Mean Streets: NYC 1970-1985

Black and white photos from when the sidewalks were open-air stages

In a time when people seem to pause only to snap the picturesque, new photo book “Mean Streets: NYC 1970-1985” is an important reminder to take off the smartphone-induced blinders. The book is compiled of largely never-before-printed black and white shots taken by Edward Grazda, on a Leica rangefinder (on Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP5 Plus film). He photographed Bob Dylan and Newport Folk Festival …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

The '80s aesthetic, Arse Vases, 2,000-Year-Old Roman concrete and more in our look around the web

1. Ten Women Who Built NYC’s Art Scene The Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim—these are world-famous art museums and their founders (or co-founders) all happen to be women. New York’s art scene doesn’t hinge on three institutions, however. From art salons and extensive commissions to forward-thinking galleries, women built what would become one of the richest cultural scenes on the planet. Some …

“Makin’ Things” with Brooklyn Artist Jim McKenzie

Brooklyn-based artist Jim McKenzie launched a very sweet, very retro art show on YouTube in December and it’s as weird as it is entertaining. With his bilingual, rapping sidekick puppet King Gordo, McKenzie shows viewers how to make everything from a clay horse to a raccoon drawing and even how to offer a critique to a child. Enjoy watching the show, but expect more fun …

Apple Music’s “808” Documentary

Available to watch now on Apple Music (or 16 December on iTunes), the “808” documentary—directed by Alex Noyer—is an ode to the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Featuring conversations with Rick Rubin, Arthur Baker, Pharrell Williams, Questlove, the Beastie Boys, Phil Collins and more, the film explores what made (and makes) the piece of equipment so significant. Not just a little musical gadget, the TR-808 was …

Interview: Photographer Sophie Bramly on “Walk This Way”

How she captured hip-hop pioneers on film in the '80s, just as they were starting to rise

Walking through Paramount Pictures Studios during the Paris Photo show in Los Angeles earlier this spring revealed photography both vintage and new, as well as literal and abstract. Tucked into a corner of “New York Street” backlot, specialty bookshop Librairie 213 presented a series of images by French photographer, TV host, and documentary filmmaker Sophie Bramly. “Walk this Way” showcases the underground hip-hop community in …