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Bae Window: 1943

May 1943. New York. "Woman and her dog in the Harlem section." Medium format nitrate negative by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. View full size.

May 1943. New York. "Woman and her dog in the Harlem section." Medium format nitrate negative by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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Gordon Parks

Although this is a fine portrait of the woman and her pet, it should be noted that the photographer is the great Gordon Parks. There is not enough space here to expound on his achievements, but if you're not aware of him, you should be. Look him up.

Sometimes a photograph breathes

Like this one. I looked for fitting Harlem poetry, and found 'Mother to Son' by Langston Hughs.

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

A Shorpy first

Are we fellow Shorpsters aware that this is a first-time thing, where Dave re-posts a really old post, but doesn’t include the old comments? We start fresh in the comments here on an old post, which is weird. Plus I tried to find the old post and comments, but couldn’t. Plus the power of the photograph, for me, resides in the human and the dog looking at two completely different things.

[The oldest comment is right here, from 2017. Scroll down. A lot of our earliest posts have no comments and zero "likes," which is why we repost them. - Dave]

Coolster Dave

Oxford English Dictionary named "bae" as a runner-up for 2014 World of the Year. (It lost to "vape.") Their blog defines bae as a "term of endearment for one's romantic partner", which seems rather lame, but added that it has origins in African-American English and is found widely in hip-hop, R&B, and social media.

It is widely assumed that bae is a shortened form of baby or babe, though it is also said to be an acronym for "before anyone else." (If you go back to the 1500s, you can find it as alternate to baa for sheep sounds.)

In 2014, The Atlantic shed crocodile tears over the "Lamentable Death of Bae," noting its use by Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, Whole Foods, Mountain Dew, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Burger King, Jamba Juice, Arby's and Denny's. This was six months after Esquire proclaimed "the dawn of bae," citing the collaboration of Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus on "Come Get It Bae."


A superb colorized version of this photograph can be found on Shorpy here from March of 2015 (that links to this page which was posted two years later - how does that work?).

[This image was first posted in 2007, then updated in 2017 when a better-quality scan was made of the original negative. - Dave]

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