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Friday, 28 June 2013

Danny Lyon: Summer in the Inner City, 1974


Two black youths and a dog in Paterson, New Jersey, June 1974

Three young girls in Brooklyn
, July 1974

Three young girls on Bond Street in Brooklyn, July 1974

 Inner city life on Bond Street in Brooklyn, July 1974

Row houses on Bond Street in Brooklyn, July 1974

  Wall painting in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, July 1974

  Sports heroes are the motifs in these wall painting on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, July 1974

Graffiti with a supergraphic "Vail" and other words on on a wall in Brooklyn, July 1974

Boys playing frisbee across West 46th Street in Manhattan, July 1974

Two Latin girls pose in front of a wall of graffiti in Lynch Park, Brooklyn, June 1974

Latin youths at Lynch Park in Brooklyn, June 1974

Three boys and "A Train" graffiti in Lynch Park, Brooklyn, June 1974

Young man with his leg in a cast, Hiland Park, Brooklyn, July 1974

Puerto Rican boys playing softball in Brooklyn's Hiland Park, July 1974

  Boy against a yellow platform at the Kosciusko Swimming Pool in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, July 1974

 The Kosciusko Swimming Pool in the heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, July 19744

 Avenue D housing project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, July 1974

People relaxing in East River Park in Manhattan, July 1974

People on an outing in East River Park in Manhattan, July 1974

Kids enjoying playground equipment in East River Park in Manhattan, July 1974

People looking at boat traffic on the East River Park with the Manhattan Bridge and New York City in the background, July 1974

Young Latin male in Paterson, New Jersey's inner city, June 1974

 Latin girl holding a child on an inner city porch in Paterson, New Jersey, June 1974

Man working on car in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, June 1974

Man lounging on a park bench with his radio on the Reis Park Boardwalk in New York City, July 1974

Wall painting at Division and Forsyth Streets in Lower Manhattan, June 1974

Apartment house across from Fort Green Park in Brooklyn, June 1974

Fire set by Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute to test wires and insulation in New York City
, June 1974

 Inner city residents of Brooklyn walk along Bushwick Avenue, July 1974

The underside of an elevated train platform is part of the environment on Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, June 1974

View from under elevated train tracks at Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, June 1974

Brooklyn's Bushwick Avenue seen from an elevated train platform
, June 1974

Photos by Danny Lyon for the Environmental Protection Agency's Documerica project, June-July 1974 (US National Archives)


TC said...

See also:

Danny Lyon: Second Ward, El Paso (1972)

Nin Andrews said...

Great photo essay. I relate to the kid with the cast . . .
Just had knee surgery.

TC said...

Nin, get up & around soon.

I haven't been able to walk w/o pain since being mown down by car in front of humble abode last year, so I do relate.

(And we've been laid low with awful flu & fevers six weeks here now, cough cough!)

Wooden Boy said...

It's good to see more Danny Lyons photos here. That sense of looking from inside the world; no condescension (always a risk for a photographer) or set distance.

TC said...

Yes, he was able to get close. And he felt the street and the people on it. Some do, some do not.

Jonathan Chant said...

Great post. Hope the flu and fevers leave you soon.

Hazen said...

Danny Lyon. Real people. Real life. Extraordinary pictures.

Marie W said...

Can't get enough of those pictures, little wonders each of them. Wow is all I can say..

TC said...

Duncan, Jonathan, Hazen, great to hear from you always, and many thanks.

The Documerica photographers treated America and its vast array of strengths and problems with a dignity, professionalism and care that honours everything and everyone: the peak of Kodachrome art, the dawning of environmental consciousness, and a moral conscience directly influenced by the grand legacy of the FSA (no accident because in the brief moment of its flourishing the Documerica project was strongly influenced by Arthur Rothstein having been brought on, and of course his presence was a link back to the very best of the Depression period government project work). Like the FSA archive and Lewis Hine's Child Labor Board portfolio, these are great works of, by and for the people. Strange as that may seem today, given the curious way in which the government now appears far more interested in shielding itself from the people than in offering the people gifts of this order -- something relevant, progressive, useful and artful, encouraging serious social concern yet also inspiring hope.

That was perhaps less difficult to do then than it might be now, but still, on the urban scene, there have been few rose gardens at any stage. An honest look is all that can be wished for.

Bobby Womack: Across 110th Street

TC said...

Thanks, Marie, hadn't seen that till just now. Great to hear those words from somebody who knows her way around a camera.

Be the BQE said...

On top of everything else, how beautiful are the cars? In all their conditions.

Unknown said...

Tom -- fantastic series of the lives of the disposessed during the years of my own little protected infancy in the bricks of the Bronx and our own years living just west of that incredible tenement on Avenue D - what a great photo -- but the Wall Painting on Forsyth and Division says it all, still! Thanks for all the sweat it took to put together this great series for us

Feel better -- vanquish the Flu



TC said...

Harris, yes, that terrific tall vertical shot of the Avenue D project brought back such a tangled ball of memories involving our mutual ancient street rambling histories that if my broken lacrimal duct hadn't been flowing already, the sweet pain of retrospect would have brought a fresh tear welling up to ancient clouded eye. But when the old and new tears mingle together, mixed in with the sweat, the blood, and the longing for ultimate memory loss, who can tell old from new, and what is there to say or do?

And yes again, the wall painting with the $ reminded me also of your historic cyberzinoid Works and Days, in fact that may have been the reason that shot landed here amongst us in this fashion.

Werner, my respected colleague, deferring to your superior expertise in these classic automotive matters, and guessing that you are aware Danny Lyon gives evidence of being a super classic car nut, I'm going to turn this around and ask you to pony up here with your own inventory of the vintage automotive wonders on view in this post, and I will gratefully stand advised.

Not to request such favours without providing something at least equivalent in return (potlatch polity) -- take a look at that Danny Lyon 1972 El Paso post I've linked to above and tell me whether you'd not agree that photos #5 through #7 do a great job of turbocharging the memory neurons -- once perhaps hyper acute though now maybe not so much, what with the several inconvenient strokes and all.

E.g., girl leaning in languid fashion over front seat of a yellow mid-Fifties model Tri Five Chevy (#5), same vehicle in next shot and just below that, the great, great interior dashboard view (Big Tarantula, crucifix, American flag, Bud decal, Raza Is Love).

TC said...

Mr (or shall I say Sir, or Chief -- yes, I do like Chief) Be the BQE, Je m'excuse! I fear I have for some odd reason a preference for communicating, if names are to be used at all, with people whose actual names are known to me; and it was thus out of a curious anachronistic longing for contact with the human, perhaps, that I have just now suggested to you that your name is Werner, when it is not. Do forgive.

Be the BQE said...

TC - I'm pleased with Werner but will also happily answer to David. I'm no expert on cars despite the BQE connection. I think I recognize the rear of a Karmann Ghia, in the Bond St. photo, and front end of some kind of Ford station wagon. Similar to the one the Young Latin Male seems to be striding away from in Patterson. The jacked up car in front of the Avenue D housing project looks like a Chevelle SS. So much to look at in these pictures!