Pierre Alexandre de Looz on the ghosts of New York’s unbuilt past.

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Paul Rudolph, Lower Manhattan Expressway, 1967–72. Images from Never Built New York, 2016. Courtesy of Metropolis Books.

A string of tracking shots in The Architects, a 2014 short film by the artist Amie Siegel, surreptitiously scans busy design offices, offering a view into the laboratory of architectural making the rest of us rarely get to see. …


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Paris Review co-founder Doc Humes, circa 1969.

It’s long been known in the publishing world that in the 1950s, the CIA was involved in founding the influential literary magazine, the Paris Review. My wife, Elissa Schappell, was senior editor of the Paris Review under George Plimpton in the ’90s, so I saw firsthand his charismatic charm, and it was hard to imagine this liberal lion anywhere near the CIA. …


I recorded a wedding just outside of Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. I traveled there briefly in the spring of 2013, compelled to go after hearing the compilation, Wallahi le Zein: Wezin, Jakwar and Guitar Boogie from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. …

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