Archive for October, 2008
Ya just don’t see children in blackface much anymore. (click on image to embiggen)
UCLA digital library, Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990
It’s hard to believe places like this still exist in New York. New York Magazine snoops around photographer Jay Maisel’s ultimate real estate steal. Maisel purchased a 6 story- 35,000 square foot former Germania Bank in 1966 for $102,000, now valued from $35 – $70 million.
The photos are absolutely amazing and the story of turning an unwanted and decrepit old building into a desirable and impossibly cool stronghold appeals to my core desire to save the remarkable from death in this tear-down consumer culture and making something unique from something unwanted.
Comedian Eddie Cantor (born Israel Iskowitz (!!!) ) began his career as a blackface vaudeville performer and radio performer in the nacent days of that medium. He went by the colorful (heh) nicknames “Banjo Eyes” and “the Apostle of Pep” later in his career and was a big deal for 40 years- though he is now largely forgotten. Canton was a multimillionaire due to his radio stardom, but was ruined by the Great Depression. He wrote a few lighthearted books about his demise to scratch and claw his way out of the gutter and remade his fortune in some awful movies- The movie version of his life, The Eddie Cantor Story, is unwatchable garbage- and another new medium, television. Cantor career was almost ruined in the rampantly anti-Communist late 30s when he was a founding member of the HANL- the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. (link goes to FBI FOIA documents about the HANL)
FYI, I like the gal with the neckerchief in the center.