Briefly Seen New York Street Life

The street is the river of life, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center.

--William H. Whyte, urbanist, sociologist, writer

These photographs are my response to the rough, raw, charged and even magical energy of New York City street life. I am attracted to the nuances of behavior and body language in public places, characteristic of the “walker in the city”.

Often, when in a New York crowd, whether on the street, on the subway, or negotiating car traffic, we are in a place where we don’t want to be, the city is not an easy place to live. It’s too crowded, too oppressive, too hot and dirty, but the excitement, diversity, and vitality propel and enliven most of us. I enjoy crowds, and when photographing, I often become part of the crowd, desirous of getting close and involved with my subjects while using the camera. As individuals in New York City, when we become part of the crowd, we lose our individuality if only for a few instants and become part of the fabric and mosaic of the city. We are the city, we belong and are beholden to the city, our identity is expressed through and of the city. We can say that we are New York.

These images deal with the simultaneous presence of fragments, accidental juxtapositions, and physical compression of unrelated elements that contribute to the experience of observation as a continuous fluctuation of attention. The photographs consider the distinctions and disruptions between observation and significance, between recognition and understanding, between experience and expectation.

To heighten the feeling of movement, anxiety and vigor, I employ blur, motion, grain, low-angle flash, skewed perspectives, tight cropping, overlapping images, and wide-angle views. The aim is to reveal the spirit of the city while remaining true to its essential fact; its crazed tempo, its congested streets, its past always clashing with its future.

The book is the third in the trilogy of iconic New York City places/neighborhoods, and is again published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. Here we are in midtown and downtown Manhattan, on the street in the density of the pedestrian crowds. The previous books explored street life in Coney Island and Harlem. Briefly Seen is hardbound with 172 dark and evocative photographs, 9x11 3/4 inches, 184 pages. There are essays by Marilyn Kushner, the curator of photographs, prints and architecture at the New York Historical Society and Museum, and Tracy Xavia Karner, author, curator, and visual sociologist. The book is priced at $45.

If you would like a signed copy, or have questions about the book, please contact me at The book is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.