Wednesday, September 7, 2016

35 Intimate Photographs Captured New York’s Puerto Rican Community in the 1970s and '80s

New York City has been home to a Puerto Rican population since the mid-1900s, with the most noticeable migration boom beginning in the 1950s. As Puerto Ricans settled in New York over the years they stamped the city with their culture, indelibly altering neighborhoods like the South Bronx, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and downtown Brooklyn with rhythm, style, flavor, art, language, and claro, Latino cuisine.

Arlene Gottfried, herself a native New Yorker, grew up side by-side with the burgeoning Puerto Rican community, never straying far from its influence whether living in Brooklyn or the LES. In the heart of the barrio, Gottfried began shooting pictures inspired by her bohemian friends and using them as subjects—in apartments, on the streets, and in the park, in times of radiant joy and heart-breaking sorrow.

“I took to the streets with my friends and neighbours, where I learned to dance salsa and speak some Spanish, and when I picked up a camera my friends in the neighborhood became my subjects,” Arlene Gottfried said.

(Photos © Arlene Gottfried)

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