Thursday, 14 June 2018

Tracking down the cover location of THE EMPTY HOURS

If you're listening to the new bonus episode of the podcast, you'll have heard me (Paul) telling Morgan and Stephen all about the cover of their Pan editions of The Empty Hours, the collection of three novelettes by Ed McBain from 1962. The cover is clearly intended to represent a street in Isola during "The Empty Hours" - that time when the street lights are still on, but morning has begun - no-one's around and the cops of the 87th Precinct are about to end their night-shift. 

Of course the 87th Precinct exists in the fictional area of Isola, but New York is always used in the various photographic covers and this particular edition gave away a clue to where it was taken. Surely "Ted Steel - Garment Racks" can't still be there, forty years after the picture (by Colin Thomas) was taken? Well it is! And that was the clue that the cover was taken with the photographer stood at about 365 W36th Street in the Garment District of Manhattan!

The buildings for the most part look the same now as they did in the '70s/80s (the picture I selected from Google Maps was taken in Jun 2014 - the picture on the timeline slider with the fewest vehicles in it), although the tall street lighting has gone now and there's obviously been some cosmetic changes to some buildings, but it's still a fair match!

Anyway, I wanted to share that because [a] if I find it interesting, someone else might and [b] I want you to understand quite how much nerdy research goes into these shows!

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