Posted by Jay Livingston
I saw these construction workers on Broadway at 79th St. today and took the picture mostly because of the color – those neon yellow vests.
When I was looking at the picture later, it reminded me of another photo, “Men At Lunch” by Charles Ebbetts – men working on the construction of Rockefeller Center in 1932.
The men in 1932 sit on a girder high above the streets, not on the sidewalk. They wear caps, not hard hats. They smoke. But the difference that most struck me was the what they were doing. In 1932, men at lunch are sharing those papers (blueprints?). Except for the guy on the right end, they are all talking to another man.
In 2016, every man is on his cell phone.