True Romance: The Heartache of Wartime Farewells, 1943 (a series of photos that capture the sadness and tenderness of lovers bidding farewell at New York’s old Penn Station, at the height of the Second World War–from LIFE.com)
Nick Paumgarten on Konstantin Petrov’s 2001 photographs, taken while working at the World Trade Center’s sky-top restaurant:
“Here is the hideous décor of Windows on the World, in itself a kind of aesthetic innocence; it didn’t know any better. You half expect to see Burt Reynolds. But fate imbues the restaurant with a retroactive dignity. These aren’t the bygone glories of, say, the old Penn Station, but all of lost New York has a corner in the kingdom of Heaven.”
A law is something that exacts an announced cost for being broken. A norm is something that is so much a part of the social landscape that you wouldn’t think, really, that anyone could break it. Laws are plans, like the city grid, that must be followed; norms are landmarks, like the old Penn Station—you don’t think anyone could tear them down, and then someone does.