Obsessing Over This

Did you hear about the close to a million images of New York going back to the mid-1800s that have been made public for the first time on the internet? New York city’s Department of Records (/or go here) recently announced the debut of the photo database. Since NY is one of my favorite cities and I love history, I find this incredibly fascinating.

Among the many historic (and sometimes eerie) photos is this one that I keep coming back to over and over again. It shows Brooklyn Bridge with 10 brave painters (!) posing from suspended wires (perhaps the first time they ever got the attention from a camera). No hard hats or safety ropes in sight!

A friend of mine thought it was a scary and sad image. To me it is totally the opposite! A brutal and unglamorous job back then, I am sure, (and I don’t want to know about how many lost their lives) but I know well paid Wall Street guys who are driven around in safe and fancy cars, who make a ton of money and are a lot more depressed than these guys appear to be! I see humor and pride and freedom in this image. I also feel some sort of camaraderie between those brave men. And then of course the picture itself is stunning. Perhaps it is only me — but I absolutely LOVE this historic NY photograph.

So much that I want it enlarged on a MEGA canvas. I can totally see this take center stage on a wall at my house. I am allowed to enlarge it, right? It is over 50 years old. And as long as it is not for financial gain. I better check the copyright laws with my photographer friends. Or do you know? 

I am also obsessing about artsy ice! Swedes are so good at this and I promise myself every summer that I need to add some berries and herbs to the water for some ice making. But I always forget because our ice comes straight from the refreigerator’s ice machine. Note to myself: Get some good ice trays and add some organic fun to the summer drinks. Easy breezy!

Lastly, I snapped up some chic & pretty, vintage bracelets from my very good & creative friend Michele’s Etsy store.

They will be my summer obsession! Love the look of them all and the sound of the bangles! Will get a lot of use out of them. Just need a great sun tan and a couple of cold drinks (with fancy ice cubes! Ha!). Hop over here and find something pretty for yourself. Vintage jewelry is hot, people!

Hugs to you all.

Images: No. 2 via Matt over Matter, no. 3 unknown (sorry), 2 last images via Splendid Willow.
Written by Splendid Willow in: I Go Nuts For |


  • The picture of the guys on the Brooklyn bridge is great but I won’t be showing my husband that picture. He has a mild obsession with the bridge to the point he has pictures hanging everywhere of the bridge. Nice bridge but really? I would say go ahead and do your print since it’s for your personal use. Oh and freeze the actual fruit it works great!

    Have a great day Mon!

  • jette says:

    There’s a Terms and Conditions link at the site, it seems that it would be ok to use the photos for home decorating.


    I’ll have to look further into these photos, have seen some on Flickr from Liberary of Congress (I think) they are very interesting, I think.

    Splendid Willow Reply:

    Thank you Jette, for the INFO! I am SOOO enlarging it!

    ox, Mon

  • Willow Decor says:

    As I am afraid of heights this photo would really stress me out, but it IS interesting. Love the bangles!
    xox Gina

  • I have to say the picture is so captivating, and I think to enlarge it over canvas would make it spellbinding. What a conversation piece! Being ridiculously afraid of heights it kind of freaks me out but its whimsical in a way too…..we would probably look at it differently if it was in color and the sky was bright blue and the sun was out but the black and white gives it a more somber feel. I think it would be really really cool though as an enlarged canvas, let us know what you do!
    Love the ice cubes did that last summer for a family party and it was soooo pretty!! And of course I love Micheles beautiful and interesting one of a kind goodies. Have a great day Mon.

  • Marcia says:

    Looks like the online NY photo gallery crashed — you must not be the only person “obsessed”! I’ll have to check it out later…. really appreciate the tip on this one. Love your blog!

  • Elfya says:

    It is not only you! This picture and its many stories make me feel so inspired. NYC is by far the most inspiring city I have ever lived in. Madonna says ‘arriving in NY is like sticking your fingers in an outlet, and right she is. To me, there is no city as electrifying as New York!

  • Franki Parde says:

    I literally moaned…”OMG, Merle, LOOK AT THIS PHOTO!” It is just “frickin fantastic!” History, art, emotion and I just love it. By “blowing it up” (so to speak) it seems to me it will just “draw you in”…and up! Great find! franki

  • Monica!
    I can’t stop looking at the post. It appears by their stance that they are enjoying the feel of freedom, but it is a little scary to me! As for having it blown up, I say go for it. Copyright laws don’t last forever, but I would check it out.
    I do put fruit and mint in ice cubes and it is so perfect. I especially love the flavor of raspberry.
    Love the bracelets! Headed over.
    This was such a fun post:).
    Happy Thursday, sweet Monica.

  • Love the images, Mon. After talking to my photographer yesterday, I’m almost afraid to use any images for fear of copyright laws. Something to look into. Adore your new bracelets from Michele’s shop! So pretty! xo

  • Joe Clarke says:

    Incredibly captivating! Very you. You would hang it over an antique sofa, right?!

    Yes to cool vintage jewelry! (Vintage is green).


  • Jane says:

    I’m also in Seattle and would love to know where you get your photos printed on canvas, as I’m in the middle of a similar project. Love your blog – thank you!

    Splendid Willow Reply:

    Hi Jane,

    I have used Canvas On Demand in the past (on-line) and Kinkos for smaller canvases – but I believe they can handle large ones as well. Costco also does canvas printing, I believe. Good luck!

    Mon/Splendid Willow

  • Meera says:

    That first photo, OMGWOW!! I totally agree with your sentiment about the photo.

    You are rocking those vintage bangles!

    Meera xx

  • paula says:

    that image is worthy of obsessing over! I could so imagine it on a huge canvas!!!! How amazing would that be. I do see a sort of freedom in the photo. a bold one at that.

  • Karen says:

    As someone afraid of heights I get weak in the knees just looking at the image. I will be visiting the link to view some of these images right after I leave a comment with your wonderful site!

  • Wow!! Thanks for sharing. Like you, I am absolutely fascinated by historic photographs, so you bet I’m taking a look around. By the way, I don’t think I could do their jobs 😉 Yikes!

    Nook & Sea

  • Tracey says:

    I was watching a few of those shows about the making of the Titanic and it wasn’t uncommon back in the day to lose a few workers. I think it is an awesome picture and I look forward to what they bring out of the “vaults” The canvas picture ……… well, my favorite color is white……. Heading over to check out Michele’s goods on Etsy.

  • Wow, that is an incredible photo.It makes my stomach woosy just looking at it. I am not good with heights.

  • i am loving that you mention my shop within this artsy, lovely, eclectic post! you are making me look and feel fancy, and i so appreciate your support of my little shop!

    that photo blows my mind, and i studied it before i read your commentary thinking it was one of those surrealist photoshopped ones. there is so much in that single photo. no wonder you are drawn to it.

    i need to make limoncello icecubes for my homemade limoncello this very moment. ok. in the morning. great reminder and lovely jumpstart to summer thinking.

    come visit soon. i am soooo happy you mentioned zara, and my sis found awesome stuff there. didn’t have the right sizes for me, but i’ll be back!



  • designchic says:

    Love the picture – so intriguing!! Love the bangles – like you I love to hear the jingle ~ Hope you are doing well…

  • wow amazing photo of brooklyn bridge. thanks for sharing. I’m going to NY next week! any places to recommend? have a fabulous weekend, darling!

    caroline @ patagonia gifts and jewelry

  • Tree says:

    I’m with you! Think photo shows a lot of experienced daring and moxy and making the impossible possible.(And dressing well for the job at hand!)

  • Must check these photos out, love NY! What a treasure.

  • I think I’m on the freaked out side with the picture…but I think, you love it and should do it…I am so going to try those ice cubes…that drink was just gorgeous, and I’m off to check out your friend on Etsy right now. I have a thing for vintage bracelets. A big hug to you my friend. Mona

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