New York is always in a state of flux. Restaurants come and go. New condo buildings practically appear overnight. People leave the city. Others arrive. Even the city streets get remade. Martha Cooper's photo for Art in Ad Places captures a few of those changes between 1980 and today, the most icon being the Twin Towers.
Martha told us:
"I took this photo c.1980 while driving around Soho. Back then I often used my car to get around the city when on photo assignments, my camera at the ready beside me. The pair of motorcyclists together with the pair of towers was a sight too good to be true. I slammed on my brakes, jumped out and grabbed a few frames.
"Sidecars are exceptionally rare in New York City. I don't think I’ve ever seen another one. Looking at this photo today, I’m overwhelmed with nostalgia. The vintage motorcycle riding on cobblestones (more accurately Belgian Block) of course evokes earlier eras but could I ever have imagined that the only way to see the Twin Towers would be in a photograph? Thanks to Art in Ad Places for giving us evocative images to think about instead of to shop for."
We tried to find the exact spot where Martha took this photo, 30-some years ago. We have some guesses, but we couldn't quite place it. Belgian Block is disappearing and buildings have changed. New York is still beautiful, but it's different, so it's nice to bring back a bit of the recent past. Particularly today.