For photographer Richard Sandler, New York in the 80s was messed up but also beautiful. Everybody hung out on the streets like it was their “living room, their backyard.” In his new book called “The Eyes of the City,” courtesy of Powerhouse books, he presents in black and white some photographs of New York he took from the late 1970s up to 2001 when he was a photojournalist.
He was shooting film then and would take the subway with five rolls on him and start clicking away. Everybody was out and doing all these random stuff, everything was interesting. But after 9/11, the New Yorker put down his camera and focused on the mourning and cries for help on the streets. According to him, “the sound was more important.”
The photographer also thinks that digital gadgets and smartphones take away all the vitality from the streets. Unlike in the 80s where the streets were the playground, now everyone is glued to their phones. To Sandler, “You’re not participating in the life of the street when you’re on a phone.” Maybe this book is his way of reminding us the more interesting days of New York.