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February 24, 2016

Times Square Prostitutes and Peep Shows: Snapshots Capture Street Life of New York City in the 1970s

Leland Bobbé, a native New Yorker, has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. His work spans both the fine art and commercial worlds and has been shown in galleries and utilized by advertising agencies around the country.

Back in the 1970s, New York City was on the verge of going bankrupt, there was a major blackout, the Son of Sam murders, the South Bronx looked like a war zone. “Before gentrification neighborhoods had distinct personalities,” Leland told Flashbak. “Times Square with it’s prostitutes and peep shows was not a playground for Middle America and in the lower east side there wasn’t a Gap or a Starbuck’s, to be found; it had CBGB’s. The Bowery was the end of the line for many.”

Using a camera with a 28mm lens, some of these shots were taken shooting from the hip without looking through the viewfinder so he wouldn’t be noticed.

(Photos © Leland Bobbé, via Flashbak)


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