On Our Attempt to Call Forth the Spirit of Eugene Atget


In which The Gay Recluse is inspired by a classic.

Of all the French photographers who documented Paris at the turn of the last century (and we don’t mean 8 years ago), we are most obsessed with Eugene Atget. Who can resist his urban streetscapes, his ghostly renderings of the city of light? And his trees — such grandeur and endless striving from these magnificent roots!

On a recent walk in Washington Heights, we succumbed to the urge to document the gnarled twists and turns of a similar feat of nature, as if one of Atget’s trees had landed right in front of us. Of course — as if to prove our point about the past always being better than the present — these beautiful roots were covered in litter and debris. Wtf. We took the photograph anyway.

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