above chinatown


Last week the onceuponatown tumblr featured a post on photographer Arnold Genthe that mentioned his pre-earthquake photography in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Above is an assortment of those photos, taken between 1896 and 1906.  The photos come from the Library of Congress, although most of these copies come from a Mashable article, as does this info: 

The Chinatown area of San Francisco was well documented by photographer Arnold Genthe. Genthe emigrated from Germany to San Francisco as a tutor to a wealthy German family. When his contract expired, he stayed in San Francisco and opened a photo studio.

Genthe was fascinated by Chinatown and took hundreds of photographs of the area and its inhabitants. He used a small camera and sometimes captured his subjects covertly. He later cropped some of his images to remove western references.

These images are some of the few that remain of Chinatown prior to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Stored in a bank vault, Genthe’s photos had survived the disaster.

The photographer rebuilt his studio and continued to work in and around San Francisco until 1911, when he moved to New York.

New York City - Summer…

It happens like this:

You squint your eyes open

after walking on clouds in last night’s dreams

and the city comes into view:

a vast glistening kingdom built on the shoulders of despair and joy.

As the city comes into focus slowly,

you shut your eyes abruptly

sending up every wish that rests on the tip of your tongue

soaring on the barest whisper of a breeze

up towards the sky.

And then you blink your eyes open

hoping none of this

was in vain.

It wasn’t.

This is a view above Monroe Street in Chinatown.

The neighborhood is also known as Two Bridges due to its proximity to the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

(Photo: nythroughthelens.com)

(Book:  bit.ly/newyorkbook)