Articles by Matthew Newton
This is what post-election drama in the Rust Belt looks like:
The American flag is flying upside down and at half staff at a McDonald’s about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, in Follansbee, WV. We’re told it was the owner’s decision, and we’re trying to track him down to find out his reasons. The pic here is obviously getting a
was born in tulsa oklahoma in 1943. when i was sixteen i started shooting amphetamine. i shot with my friends everyday for three years and then left town but i’ve gone back through the years. once the needle goes in it never comes out.” -Larry Clark
“We are also focusing on how we select product designs in the future, and asking that our designers have a loose grasp of history. Or we are at least asking that they have the ability to conduct a successful Google search.”
Last week was a low point, both financially and mentally. Dropped $3000 in car repairs, which may very well be my financial undoing. Getting shaken down for this much money in the run up to the holidays doesn’t make the situation any better. So when a friend posted this image of vintage food stamps (pictured) on Facebook this morning, it reminded me how much my savings have depleted during the recession, and how close I live to the edge of potential poverty.
After last night’s debate, I’m no longer undecided. The choice is clear.
America’s allegorical representative: An angel, stringing telegraph wires (and dislocating indigenous people).
Children on leashes are the new accessory of choice for all strippers turned rappers.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a short blog post that referenced photographer Peter B. Kaplan’s “Moon Over Manhattan” photograph (above) — which depicts a group of workers high atop the World Trade Center, installing a radio antenna. In the photograph, one of the men takes it upon himself to moon his coworkers.
Given the passage of time, and how the Pittsburgh Renaissance (1946-1973) and the destruction of the cultural institutions of the lower Hill District are viewed today, this 1960 Pittsburgh Press caption shows a skewed (but potentially widespread) sentiment:
Last Sunday, at a monthly flea market held at an abandoned mine outside of Pittsburgh, I stumbled upon a cache of racist collectibles. For context: This flea market is less the kind of place you’d find bingo daubers and inexpensive hardware, and geared more for serious collectors of high-end antiques. So the goods on display often reach back several hundred years in origin. Having been to this flea market dozens of times, I’ve noticed these types of pieces in the past — Golliwogs and items of that nature — but this time around there was an odd abundance of peculiarities: Namely a stationery embossing tool used by the Women of the Ku Klux Klan (i.e., the “Busy Bee Klan”) and a ghetto-themed Monopoly knockoff called Ghettopoly.
Dispatch from the slums of suburbia.
When I parked my car at the end of Santiago Street, I half expected to find a cul-de-sac devoid of houses. Chris Blackwell, principal planner from the Penn Hills Department of Planning and Economic Development, told me how his department had demolished nearly all the street’s blighted properties in recent years.
Each day I drive past this hi-riser on my daily commute through Western Pennsylvania’s Monongahela Valley. In three years, it’s never moved, yet somehow it retains a shine — like the owner still regularly washes and waxes it even though he stopped driving it long ago.
A month or so back, for example, I unearthed a copy of The Soul of America (1986) — Esquire’s state-by-state look at life in 1980s America. A Ken Kesey essay on rodeo culture in Kansas is what prompted me to buy the book, but after paging through the table of contents some more, I discovered a story written by Lynn Darling titled “True Blue.”
A year ago we did a project called Postcards From America. It was a groundbreaking experiment. Rather than waiting to be commissioned, we just made a decision to do something and hit the road. We drove from San Antonio to Oakland. It was really thrilling. But it was also pretty chaotic.
For the last several months, I’ve been researching the topic of suburban decline for a series of nonfiction stories I’m working on. I’m looking at what is traditionally viewed as first-ring suburbs, or the first wave of planned communities beyond the city limits. My focus is on the eastern suburbs outside of Pittsburgh, an area I’ve lived nearly all my life.
My uncle used to refer to New Year’s Eve as amateur night. That was because, well, he was a high-functioning alcoholic, and most social drinkers are not as well-versed in the dubious art of driving under the influence.
Back in November 2010, Austin Hargrave wrote about his experience photographing the homeless who live in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas. His photographs appeared in Matthew O’Brien’s book, Beneath the Neon, which documents the people who live (for a variety of reasons) in the drainage tunnels beneath the city. With homelessness numbers in Las Vegas tripling since 2009, it makes you wonder if the tunnels have seen an influx of residents in the last year.
Last year I kept seeing this image (pictured) pop up all over Tumblr, but never with any attribution. Somewhere along the line, though I don’t remember when or how, I learned that photographer turned painter David Lyle was responsible.