Monday, March 8, 2010

Harvey Wang’s New York

Harvey Wang. Harvey Wang’s New York. Foreword by Pete Hamill. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990. $9.95 (paper).

Max Morrison, ninety-seven-year-old scrap-metal collector:

“I can’t sit still on a chair reading comics or walk around the streets doing nothing. I certainly do enjoy collecting metal. It’s legitimate, not too heavy.”
Harvey Wang’s New York is a book of photographs of forty-nine New Yorkers in endangered or obscure lines of work. A mannequin maker, a rabbinical tailor, a scrap-metal collector, a seltzer bottler, a television repairman: each appears in a black-and-white portrait (35mm film), with a brief life-story on the facing page. Harvey Wang’s New York feels like a book that one might have found, once upon a time, in a used-book store. Improbably and wonderfully, the book is still in print. You can see samples at Harvey Wang’s website.

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