Urbanist Hanoi

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[Photos] Rare Black-and-White Shots Reflect Hanoi Street Life in 1950

No skim milk and saltine parties here.

By 1950, France was able to exert considerable colonial influence on Hanoi's commerce and architecture. Their bicycles and jeeps drove down wide avenues, beneath buildings featuring their nation's namesake shutters. Vietnamese of varying classes and westernization existed on the margins of open-air coffee shops where the French sipped cognac and prattled about politics. 

These photos were taken by American photographer and journalist Harrison Forman. His impressive career, which focused largely on China, included being one of the first westerners to visit Tibet, in addition to interviewing Mao Zedong. The diaries of Forman's career and 50,000 photographs are stored at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's digital photography archives.

Take a peek at the patrician proceedings below:

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]