The City Concealed: High Bridge

Here’s a wonderful brief video produced by PBS’ online video series – The City Concealed – that focuses on the High Bridge, the oldest existing bridge in New York City. Restoration work was supposed to have begun by now, but from what I can see during my recent visits there no work has yet started.

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Early 20th Century Harlem River Photography

Here are two more fascinating photographs of athletic competitions at and nearby the Harlem River during the turn of the last century.  Amazing images!

Boat Club Parade, Harlem River (1902), Unknown

 

Polo Grounds (1910), Unknown

William Henry Jackson

In my extensive research of the Harlem River, I have learned a lot about its role in the political, economic, and social history of New York City. At the same time, I’ve also made a concerted effort to learn about its artistic history (not surprisingly). How have artists – both past and present – tried to represent this part of of the city? As a photographer, it’s surprising that I hadn’t thought to explore how past photographers (in particular those from the late 19th and early 20th centuries) answered this question. Until this epiphany, I had focused solely on painters, illustrators, sketch artists, and others of which there are many. I’ll write more about this in a future post. Photography, however, was added into the mix after I stumbled upon this remarkable photograph – High Bridge and Washington Bridge (1890) by William Henry Jackson – online. Romantic and grand, this image by Jackson is a gem. All that I know about Jackson so far is from what I found on Wikipedia, so I’m curious to learn more about him and what may have brought him to the banks of the Harlem River in 1890. According to Wikipedia, he was a famous photographer of the American West.

High Bridge and Washington Bridge (1890) by William Henry Jackson

Welcome!

After many weeks of struggling to make the most basic customizations to my new WordPress photo blog (my only prior experience with blogging had been with Blogger whose interface is far more intuitive), I’ve finally made this: my first post.  I still have a number of things to understand and implement before I’ll be satisfied, however.   Once launched, I hope this blog will become a meaningful and complementary space to my still-uncompleted photography website about which I am very excited to share.