New York City in the 80s and 90s wasn’t as enterprising as it is now. With the financial crisis in 1975 that left the city nearly bankrupt, the early 1980s were noted for dirty streets and skyrocketing crime rate. During this decade, NYC was perceived as the ‘ghetto’ for people who were ‘destined’ to fall into ruins.
The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) struggled with the graffiti on the subway at least till 1992 when the Anti-Graffiti law was signed, but before the city-wide makeover happened, a Swiss photographer by the name of Willy Spiller, managed to capture some remarkable pictures from the years he lived there. These pictures first hand show you the transition phase of one of the greatest cities in the world.
WILLY SPILLER – HELL ON WHEELS, the book is currently sold out but here are a few pages from it showing the New York City from 1977 to 1984.
An orange that’s both frightening and serene.
The pictures that you’re seeing are the ones that have many emotions captured in one frame. While the American natives will relate more to these captures, the people from the rest of the world will also have a good time looking at these images. Let’s waste no time see and feel all the pictures in this amazing album.
Talk about ‘out of place’.
NYC subway was often a hub for petty crimes.
The fashion was still at its best there.
Same ‘stories’ just different mediums.
You can either appreciate the look on that man’s face or the bell bottoms.
Subway walls were treated as street walls for graffiti.
American version of the Mumbai (India) local.
Something you would NEVER see in an NYC station anymore, the poster supporting smoking.
Red never gets out of style!
The global graffiti movement was most popular in NYC in the 80s.
A picture showing why New York is so great today.
New York-ers never fail to express their style.
You can tell from the picture that she’s a fierce mama bear.
A good photographer indeed!