New York in 70s by Camilo Jose Vergara

New York in the 1970s as shot by Camilo José Vergara.
When I arrived in New York City in 1970, the Bronx was burning. I was photographing New York City during the Vietnam War before it barely escaped bankruptcy and before the Internet. Once-imposing and elegant buildings were derelict; the streets were dirty; parks were semi-abandoned and decrepit-looking schools evoked a culture different and separate from mainstream America. Abandoned buildings decayed. packs of dogs moved in and trees spontaneously took root and grew on their roofs. Squatters forced open doors and made holes in the walls. They removed boards from the windows to allow for light and ventilation, transforming empty buildings into homes for the homeless, places to sell drugs or serve as “shooting galleries.” The diamond-topped clock at Bloom Jeweler on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx had stopped at 6:20. – Camilo

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