Friday, November 21, 2008

More photo fun: Catching up with Then/Now

As you may know, Times photograher David W. Dunlap has been revisiting some of the sites he shot for 1978's "The City Observed: New York," a guidebook to Manhattan by Paul Goldberger, who was then the architecture critic for the Times. (He's now at The New Yorker.)

The series started on Sept. 11, and has been running every Thursday. Dunlap explains his assignment:

Because I can still remember what the weather was like on the days I took these pictures, what the city sounded and smelled like, I was startled to look through my contact sheets recently and realize how much Manhattan had changed. New York did not just crawl out of its near-collapse in the mid-70s, it had boomed almost without interruption. Towers were inserted. Landmarks were deleted. And even in cityscapes that looked unchanged, I knew that far wealthier occupants -- residential and commercial -- could now be found behind familiar old facades.
My editors and I thought that pairing photos from then and now would be a graphic way to examine the phenomenon of urban churn that so defines this city. The series will visit a dozen or so neighborhoods, uptown and downtown, before the end of 2008. Each diptych tells its own tale, but the overall story is clear: It doesn't take much longer than a generation for New York to regenerate itself completely.

You can see the whole series here.

No comments: