Nothing Is More Beautiful Than Old New York

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Vintage picture postcards of any city are idyllic in so many ways but for the inveterate New Yorker, these documents of eras past are even more magical. Take the Madison Square panorama of the once pristine park with the Tower (center), which has recently been transformed in the Marriott Clock Tower Hotel (yet to open), Madison Square Garden (far left tower), which is long gone, and the Flatiron Building (far right corner), still standing.

The photographic postcard with the Flatiron on East 23rd St. shows where the term “23 Skidoo” derived. So much of this high rent district has disappeared, replaced by turn-of-the-century office buildings and post-modern skyscrapers. These postcards remind us that somethings never change and other things are sadly lost.

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Additional ResourceIt seems like people cannot help but take photos of themselves. The new book by Haje Jan Kamps, Selfies, looks at the culture of social networking and its influence on the self portrait while covering practical matters, such as how to take better photos of yourself.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →