New York Bars at Dawn by Daniel Root
This one-of-a-kind photo book offers evocative portraits of New York bars after closing time.
Daniel Root’s photos of New York bars at dawn are a perfect blend of beauty and melancholia. Everything about them is just right. ―Roz Chast, New Yorker cartoonist
Nearly every day, Daniel Root sets out before sunrise to wander the streets of Manhattan with his camera. In those comparatively quiet hours, the entire city wears a different face, but Root is particularly fascinated by the scenes to be glimpsed through the windows of its bars. Empty of patrons and illuminated by an odd mix of artificial lights―neon beer ads, red EXIT signs, a single bulb above the cash register―they present a more hushed and mysterious aspect than in the busy evening hours. Nonetheless, each one―whether a dive bar, a sports bar, or a restaurant bar―still conveys an individual character, a distinct personality.
New York Bars at Dawn presents some two hundred of Root’s most compelling bar portraits, ranging from well-known establishments like Balthazar, McSorley’s, and the Stonewall Inn to nameless dives and an American Legion post. A foreword by Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking with Men, shows us just how much Root’s photographs reveal about bar culture, and an afterword by art historian Suzaan Boettger examines their aesthetic qualities. This will be an essential volume for anyone with an interest in nightlife, interiors, or urban photography.