Monday, June 12, 2006
By HOLLAND COTTER @ New York Times
Photographs by Weegee/International Center of Photography
WATCHMAN, what of the night?
"Whadda you kidding? It's a zoo out there. Two deli stickups at 12 on the dot; one of the perps getting plugged. I got the picture. Roulette joint bust on East 68th. Society types. You shoulda seen the penguins run. Three a.m.: Brooklyn. Car crash. Kids. Bad."
"Four a.m., bars close. Guys asleep in Bowery doorways. But just before dawn is the worst: despair city. The jumpers start, out the windows, off the roof. I can't even look. So that's the night, New York. Ain't it grand? What a life."
The imagined speaker is Arthur Fellig, better known, and very well known, as Weegee (1899-1968). From the 1930's into the 1950's, he was a photographer for New York tabloids, the kind of papers Ralph Kramden might have read. Tireless, loquacious, invasive, he cruised the wee hours. For him the city was a 24-hour emergency room, an amphetamine drip.
Posted by David Emerick at 10:32 AM