Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Naked City

Selections from Weegee: Naked City. I think what I find the most fascinating about Weegee's photos is that sometimes I can't tell if the people in them are either dead or passed out.

But the photo of the giant gun really caught my attention, because I know that giant gun. It hangs over the doorway of the John Jovino Gun Shop, which I know is on Grand Street in Chinatown. However, the building seen in the background isn't on Grand Street, it's the (now former) police headquarters on Centre Street, also seen in the photo in the second row from the bottom. So for a moment there, I thought, did he manipulate the photo to seem like the gun was located across the street from the police HQ?

It only took a second of delving to discover that Weegee (real name Usher Fellig) actually lived above John Jovino's -- that is, when the shop was owned by Frank Lava and located at 6 Centre Market Place, which is the street behind the police station. (Frank Lava: that is an awesome name.)

Location today:

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Location yesterday:

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Former police HQ is on the right; the gun used to hang over the brass door seen on the left, and all those apartment buildings were where crime reporters and photographers lived and hung out! Oh the stories! I actually have been down this little side street and took some photos there, I just had no idea about its significance before now.

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