The magazine of the photo-essay
July 2018 issue
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Langdon Clay
42nd Street 1979
42nd Street, 1979 contains Langdon Clay’s 1979 photos of a quintessential strip of 42nd Street near New York’s Times Square, showing its gritty neon charm before it became the more Disney/Las Vegas hub for theater concoctions that we know today. Clay recalls the drab and dusty mood in New York City at the end of the 1970s: the once-exciting political sea change wrought by the Vietnam War and the Haight Ashbury drug experiment had given way to a sense of apathy, intensified by the aftermath of an oil crisis and the lingering Cold War. The particular stretch of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues had now shifted from the glorious home of gilded movie palaces of the 1940s to the shadowy site of porn theaters which many saw as the area’s ruin. Yet here real-estate moguls saw potential to transform this heart of Manhattan into a mecca of tourism, framed by skyscrapers and shaped by commerce and fast pleasures. “It was with this
coming change written on every wall that I sought to record for posterity that famous block between 7th and 8th Avenues,” says Clay, “My only regret is that I didn’t do the south side of the street.”
42nd Street Movie Center.
Barber.
Benedict.
Hotel Carter.
Dating Room.
Dixie.
Evil.
G&A Books.
Harem.
Katz Girlz.
Knox.
Lyric Victory.
One street one block.
Selwyn.
Steak Pizza.
Subway.
Times Square.
West Shanghai.
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