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Gritty Photos Show The Street Life Of New York City From The 1970s

These fascinating photos offer a glimpse into the street life of New York City from the 1970s. Chilean photographer Camilo José Vergara captured these photographs. Jose Vergara moved to New York in 1968, after completing his education. He began photographing the street life of different cities including Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Newark. He also received a 2012 National Humanities Medal for his work.

These photographs show the parts of New York City that looked like bombed-out war zones, deprived areas suffering the worst of both city and state indifference.

#1 St. Paul’s Chapel with the WTC under construction in the background, Broadway at Fulton St., Manhattan, 1970

St. Paul's Chapel with the WTC under construction in the background, Broadway at Fulton St., Manhattan, 1970

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#2 The homeless man in this image woke up as he was being photographed and asked Vergara to buy him a ham sandwich.

The homeless man in this image woke up as he was being photographed and asked Vergara to buy him a ham sandwich.

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#3 Forty Second Street at 5th Ave., 1970

Forty Second Street at 5th Ave., 1970

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#4 Avenue C, Lower East Side, 1970

Avenue C, Lower East Side, 1970

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#5 Pier, South Brooklyn, 1970

Pier, South Brooklyn, 1970

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#6 172 Delancey Ave., New York, 1970

172 Delancey Ave., New York, 1970

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#7 On the Way to Harlem, 1970

On the Way to Harlem, 1970

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#8 View East from St. Ann’s Ave. at Westchester Ave., Bronx, 1970.

View East from St. Ann's Ave. at Westchester Ave., Bronx, 1970.

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#9 Melrose Section, South Bronx, 1970

Melrose Section, South Bronx, 1970

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#10 143 Lenox Ave. Harlem, 1970

143 Lenox Ave. Harlem, 1970

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#11 Lower East Side, NYC, 1973

Lower East Side, NYC, 1973

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#12 Lower East Side, 1970

Lower East Side, 1970

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#13 1148 Longwood Ave., Bronx, 1970

1148 Longwood Ave., Bronx, 1970

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#14 South Bronx, 1970

South Bronx, 1970

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#15 Girls, East Harlem, 1970

Girls, East Harlem, 1970

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#16 Puerto Rican Wedding, East Harlem, 1970

Puerto Rican Wedding, East Harlem, 1970

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#17 View SW from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, 1970

View SW from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, 1970

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#18 South Bronx, 1971

South Bronx, 1971

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#19 View South from Longwoods Ave., Bronx, 1970

View South from Longwoods Ave., Bronx, 1970

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#20 View SW from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, 1971

View SW from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, 1971

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#21 View of the World Trade Center under construction from Duane Street, Manhattan, 1970.

View of the World Trade Center under construction from Duane Street, Manhattan, 1970.

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#22 View east from West St. along Fulton St., Manhattan 1970

View east from West St. along Fulton St., Manhattan 1970

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#23 Lower East Side, NYC, 1970

Lower East Side, NYC, 1970

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#24 Lower East Side, 1970

Lower East Side, 1970

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#25 Puerto Rican Family, Lower East Side, 1970

Puerto Rican Family, Lower East Side, 1970

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#26 Girl, South Bronx, 1970

Girl, South Bronx, 1970

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#27 Lower East Side, NYC, 1970

Lower East Side, NYC, 1970

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#28 South Bronx, 1970

South Bronx, 1970

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#29 Militant display, Window, Bushwick Brooklyn, 1970

Militant display, Window, Bushwick Brooklyn, 1970

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#30 Lower Manhattan, 1974

Lower Manhattan, 1974

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#31 East 167th Street, S. Bronx, 1973

East 167th Street, S. Bronx, 1973

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#32 Playground Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1970

Playground Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1970

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#33 Brooklyn, 1970

Brooklyn, 1970

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#34 IRT, Bronx, 1970

IRT, Bronx, 1970

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#35 Reataurant, Mott Haven, Bronx, 1970

Reataurant, Mott Haven, Bronx, 1970

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#36 Butcher, Lower East Side, 1970

Butcher, Lower East Side, 1970

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#37 Parachute jump, Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1970

Parachute jump, Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1970

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#38 Bronx River at 177th St., Bronx, 1970

Bronx River at 177th St., Bronx, 1970

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#39 Bronx River with #5 line in back, Bronx, 1970

Bronx River with #5 line in back, Bronx, 1970

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#40 Bronx, 1970

Bronx, 1970

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#41 Number 2 Subway, S. Bronx, 1970

Number 2 Subway, S. Bronx, 1970

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#42 Auto repair shop, Bronx, 1973.

Auto repair shop, Bronx, 1973.

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#43 Hoe Avenue at 172nd St., Bronx, 1970

Hoe Avenue at 172nd St., Bronx, 1970

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#44 Hunts Point, South Bronx, 1970

Hunts Point, South Bronx, 1970

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#45 Entrance, abandonened building, Bronx, 1970

Entrance, abandonened building, Bronx, 1970

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#46 Grafitti on the side of the Manhattan Bridge, Manhattan, 1970

Grafitti on the side of the Manhattan Bridge, Manhattan, 1970

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#47 Stripped Pontiac LeMans under the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, 1970

Stripped Pontiac LeMans under the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, 1970

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#48 Cadillac Fleetwood, Harlem 1970

Cadillac Fleetwood, Harlem 1970

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#49 South Bronx, 1970

South Bronx, 1970

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#50 Eagle at Westchester Ave., Bronx 1970

Eagle at Westchester Ave., Bronx 1970

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#51 Honeywell at 178th St. S. Bronx, 1970

Honeywell at 178th St. S. Bronx, 1970

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#52 Commodore Theater, Broadway at Rodney, Brooklyn, 1970

Commodore Theater, Broadway at Rodney, Brooklyn, 1970

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#53 East Harlem, 1970

East Harlem, 1970

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#54 Hank, Lower East Side, 1970

Hank, Lower East Side, 1970

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#55 S. Bronx, by the Cross Bronx Expressway east, 1970

S. Bronx, by the Cross Bronx Expressway east, 1970

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#56 View from elevated subway line, Westchester Avenue, South Bronx

View from elevated subway line, Westchester Avenue, South Bronx

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#57 Fifth Ave. at 110th St. E. Harlem 1970

Fifth Ave. at 110th St. E. Harlem 1970

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#58 Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1971

Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1971

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#59 Gipsy girl, Lower East Side, 1970

Gipsy girl, Lower East Side, 1970

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#60 Boy, South Bronx, 1970

Boy, South Bronx, 1970

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#61 Boy, Morrisania, S. Bronx, 1970

Boy, Morrisania, S. Bronx, 1970

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#62 Lower East Side, Manhattan, 1970

Lower East Side, Manhattan, 1970

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#63 Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1970

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1970

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#64 East 172nd St. at Hoe Ave. South Bronx, 1970

East 172nd St. at Hoe Ave. South Bronx, 1970

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#65 Watching a Socialist Workers Party march, Lower East Side, 1970

Watching a Socialist Workers Party march, Lower East Side, 1970

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#66 Lower East Side, New York, 1970

Lower East Side, New York, 1970

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#67 Bolivian Indian, 1355 Park Ave., Harlem, 1970

Bolivian Indian, 1355 Park Ave., Harlem, 1970

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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