Category Archives: Modern city streets

First Avenue from Peter Cooper Village

Gritty, dark and glinting. This June 1960 snap of First Avenue New York was taken from the window of an apartment in Peter Cooper Village. Although we don’t see the residential complex in this pic, its worth reading about. Peter Cooper Village (and Stuyvesant Town) are huge red brick residential complexes on the east side of Manhattan. Built in the 1940s, around 25 000 people live there today – in upmarket slums! Read more.



Posted by on October 19, 2013 in America, City view, Modern city streets

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Car Breakdown

Belgium or Holland, 1970’s. With a little speculation I can figure out what is happening in this scene. The 3 old people were driving past Der Vliegend Tapijt (The Flying Carpet) restaurant when their blue car broke down. Now it’s up on a jack and someone is fixing it but, oh dear, its going to be a long afternoon. A woman passing by has stopped for a little chat. I like the seventies styling of the restaurant window and the juxtaposition of the old-timers against this backdrop.

A large crop was needed to bring the subjects of interest into focus. Rich color, texture and sharpening did the rest of the job.

Before and after. Click for big.



Strangers in Paradise Mardi Gras

Another pic from the Mardi Gras street parade in 1959 (see previous post). I love how a bit of research helps one to connect with an image. This shows the ‘Strangers In Paradise’ float, named after the popular song, ‘Stranger In Paradise’. This romantic song is from the Hollywood film ‘Kismet’ of 1955, and the earlier musical of 1953. See the song being performed in the film here. It was well-loved in the era and no less than 6 versions of it charted in the UK in 1955. If we could only see that float close up, I am sure it contained people dressed as characters from the film, which was set in old Baghdad and had an ‘Arabian Nights atmosphere’ according to Wikipedia. The song is still performed to this day by the likes of Andre Rieu and Sarah Brightman. There are many wonderful versions on YouTube here.

Lighter, brighter, sharper. Check out the Chevrolet advertising in the top right corner!

Before and after. Click for big.



Posted by on January 16, 2013 in America, Modern city streets, Parade

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Freeways of Los Angeles

This image, shot in 1962, is a firm favorite. I plan to print it in the largest possible size. Its proof that the subject can be conveyed just as well, and sometimes better when out of focus, and that composition doesn’t require sharpness.

Although I liked the washed blue of the original, I do find that the motel on the left stands out better in more realistic colors, with deeper tones.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 20, 2012 in America, Hotel, Modern city streets, Old cars

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4th Avenue NYC

There’s a dramatic but relaxed look to this late fifties street scene. As soon as they perfect time travel I’m going there to get me that little red and yellow car.

This slide from 1958 was in near perfect condition.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 11, 2012 in America, City street, Modern city streets, Old cars

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