"Braving the Big Blizzard "

On January 22-23, 2016, a winter snowstorm dropped the most snow on New York City since records were first kept in 1869. Venturing out on Sixth Avenue and 12th St. I was very fortunate to come upon and capture a most special scene and moment. "Braving the Big Blizzard" could be New York 100 years ago and brings to mind the paintings of Guy C. Wiggins, the Salmagundi Club artist reknown for his winter images of New York City landmarks.

In front of me, the broad expanse of Sixth Avenue was dense with swirling snow and empty of sound and the usual rush of vehicles. Moving uptown was a single  intrepid walker, a shock of multi-ringed, multi-colored umbrella and yellow shopping bag. Looking south the turreted, storm-enshrouded Jefferson Market Library loomed above partially visible pedestrians. Originally built to house civil and police courts and famous for its 100-foot high tower and fire watcher's balcony, a poll of architects in 1885 voted the structure the fifth most beautiful building in America.

By 1958 the structure had so deteriorated that it was closed and pending demolition. In one of New York City's first grassroots preservation campaigns, first the tower clock was fixed and then the building was saved, repurposed and renovated. Today the Jefferson Market Library is a beacon of pride and joy for the Greenwich Village community and a landmark of the importance and value of historic preservation.


Neil Allen is a New York-born, Greenwich Village-based fine art photographer with a particular sharp eye for city life. An Artist member of the Salmagundi Club and the Salmagundi Photo Group, in October, 2019, he presented "Neil Allen's Vibrant Greenwich Village," his first one-person show and book of the same name, at the Salmagundi Club.

Neil's vision brings modern dynamic color to the decisive moment. He photographs what he sees-spontaneous street shots, environmental portraits, cityscapes and occasional still lifes and landscapes. Since he first showed photos in 2018, he has received numerous awards and citations in Salmagundi Club and other competitions. "Paris People," a second show and book, is in process.

Artist's Statement

As a photographic artist, the magic I seek is conveying singular moments in time and making you feel you are there with me. My  goal and joy are to move viewers with images that capture and present life's charm, irony, humor, color and sublime beauty and the sometime metaphysical connection between living creatures and their surroundings.

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