6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment Langdon Clay shares photos from his new photo book “Cars — New York City 1974-1976.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
New York as a grimey, crime-ridden metropolis sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi novel, particularly as we sip our soy lattes 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 the 18 years Clay lived as a young man in New York City, he spent three of those years exploring the streets of Manhattan in 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 the forlorn urbanscape. Ahead Clay shares with 6sqft some of his favorite images from that time.