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HARVEY WANG'S NEW YORK, pictures and text by Harvey Wang (W. W. Norton: $9.95; 112 pp.).

January 06, 1991|Kenneth Turan

These words and portraits of New Yorkers who are largely engaged in occupations that are fast going out of style may sound like a gimmick, but it is anything but. Wang's photos are direct, arresting, even soulful, and his characters' stories are surprisingly poignant. Meet the Lemon Ice King of Corona; a Yiddish-language typesetter; a man who goes to sleep dreaming of seltzer bottles; a brakeman on the Cyclone rollercoaster, and a gravedigger who likes his work because "nobody is on your back." No matter how many millions of stories there are in the Naked City, these are sure to linger in your mind.

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