A new public-art project highlights outer-borough photography

Take in the essence of another borough through the pictures exhibited downtown in “New York (Outer Borough) Stories”

"Family Day" Unsung Heroes/ Beyond the Uniform series, 1999

"Family Day" Unsung Heroes/ Beyond the Uniform series, 1999 Photograph: Marisol Díaz

Anyone who lives in an outer borough can tell you how hard it is to convince Manhattanites to make the trip across the river—and also, how much they're missing out. Even though the vast majority of the city’s nearly 8 million residents live in these distant parts, Manhattan often seems to get all of the attention. “New York (Outer Borough) Stories,” a public-art project near the South Street Seaport, hopes to open New Yorkers' eyes to the world they’re missing that’s only a short subway (or ferry) ride away. 

The outdoor photography exhibit is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Urban Art Program and United Photo Industries. An artist from each borough except Manhattan was chosen to represent an essential part of the greater neighborhood. For example, Christine Osinski presents Staten Island through black-and-white pictures of everyday people in the 1980s enjoying the beach or fixing a roof; while Bronx native Marisol Diaz’s photos are also monochromatic, her subject matter is the borough’s firefighters and were taken at the turn of the century. For Brooklyn, there are Irina Rozovsky’s hazy shots, taken entirely in Prospect Park with families of different ethnicities in each piece. Lastly, Sol Aramendi’s vibrant pictures of immigrant women celebrate Queens.

These pictures are of different subjects, aesthetics and decades, but each uniquely captures a New York–specific experience. Starting in March, walks and tours of the art will be available. Until then, nothing is stopping you from taking your own free tour of the exhibit, located at 24 Gouverneur Lane between Front and Water Streets, and 141 Water Street between Maiden Lane and Pine Street. Who knows—maybe you’ll feel inspired to take a quick jaunt on a free boat to explore a part of the city you haven’t seen before.

"Untitled (from In Plain Air), Prospect Park, Brooklyn" 2011
Photograph: Irina Rozovsky

Installation shot from New York (outer borough) Stories
Photograph courtesy United Photo Industries

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)


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