Sunday, July 13, 2008

New York Stories

Anyone who has ever spent time in the Big Apple probably has a few good New York stories to tell. Here are three of mine:

*One time when I was window-shopping on Lexington Avenue, a shop owner invited me in for a free makeover. I let him have free reign, and I ended up looking like a Louise Brooks wannabe with really short bangs and pencil thin eyebrows.

*I was riding on the subway one morning, when two young men with Down’s syndrome got on and one sat next to me. His companion told him to come sit next to him, but he said, "I'm staying with her" and gave me a big hug. All the people around us laughed at his sweet gesture.

*I lost my wallet on the Q10 bus, and it was returned with all the money still in it.

If you like New York stories, you will love the book, HELEN LEVITT. It's a collection of the Helen Levitt’s street photography from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Most of the pictures are candid shots of children playing on the streets of New York. Maurice Sendak writes in a review: “Helen Levitt’s clear-eyed view of children’s street life is sympathetic and brutally honest. She takes children on their own terms and sees the extraordinary paradox of their lives, watching them duck and dive between total fantasy and hard reality.” Even the Great Depression couldn’t kill these kids’ spirits.

Phillips, Sandra S., and Maria Morris Hambourg. Helen Levitt.
San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1992.
ISBN: 0-918471-20-6