Lucy Ashjian and the Photo League

Lucy Ashjian and the Photo League

MCNY Blog: New York Stories

MN169402 Lucy Ashjian, Untitled [Bowery Bank], ca. 1936-1943. Museum of the City of New York, 2015.15.2 The name Vivian Maier is well known today – a talented photographer recently plucked from anonymity and brought to the attention of the wider world. Few, however, know Lucy Ashjian, another talented photographer who held a prominent place in the world of New York photography in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Lucy Ashjian was born in 1907 in Indianapolis to Armenian refugee parents who fled from the Ottoman Turks. Ashjian grew up watching the rise of fascism throughout Europe and reading about the Armenian genocide. Perhaps as a result of Lenin’s intervention on behalf of the Armenians, she became a staunch communist. After graduating with an English degree from Butler University in 1927, she returned home and met her eventual husband Charles Smith Preston, and the pair moved to New York soon after he…

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C’est la voix du sang qui parle

One quality, the finest.

French-Armenian singer, songwriter, actor, and diplomat Charles Aznavour was born on May 22, 1924. He was born in Paris to Armenian and Turkish parents and his real name is Shahnour Vaghenag Aznavourian. His father owned an Armenian restaurant and club and Charles dropped out of school at age 9 intending to make show business his life. When Edith Piaf heard him sing in 1946 and adopted him like a new puppy, his career was set.

Aznavour’s voice bridges the range between tenor and baritone. He has sold over 100 million records and composed over 1,000 songs – in French, English, Italian, Spanish, and German. His beautiful melody “She” was an enormous English language hit. I always figure someone’s made it really big when he or she is invited to sing with puppets; here’s Aznavour singing “Dance in the Old-fashioned Way” on the Muppet Show. My favorite…

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She Tells Her Grandma That She’s Just Been Cheated On So Grandma Tells Her To Do This!

This is one of those viral email we have received occasionally. It’s still worth reading. Great reminder over the years how strong you have become. Get your photos out and see how you have transformed beautifully!


She Tells Her Grandma That She’s Just Been Cheated On So Grandma Tells Her To Do This
This is a good lesson for all of us, no matter what stage of life you’re in. You’ll see what I mean.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she…

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How to Clean Microfilm and Microfiche

Imaging Systems Inc

main_1129Information on how to clean microfilm and microfiche can be hard to come by. There are some companies that are willing to clean your microfilm or microfiche for a fee, but are tight-lipped about their actual cleaning methods.

There are cleaning products available, though they can be hard to come by. One we know of is a slide cleaner that is safe for microfilm and microfiche, which can be found here! 

For some, though, this can be too pricey of an option. For that reason, we also have some basic steps you can use to remove grime, dust, and smudges from your microfilm or microfiche safely and cost-efficiently.

You will need:
-Any lens cleaning solution approved for glasses
-A microfiber or other soft, lint-free towel.
Instead of the two above, you can opt for the pre-moistened eyeglass towelettes (anti-scratch and lint-free).
-Clean paper
-Lens cleaning brush (optional)


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Don’t you wish you had all your paper photos digitized?

It had been one of my goals to get all those numerous boxes of photos, so many photo albums and variety of photos digitized. When my son Alex, who has digital media background, gladly took on that enormous job. Friends liked to have theirs digitized too. Whoever we talked to, they all had similar wish to get their life stories digitized.

Hence, we set up Bayside Digital with professional scanners and offering our services to help archive family stories.

Rue PonceletAs my son was digitizing, he kept asking questions about people in the photos. I decided to add to photos brief description, added here some samples. This service will be available too at Bayside Digital. Every time you keep telling the same story, whenever you share your photos. That’s solved by captioning! It will be useful also while sharing in a slide show, special family celebrations and parties. At times memories fade over time and start wandering where it was, what year and who was that acquaintance in the photo.

photo with caption

Do you have family archiving stories to share? When would you start digitizing yourself or by professional digitization service?

Let’s hear from you

Sunday June 14th Adorama’s 5th Sunday Family Funday

Tomorrow you might like to attend Adorama’s 5th annual street fair: Sunday Family Funday. Date: June 14th, 18th Street, between 5th and 6th ave, from 10am to 4pm. Rain or Shine.

There is PhotoTech exclusive street fair Special! Bring your camera for a FREE external cleaning of your camera body & lens! Plus get your sensor cleaned on-site for $30 (regular price $45-$70)

If you attend, post your comment here. Also, link to your online Instagram photo pages!

Welcome to Bayside Digital

Welcome to our new blog to compliment our brand new business:

It was set up in NY two weeks ago. We are at the initial stages of setup. However, we are already open for business.

Let us know your digitization needs of your photo collection. Fill out the form at and let us give you our special attention to your needs.