3 posts tagged delancey street
Looking down Delancey Street towards the Williamsburg Bridge during the beginning of Hurricane Sandy on Monday morning. Lower East Side, New York City.
Usually there are tons of cars and traffic at this time of morning coming off and going on to the bridge. I assume the bridges will be shut down at some point this afternoon. For now, a few cars are passing over the bridge. The winds are kicking up and the rain is a light mist.
Just went out to see if anything was open (it was: Dunkin Donuts on Delancey!). It’s quite a scene out there already though. In my apartment now waiting for the worst to hit this afternoon.
View the rest of the posts about Hurricane Sandy in NYC on this blog here:
My photos on the cover and inside of the inaugural issue of The Lo-Down Magazine. Lower East Side, New York City.
I was thrilled when I was asked by one of my favorite neighborhood news blogs, The Lo-Down, to take photos for their inaugural issue of their new print magazine. As a Lower East Side resident who is invested in the community, I can definitely say that being asked to take photos for such a venture is one of the proudest recent moments in memory regarding my photography.
The task was to capture the area South of Delancey Street at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge which is known as SPURA (Seward Park Urban Renewal Area). Currently, and for many, many years as far back as I can remember, the area consists mainly of city-owned parking lots usually filled with trucks in various stages of wear and tear. It’s an area I pass by daily since I live very, very close to it and for many community residents it is now an extremely hot topic due to the development plans and proposals. You can read a bit about SPURA here on the Lo-Down if you are interested.
I am really proud of the Lo-Down for launching their new magazine which is being sent out to thousands of Lower East Side residents this week as well as many of the local stores, cafes and retail establishments in the area and happy that I could contribute to their venture with photos of the neighborhood I love so dearly, the Lower East Side.
You can view the photos used in the magazine (and a few more that are part of the same set that I just love) larger either on my Flickr here:
… or you can view all of the photos including scans of my photos in the Lo-Down Magazine on my Google Plus profile here:
Sunset over Delancey Street. Lower East Side, New York City.
When I first posted this image in the beginning of July, a few people messaged me in awe that sunsets like this can be viewed in Manhattan. Some were amazed that so much sky is visible and others were simply awestruck by the colors. To be quite frank, I was also awestruck by the colors. It was a particularly gorgeous sunset that night.
One of the reasons that so much sky is visible in this shot is because many of the buildings are very low in this particular neighborhood. The Lower East Side is one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods. As such, it is home to many buildings known as tenements:
"The word "tenement" (from the Latin root tenere, "to hold") has had different meanings at different times, but today we use it to refer to housing built specifically for multiple, working-class families from the mid-nineteenth century until the Multiple Dwelling Law of 1929. Early tenements, such as 97 Orchard Street (built in 1863), represented some of the worst housing ever built in this country.
While both tenements and apartment buildings refer to multiple family dwellings, the origins of the word tenement and its association with overcrowding, poverty, and working-class life date to the early 19th century when large-scale residential tenancy began to develop in New York City. Apartments, on the other hand, did not become fashionable residences for the middle and upper classes until the 1870s. However, the term apartment does have French origins in making a class distinction between multiple-family dwellings for working-class/poor and for the middle/upper classes.”
Buildings built prior to 1901 were not subject to laws that were passed like the Tenement House Act of 1901 which set new standards for acceptable housing. The 1901 law also set up the Tenement House Department to inspect these buildings and enforce the new regulations that would force tenement owners to make changes that would improve the quality of life for their tenants.
Something the tenements all have in common is their height. Many tenement buildings are only 5 or 6 stories (floors) high. One reason for this is that “…builders sought to maximize their rents, so the tenements constructed in the mid-nineteenth century sometimes occupied as much as 90 percent of their lots and were five or six stories tall.”
When I imagine what life was like for the tenants in these buildings, my heart goes out to them. Many of these tenements relied on outside water pumps as the sole source of water and people would have to go up and down many stairs to carry water back and forth.
While there have been a few newer buildings that have sprouted up in recent years that are much taller than 6 stories, the majority of buildings on the Lower East Side are still quite short compared to the rest of Manhattan’s taller buildings. The lower height of the buildings allows for beautiful, nearly open views of the sky so that sunsets like this don’t go unnoticed.
Source for the information in this post: The Lower East Side Tenement Musuem
View this photo larger and on black on my Google Plus page