Weegee’s Naked City, 63 Years Later

10869The photographer Weegee’s camera was the eye of the night; with his eerily accurate timing and nocturnal hours, he provided the curious with a porthole to Manhattan’s midnight world. He was one of the first tabloid photographers, showcasing bloodstained gangsters, tenement residents, and fur-draped celebrities, and his book Naked City made him famous. As authors Anthony Lee and Richard Meyer discuss in Weegee and Naked City, there are many ways to interpret Weegee’s influence, and his work gains meaning when it is viewed in the social and artistic context of the 1930s and 40s. He helped establish photography in the art world, but also exposed the social problems of urban life, and played a gritty, underworld character in his own tabloid story. For the nostalgic or curious who wish to see if the ghosts of Weegee’s Naked City still walk the streets, The New York Times Weekend Explorer has created an audio walking tour of Weegee’s old haunts, from his room above a gun shop to the Bowery, Washington Square Park, and the scenes of some of his famous photographs.