Laura Rosen

Manhattan Shores : An Expedition Around Manhattan Island
by Laura Rosen
Publisher's Description
Architectural photographer and archivist Laura Rosen's Top of the City introduced readers to an unseen world high above the streets of New York City. In the entrancing photographs of this volume, taken over a period of three years, in all kinds of weather, she leads us on a journey along the overlooked edges of Manhattan. Even jaded New Yorkers would be taken aback by the aesthetic vision of these 140 duotone images, which can make aging and derelict structures seem somehow heroic. Accompanied by Rosen's wryly affectionate, deeply knowledgeable text, this is a book that reveals New York City's past, present, and even its future in brilliant, timeless images. Review
Anyone who has read Laura Rosen's first book, Top of the City: New York's Hidden Rooftop World, should already be lining up for this one. An architectural photographer of precision and reserve, Rosen also happens to be a stylish writer with an uncanny gift for bringing New York City stones to life. Manhattan Shores is evocative of Paul Goldberger's classic The City Observed in that it is a book about Gotham that puts wings on your feet. You'll want to read it, coordinate your subway and bus maps, or hop on a Circle Line boat, and travel around the edge of the island.

From the Bronx to the Battery, Rosen covers the waterfront. Her black-and-white pictures are crystalline and composed, with only a ripple of "human interest" content. The most personal picture is of a white pit bull, posing sphinxlike, on a patch of grass under a "Dog Free Lawn" sign. The rest of the images, from a shot of a lone fisherman on the Battery Park City esplanade to the nosecones of two fighter planes facing off on the deck of the USS Intrepid, have a dignity that borders on grandeur. Rosen often employs a studied symmetry that can make even a quartet of lampposts at the end of East 37th Street seem as impressive and durable as a redwood forest. There is nothing of the snapshot here.

And Rosen never leaves us wondering where we are or what we're looking at. She divides Manhattan into 10 sections and writes a one-page introduction to each one that is packed with information. Her captions fill in the rest: "The University Heights Bridge at 207th Street is to the left. The tall buildings at center are River Park Towers in the Bronx." But Rosen never treats the reader like a tourist. "The Little Red Lighthouse and the George Washington Bridge" is enough, and so, for a certain image, that's all she wrote. --Peggy Moorman

ISBN: 050054221X
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Hardcover : 160 pages
Language: English
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