Book Review: Crosstown by Helen Levitt


The opening of episode 7 of New York: A Documentary Film featured clips from a 1948 film entitled In the Street. This movie captured images of ordinary people in the streets of upper Manhattan and was quite moving in capturing the place and time. I looked for the film without success but did find this book by the cinematographer, Crosstown (2001) by Helen Levitt.

The oversize book features Levitt’s photos of street scenes in New York from the 1930’s & 40’s as well as from 1959 to the present.  The photos are evocative in their ordinariness.  They are also often funny.  The later photos remind me of the New York City of my childhood while the earlier photos give a peek at the New York of my parents’ generation.  Great stuff.

The work of Helen Levitt is online at: