In 1978, a New York newspaper strike put staff photographers out of work for a number of weeks. They probably didn’t know the images they created during that period would become a time capsule just waiting to be found. And it was found six months ago.
At least eight of these photographers – including Neal Boenzi, Joyce Dopkeen (the first female photographer hired at the Times), D. Gorton, Eddie Hausner, Paul Hosefros, Bob Klein, Larry Morris, and Gary Settle – spent the summer exploring city parks in all five boroughs of New York City, documenting the life that was happening there.
In late 2017, a parks official found two cardboard boxes containing 2,924 color slides that had not been seen or appreciated in forty years. And what a find it was.
Stroll through these images and you’ll see a little of everything. Cats on bicycles, 1970s bathing suits, pigs roasting over beds of coals. You see life unfiltered, un-Instagrammed, seemingly un-everything. Unchanged, and just plain unreal.
This is, of course, yet another testament to the enduring power of photography, and of how vital photographers are to the documentation of our lives. Keep on creating those time capsules, folks. It’s important.
An exhibit of about 65 of the images will be on display at the Arsenal Gallery at Central Park from May 3 to June 14.
Images used with permission of the NYC Parks Press Office.