City of Strangers recalled our attention to the photography of James Jowers. We'd first seen these shots thanks to E.V. Grieve and Stupefaction, but they bear looking at again--and again--for the fantastic shots of the East Village, its people, and environs in the 1960s.
This one, especially, caught my eye. It's a recognizable location, if you live around here, and the number 91 clinched it.
James Jowers, 1966
In 1968, two years after Jowers took that photo, New York Magazine wrote about the Miller Fish Market. It had been there since 1898 and was presided over by the brother and sister Miller, ages 72 and 81, respectively. They weren't so crazy about the Village View housing project that opened up across First Avenue in 1964.
There's a great shot in the magazine of Fannie Miller, "81-year-old fishlady extraordinary."
New York Magazine
Since 1989, 91 First Avenue has been home to the Dual Specialty Store, a beloved Indian market. This is the kind of change that makes sense--one neighborhood store becomes another, one immigrant group replaces another, it's accessible to all. Shoppers still climb up those stairs carrying bags full of goodies (though the entrance is now on the other side of the stoop.)
A kind of urban equilibrium we don't see much of in today's change.