made a poignant picture of a partitioned movie theater.) For Weegee, Washington D.C. was no Shangri-La. His 1941 story concludes:

I found the cops who are appointed by political pull walk around with chips on their shoulders and do not give you polite answers. The barber shops are open all night Saturday and Sunday and the drug stores sell anti-freeze, and everybody seems to need a shot in the arm in Washington. I am glad to get back to New York. (PM, March 2, 1941, p. 50)

Weegee, Circus, Madison Square Garden, New York, ca. 1950 (7636.1993)

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