1970s photographs of cars reveal a New York City in decay

Photographer Langdon Clay took to some of the city’s most dangerous streets in the middle of the night snapping photos of cars in the urban environment.
Published : December 20, 2016
6sqft

New York as a grimey, crime-riddenmetropolissounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel, particularly as we sip our soylattes and brush artisanal donut crumbs from our lips. But as photos from Langdon Clay’s book “Cars — New York City 1974-1976” show, 40 years ago, Manhattan was more about crowbars and break-ins than cronuts and Airbnb.

 

In the18 years Clay livedas a young man in New York City, hespent three of those years exploring the streets of Manhattanin the middle of the night alone. During those wee hours Clay took to some of the city’s most dangerous streets with his Leica camera and a few rolls of Kodachrome, snapping photos of the colorful cars he saw parked against theforlorn urbanscape. Ahead Clayshares with 6sqft some of his favorite imagesfrom that time.

 
 
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