TIME portfolio

See New Yorkers Dwarfed by Huge Advertisements

These giant ads make the city look like a movie set

Natan Dvir headed for Times Square when he arrived in New York in 2008. But unlike the tourists he found there, the photographer hadn’t made the trek to pose in front of giant LCD screens. Instead, he was there, in his own words, to observe how it acts as a microcosm of the city as a whole.

“It’s like the very fabric of New York City is an advertisement,” Dvir tells TIME. “Times Square is an extreme example, but everywhere you go [in New York] people look like that are inhabiting a space dominated by advertising — whether it’s billboards or otherwise. It’s almost like they are pulled into a stage or a set.”

The images he shot that day — which were taken on a nearby section of Fifth Avenue — developed into Coming Soon, a long-term project that took six years to complete. Dvir says the work is an attempt to explore the relationship between what he sees as branded downtowns and the people who inhabit them.

“I’m fascinated by the growing branding of the cityscape, where the city becomes an advertising medium,” he continues. “For me, the street sort of merges with the commercial fantasy of the advertisements.”

Here, the imagery in the billboards seems to blend with the pedestrians walking beneath. Pedestrians that are seemingly unaware of the billboards behind them, despite their imposing presence. “They always seem to be in our peripheral vision,” Dvir adds, “it’s like they are there and not there at once.”

Natan Dvir is a photographer based in New York. His work has been published the New York Times, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday Times, among others.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox.

TIME ebola

New York Ebola Survivor Says He was Treated Like a Fraud After Diagnosis

Dr. Craig Spencer smiles during a news conference November 11, 2014 at Bellevue Hospital in New York.
Don Emmert—AFP/Getty Images Dr. Craig Spencer smiles during a news conference November 11, 2014 at Bellevue Hospital in New York.

"My U.S. colleagues who have returned home from battling Ebola have been treated as pariahs"

A doctor who worked in Guinea treating Ebola victims says he was labeled a “fraud, a hipster, and a hero” after he was diagnosed with contracting the deadly virus on his return to the U.S.

In an essay published on Wednesday, Craig Spencer, who is New York’s first and only Ebola patient, says how politicians and the media accused him of putting the public at risk.

“I was being vilified in the media even as my liver was failing and my fiancée was quarantined in our apartment,” he wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Spencer, 33, documents how his work in the Ebola treatment center in Guéckédou, Guinea, was rewarding, but that it also took a toll on his psychological and physical health.

“Back in New York, the suffering I’d seen, combined with exhaustion, made me feel depressed for the first time in my life,” he writes.

On Oct. 23, Spencer was hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital after reporting a fever and fatigue and was later diagnosed with Ebola.

Though the clinician had been monitoring his temperature in line with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention protocol, Spencer says his movements before the diagnosis were heavily criticized by the media and politicians.

“The whole country soon knew where I like to walk, eat, and unwind,” he said. “People excoriated me for going out in the city when I was symptomatic, but I hadn’t been symptomatic — just sad.”

Spencer slammed New York and New Jersey Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie for imposing extra, and what he believed to be unnecessary, quarantine measures for health workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries.

“Politicians, caught up in the election season, took advantage of the panic to try to appear presidential instead of supporting a sound, science-based public health response,” he said.

Spencer was discharged from Bellevue Ebola-free after 19 days of treatment.

TIME Crime

Retired NY Police Officer Reportedly Kills 2 Daughters, Then Self

'The White Plains Police Department is shocked and horrified'

A recently retired police officer shot and killed his two teenage daughters before killing himself at the family home in Harrison, N.Y., according to local news reports.

The bodies of retired White Plains, N.Y. police officer Glen Hochman, 52, and his daughters Alyssa, 17, and Deanna, 13, were found at the family home Saturday, according to WPTZ.

Hochman retired from the White Plains police force in January with distinction after more than 20 years of service.

“The White Plains Police Department is shocked and horrified by the news of this unfathomable tragedy,” said White Plains Police Commissioner David Chong in a statement Saturday. “We can only pray for the entire Hochman family.”



NY Antiquities Collection Donated to Israel Museum

Israel Museum
Izzet Keribar—Lonely Planet Images via Getty Images Israel Museum

This is "one of the most important private holdings of antiquities anywhere," says Israel Museum director

(NEW YORK) — Two New York philanthropists are donating a major collection of more than 300 ancient Greco-Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels to The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The gift from Robert and Renee Belfer was announced by the museum Wednesday. It comes as the institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An exhibition titled “A Roman Villa — The Belfer Collection” showcasing approximately 100 of the objects will be on view at The Israel Museum from June 5 through Nov. 21.

The collection is “one of the most important private holdings of antiquities anywhere,” museum Director James Snyder said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.

He called it a “transformative gift” of “pristine” and “superlative” examples that will strengthen and enhance the museum’s current collection of Greco-Roman artifacts.

“For us it’s like the exquisite icing on the cake,” he said.

They include cast vessels and blown and mosaic glass pieces, ranging from the 14th century B.C., the Late Bronze Age, through the 14th century, the Islamic period.

The collection also includes about 50 important works of Greco-Roman sculpture and relief work, including bronze and marble sculptures, mosaics, frescoes and pottery.

“A gift from New York of material with such a special meaning here resonates with the museum’s narrative about local and global connections,” the director said.

Among the highlights is a first-century Roman marble head of a youth, an Egyptian 18th Dynasty glass jar and a Roman mosaic from the second century of an amphitheater, featuring the gods Poseidon and Amphitrite and two ships with sailors.

Snyder said the Belfer gift was significant to Jerusalem in two ways. First, because glass-making was an important development in the region and the technique of glass-blowing in the first century B.C. appears to have emerged first in Jerusalem, he said.

“Secondly, the aesthetics of Greco-Roman culture had a hugely important influence on the local iconography of ancient Israel from Second Temple times through the fall of the Roman Empire,” Snyder said.

He noted that the Belfers began amassing their antiquities collection nearly 50 years ago, around the same time that the museum was founded. Today, The Israel Museum houses encyclopedic collections, ranging from prehistory through contemporary art, and is recognized for its extensive Biblical and Holy Land archaeology, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“When deciding on an ideal home for our collection, we could not think of a more fitting venue than The Israel Museum, especially for its emphasis on the foundational narrative of humankind that is so relevant to us all today,” Renee Belfer said in a statement.

“Our collection represents an important chapter in the history of civilization,” a story the museum will help preserve and share “in perpetuity from Jerusalem, one of the central sites of that long history,” added Belfer, who serves as chair of the executive committee of the American Friends of The Israel Museum.

The Belfers are prominent patrons of the arts whose financial support established The Robert and Renee Belfer Court for early Greek art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1990s.

TIME Media

See the Most Memorable New Yorker Covers Over 90 Years

The magazine, known for iconic and controversial covers, celebrates its 90th anniversary this February

There are few magazine-world traditions as instantly recognizable as the cover of the New Yorker, a space that’s only grown in prestige the further it moves from the actual contents of the magazine.

Most magazines use their covers to advertise a particular story within the issue, but the New Yorker—which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this week with nine different covers—uses its often-jokey covers to promote a general sensibility: Tuned-in but as often as not divorced from the news cycle, witty in an often absurd way, self-consciously erudite.

From the magazine’s first cover, which featured the foppish mascot Eustace B. Tilley, through editor Tina Brown’s announcing her buzzy presence with a cover depicting a Hasidic man kissing a black woman amidst racial tensions in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, on to the recent era of sharply critical engagement with stereotypes around the Obamas and the misdeeds of Anthony Weiner and Chris Christie, the magazine’s cover has crystallized both the news and something more ineffable: The culture.

Here are some of the most memorable moments of artistic greatness from the New Yorker‘s history.

TIME Basketball

Westbrook Scores 41, West Edges East in NBA All-Star Game

West Team’s Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.
Kathy Willens—AP Russell Westbrook holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game in New York City on Feb. 15, 2015

The Western Conference beat the East 163-158

(NEW YORK) — Mixing Broadway and basketball, this NBA All-Star Game was a West Side Story.

Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, one shy of the All-Star record, and the Western Conference beat the East 163-158 on Sunday night.

The Oklahoma City speedster had a record 27 points by halftime and closed out the scoring with two free throws, falling one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 42 points in the 1962 game. He was voted the game’s MVP.

The NBA’s return to New York showed off everything about the Big Apple, and by the time Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played after the game, it was clear Westbrook was king of the hill.

“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing to be here in New York City,” Westbrook said during the MVP ceremony.

James Harden added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, which built a 20-point lead in the first half and then pulled away after it was tied at 148 with a little more than 4 minutes remaining.

LeBron James finished with 30 points, but couldn’t lead the East to the victory in his favorite NBA arena.

“Don’t get no better, man. You play in the Garden in front of these fans,” James said.

Harden’s 3-pointer snapped the final tie with 4:02 to play and Chris Paul followed with consecutive baskets. Westbrook’s fifth 3-pointer put it away at 158-149 with 2:22 to go.

Atlanta’s Kyle Korver made seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the East, while Washington’s John Wall had 19.

But right from the start, the players were sharing the stage.

Christina Aguilera appeared from behind a giant big apple, and belted out some New York-inspired numbers to start the show, joined on stage by the Rockettes.

Entertainment’s elite were all over the arena, with players hobnobbing with Jay-Z and Floyd Mayweather near their courtside seats at halftime. But the biggest roar came for a star from another sport — politics.

President Bill Clinton, who had a big night of his own at Madison Square Garden when he was nominated here during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, got a pair of loud ovations when he was shown during Queen Latifah’s performance of the national anthem.

Players were quizzed during comedic skits on New York talk and terms, and fuhgeddaboudit, Pau Gasol had no idea what a stoop was. (Stephen Curry knew it was a porch in the front of a building).

Pau won the jump ball against little brother Marc to begin the first All-Star game featuring two sibling starters, but for a while it looked as if that would be the East’s only win of the night.

The West shot out to a 20-point lead, but the East chipped away and cut it to 83-82 before pop star Ariana Grande’s halftime performance.

It was New York’s first time hosting the weekend since 1998 and a rare journey to the north for the NBA, which has preferred to stage the festivities in the warmth of the South and West.

Even some of the NBA’s most fashionable had to choose bundling up over dressing up, a concession to the frigid temperatures they faced during the weekend. But next year might be worse, when the game heads north of the border to Toronto.

Carmelo Anthony struggled to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting for the East in what may have been his final game of the season. The Knicks star has been battling a sore knee for much of the season and may opt for surgery with the team owning the NBA’s worst record.

But even the Knicks’ misery couldn’t dampen the spirts for this basketball-rich city. Players on the floor were surrounded by some of New York’s hoops royalty, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. There was even time to celebrate the Knicks: Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe and Bernard King were honored during a break in the action.

Tim Duncan had one basket in his 15th All-Star Game, second only to Abdul-Jabbar’s 18. Duncan’s first was here in 1998, as was Kobe Bryant’s.

Bryant had to sit out along with Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin, leaving the West without three elected starters. But they had more than enough talent left, not surprising in another season where the West is the more powerful conference from top to bottom.

East coach Mike Budenholzer played his four Atlanta Hawks together in the first quarter, Al Horford joining Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Korver.

“I thought we would all be out there together quite a bit. We were kind of hand signaling to run a few plays, but you weren’t really running plays,” Korver said. “It was just up and down. But it was great for the Hawks and for the city of Atlanta. It was really cool.”

TIME weather

Valentine’s Day ‘Snow Hurricane’ Hits New England

Just stay indoors with your Valentine already

A Valentine’s Day blizzard with hurricane-force winds was set to pummel much of New England on Saturday.

Blizzard warnings were issued in six states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island—as the fourth major snowstorm of the season made its way toward the East Coast. Iat had already dumped eight inches in parts of Michigan by Saturday afternoon.

MORE: It’s Better to Be Single on Valentine’s Day

New York City and Philadelphia remained under winter weather advisories while Boston, which has already experienced a historic total of almost eight feet of snow this season, could get another foot. Parts of Massachusetts were forecasted to receive 18 inches, and Cape Cod could experience hurricane-force wind gusts.

The bottom line is, stay inside with your Valentine and don’t poke your head out until April. And if you’re single, you have a perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing.

TIME Crime

FBI Director Says Cops Must Recognize Racial Biases

“We simply must find a way to see each other more clearly”

FBI Director James Comey urged the nation’s law-enforcement officers to acknowledge implicit biases toward people of color that have led to distrust among police and minority communities, in one of the highest-profile speeches yet given by an FBI chief on race and policing.

Comey urged police departments across the U.S. to work toward mending those relationships in the wake of high-profile officer-related shootings. “There’s a disconnect between law-enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” Comey said during the speech at Georgetown University.

MORE: FBI Completes Federal Probe of Ferguson Shooting

Comey encouraged police nationwide to have an “open and honest discussion” about the relationship between officers and communities of color, and the unconscious biases that often trigger people to act differently around individual of other races.

“We simply must find a way to see each other more clearly,” he said.

The FBI director described situations where white officers have different reactions when dealing with black individuals, describing mental shortcuts that can lead police into being more suspicious of people of color.

“We need to come to grips with the fact that this behavior complicates the relationship between the police and the communities they serve,” Comey said.

The speech came after a series of protests last summer relating to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Garner, who was black, was placed in a fatal chokehold in July by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white. Brown, a black unarmed teenager, was shot in August by Darren Wilson, a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Neither officer was formally charged for their roles in the deaths, leading to demonstrations around the nation and protesters chanting phrases like “I can’t breathe,” which Garner said as he was being apprehended.

Comey said officers have to have a better understanding of how black men often view the police. “I am not looking to let law enforcement off the hook,” Comey said. “But we must double the efforts to fight prejudice.”

MORE: Ferguson Police Are Testing ‘Less Lethal’ Attachments for Guns

Comey quoted NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who himself has been criticized for advancing a theory of policing that some believe unfairly targets minority communities, saying that “we really need to see each other.”

The speech was notable for addressing race in America head-on. Comey at times painted a sweeping history of distrust between the FBI and minorities, at one point describing a letter on his desk that approved the wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.

“It is a hard truth that lives on,” he said.

But it will be difficult for the FBI director to actually persuade local law-enforcement agencies to change their behavior wholesale. One initiative Comey said he is working with police departments on is gathering more extensive data on officer-related shootings. While the FBI tracks justifiable homicides reported by police departments, that reporting is voluntary, Comey said, and demographic information regarding those incidents is not tracked.

“It’s ridiculous that I can’t tell you how many people were shot by police in this country,” Comey said in a question-and-answer session with Georgetown students, adding that all he could do was use his bully pulpit to persuade police departments to report their data, which he described as the first step to repairing a long history of distrust between police and minorities.

TIME portfolio

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 6

From New York’s deadly train crash and night surfing in the Mediterranean sea to China’s traditional eagle hunters and a Fifty Shades of Grey inspired “Fifty Shades of Cake” exhibition in England, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Accident

Witness the Aftermath of the New York Train Crash

Seven people were killed and several others injured after a commuter train collided with an SUV and caught fire Tuesday evening outside New York City

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