For the annual Eytys book, I created an editorial concept and curated a trio New York authors to write about how they see their city today.
From an essay included in the book, by Cody Delistraty:
And yet, New York still affords one the power to be alone, to set oneself adrift in a way that can be done in few other places. The American obsession with the individual, with the self-made experience comes to a head in New York, and, with it, all of the utter possibility inherent in a place as large and varied and chalked full of opportunities.
In “Automat,” the bright lights, the unremarkable furniture, the dullness of the space might have been a relief to the young woman with her coffee. Perhaps here she was able to more easily give into her sadness, to reckon with her feelings. She does not seem to feel entirely at home in this painting, just as none of Hopper’s lonely characters are ever at that kind of ease. No, they are in motel rooms and diners and service stations. But here, in the automat, the picture is not sad. It is a picture that invites us to emphasize, that is made powerful by the potency of its melancholy. Possibility lies in front of her. And, just as much as we might miss the New York of old, there is no reason to be particularly sad for it. The potential of the space remains.