|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved|
Walking the West Village streets of New York City on a daily basis allows me to pass by (and in some cases, frequent) some of the few remaining old stores and restaurants that still exist in the neighborhood. It gave me with the idea to photograph these storefronts using my Fujifilm X-T1 camera to emulate a Rolleiflex's square format monochrome...just to give the resulting photographs a touch of "authenticity".
This project will not stop at the West Village, but will hopefully spread to various neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan. I already know more than a dozen stores that fit the bill....whether in Little Italy, Lower East Side or Chinatown.
I also intend to add a few historical trivia about each photograph whenever possible. For example, for the photograph of the Vesuvio Bakery in SoHo (above) that I made just yesterday, there'll be this:
Vesuvio Bakery, (aka Birthbath Bakery), 160 Prince Street, New York 10012
The bakery opened in 1920 and was owned by Anthony Dapolito, who delivered Vesuvio bread on his bicycle as a child for many years before his death in 2003. Birdbath Bakery bought it, but kept the storefront as is.
I think that this sort of information would give context and historical texture to the photographs. I'm very far from being the first photographer or New York historian (professional or amateur) to think of, work on and complete, such a project...but it'll add to my personal appreciation of my adopted city.