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  BOB DYLAN - MODERN TIMES - (2006, Columbia) - Album Cover Location

Modern Times was Dylan's 32nd studio album. It was released on August 29, 2006 by Columbia Records.

The album became Dylan's first #1 album in the US since 1976's Desire. It was also his first album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200. At age 65, Dylan became the oldest living person at the time to have an album enter the Billboard charts at number one.

In the 2012 version of Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", Modern Times was ranked at number 204.

Here's the album cover.

The cover uses a Ted Croner photo from 1947, entitled "Taxi, New York, Night."

The Croner photo gave a little more definition to the buildings behind the car where the lights were emanating from, but not much.

So in an attempt to make out the buildings better, using Photoshop, I inverted the black and white tones.

It really didn't really add any information.

So this time, to look for more details, I lightened up the photo.

There were two clues here. First, was that there would have to be a large open space - like a park - across from the building, because there were no building across the street. And second, I recognized the series of vertical balconies from doing the PopSpot on an old movie. . . .

Ghostbusters! They were next to where The Stay-Puffed Marshmallow walked as he approached Columbus Circle.

So I went down to Columbus Circle (59th and Broadway) the next day. . .

. . . and I held up the CD cover to see where it fit.

I was way too close, so I had to back up until I was near the huge silver earth-globe above the subway entrance (offscreen right). This is a wide shot of Columbus Circle, looking south from my new position.

Beside the balconies, there was one other predominant clue on the album cover. The building to the left of the building with the balconies had a weird flat wall in its roof that kind of stuck out like Pride Rock in the Lion King.

And sure enough, there it was.

Here's a close-up. Maybe the Hatfields and the McCoys* lived on the top floor, and wanted to keep 100% separated.

(*These were the two famous feuding families from the Kentucky/West Virginia border hills in the late 1800's.)


So I went back to Columbus Circle that night, just at about 7 o'clock, when most of the tenants were back from work and had their lights on.

. . .and I got my Modern Times PopSpot.

The photographer would have had to get really low to the ground to get that angle of the taxi.

Here's what the taxi might have looked like looked like. It reminds me of the yellow cartoon-type jacket Warren Beatty wore in the movie Dick Tracy

Here's a map of the area showing where the picture was taken from.

After I found the site, I ran across another Ted Croner photograph entitled Central Park South. That confirmed that the other was the right place. So I looked for where this one was taken from.

The building with the two distinctive chimneys is near the intersction of 6th Avenue and Central Park South. It's just east of the Essex House,* who's rooftop sign is on the far right, top. (You can make it out two photos down.) So I knew the photo was taken from inside Central Park.

(*Maybe you remember the announcer of SNL saying, "Guests of Saturday Night Live stay at the Essex House."

Croner either panned his camera either up or down during the approximately half-second exposure, thus elongating the window lights.

So I walked along the bottom of the park, holding up the photo, until I found a small hill above The Lake, where I figured the photo was probably shot from.

Here's the picture superimposed.

Here's a map showing approximately from where that photo was taken.

(The high spot is called Overlook Rock and it's behind the Thomas Moore Bust, which is just in from 61st Street and 5th Avenue. I took my photo on a wet wintry night and the entire path up to the top was so muddy everyone going up and down had to hold onto a wobbly fence for support. But - I wanted that shot!)

Ted Croner, who lived from 1922-2005 and grew up in North Carolina, specialized in shots with deep black/white contrasts. He is best known for his "haunting images of New York taken in the 1940s and 1950s" according to Wikipedia. Here's one of Times Square.

(photo by Ted Croner)

Here's another. This is titled "Times Square Montage" from 1947-48.

(photo by Ted Croner)