Travel Back in Time to 1950s New York City
Legendary photographer Ernst Haas’ photographs of a thrumming New York City make up a new book.
It’s not just because all the men wear hats or the taxis are big metal sedans—no, flipping through photographer Ernst Haas’ images of New York City in the 1950s is weird because, well, there are so many people.
While the city today can seem empty, the mere mention of it can still conjure up the best of what we love about cities before COVID—crowds, characters, energy, serendipity, food, and so on. That’s why the latest selected for Just Booked, our series on beautiful travel-related coffee table books, is Ernst Haas: New York in Color, 1952-1962.
Published by Prestel, the book is an intoxicating dive into a bygone era. Haas, an immigrant from Vienna, manages to capture the city’s mystique even with the most mundane of subjects. A window lathered up for cleaning reflects the new style of apartment buildings rising around it. In the back of a car, a row of men’s hats is perched—soon to fade from daily life. And rowhouses in Queens, in an array of drab yellows, blues, browns, and reds, isn’t beautiful per se, but there’s beauty in such an image.
Haas was one of the most important photographers of the last century—particularly when it came to color photographs. A book that captures his ingenuity, as well as the remarkable city of New York, is a welcome addition.