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

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

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

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

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

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

#27 Militant display, Window, Bushwick Brooklyn, 1970

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

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

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

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

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

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

#65 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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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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