Sunday 26 March 2023

A past slice of the real New York (5/5)

In 1984 Tria Giovan moved into an apartment at 29 Clinton Street, on New York's Lower East Side. As she says in her short essay the area was predominately occupied by Puerto Ricans. New York in the eighties suffered from business loss, white flight to the suburbs, crime and a rundown of public services.

Giovan's photos, taken during the eighties, reflect the grittiness of the area but also the cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking population. The street scene shows kids playing, car repairs, family gatherings, drinks and ice cream sellers, graffiti everywhere, and rubbish. I thought the book was a  worthwhile selection of photos from the not-to-distant past. She left New York in the early nineties for several assignments in Cuba and Damiani published The Cuban Archive in 2017

The book has seventy-seven photos, one to a page and printed by Damiani on a fine matt art paper with a two hundred screen. Out of curiosity, I checked out Giovan's address on Street View. What a difference, the whole area has been gentrified with clean streets and obvious prosperity.


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