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Last House Standing: How Once We Looked: Photographs of the Past Paperback – December 18, 2017
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East Boston, Massachusetts was once bucolic, a place where people would find relief from a stifling summer downtown. Wood Island Park was one of its magnets, located off Neptune Road, with acres of trees and grass, ending at the Atlantic Ocean and its ocean breezes. Wood Island Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and treasured as one of his green spaces. In 1904 progress was represented by a subway tunnel connecting East Boston to the rest of the city. An airfield built in the early 1920s expanded into what is today’s Logan International Airport. It became the 20th busiest airport in the U.S., even while lacking the land mass of other major airports. Logan is almost completely surrounded by water, which limits its growth. Rather than utilize it as a feeder airport, officials expanded into East Boston, wiping out Wood Island Park and impacting the community with aircraft flights low overhead that at times resembled bombing raids. Construction sent noisy trucks through the streets. Taxis and busses and shuttle vans serviced the airport and added to the din. When I photographed residents trying to hang on, in the early 1970s, it was already too late. The powers that be had made decisions that literally kept hammering away. As an example, there was the morning that residents of Neptune Road awakened to even more construction noise. This time the other end of their street, now pointing directly at a runway, was fenced off. Logan Airport expanded right into the neighborhood, buying up houses and scattering the residents. A warm and friendly village was no more. On revisiting Neptune Road in 2010 and again in 2013, I found little evidence of the life that had once flourished here: street signs, some lampposts, a fire hydrant, trees, and not much more. It was a poignant scene. And yet those photographs from 1973 might have some purpose today. They appeared too late to save the Neptune Road neighborhood. But they still carry a message. The philosopher George Santayana once observed, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Perhaps, in these more awakened times, any civic group threatened by an overreaching metropolis might think to access this book and the Documerica files of my images. These photographs could bolster a case of how tragic it would be if their own local treasures were abolished. Perhaps the power of photography might serve to dramatize how worthy is the quality of life.
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About the Author
After a bachelor's degree in business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, and continuing in his family's retail business for seven more years, Michael Philip Manheim needed to follow his passion. An avid amateur photographer in his teens, he created a new career as a freelance professional photographer.. His early work is journalistic in nature, freelancing for a wide variety of clients. His reflexive approach to photography evolved into the lyrical and evocative fine art of his later work. An artist-in-residence at four different venues, Manheim became widely recognized for his experimental and innovative multiple exposure photographs as well as for his photojournalism. Both approaches express emotion released into movement. Mr. Manheim was interviewed with the American Society of Media Photographers after winning a Best of 2017 award from the association. He said, "Photography became an outlet not only for creative expression, but for dealing with feelings in what now seems like the straitlaced decade of my teen years (the 1950s). We didn't directly express ourselves in my family, to be sure; we were expected to know what the other person was thinking. As a result, my photography tuned in to body language, to emotion. The photojournalistic approach to my people pictures sharpened my reflexes, honing an ability to react while simultaneously forming a compositional frame. This acquired skill later went into developing a multiple exposure technique for my fine art photography exploration that fit well with galleries and museums, led to the residencies, and went online. His photographs are held in private as well as public collections, including the Library of Congress, the International Photography Hall of Fame, the Danforth Museum of Art, and more. His photography has been displayed in over 30 group and 20 solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Germany, Greece and Italy. His work has been published in hundreds of magazines as well as in books, newspapers and online. Mr. Manheim is currently editing his archives to create monographs of his themes, such as this nostalgic small book under the umbrella of "how once we looked." Mr. Manheim has been a member of the American Society of Media Photographers since 1969, and has been included in many editions of Who's Who.
- Publisher : See-Saw Editions; 1st edition (December 18, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 56 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0984480358
- ISBN-13 : 978-0984480357
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.14 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,474,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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