Snow York City Photographs

Bowery 1978
With snow on my mind, I've dug into the archives for pictures taken on those slippery cold nights when I would roam the city streets at night in search of the perfect snow shots. The photograph  above, which I took - let's see 35 years ago - was taken on January 17th 1978. I know this only because I just read a brilliant piece by Binky Philips, about him meeting Johnny Rotten at the bar at CBGB's the night after the Sex Pistols US tour. I too met Johnny Rotten that night and took his photo behind the CBGB bar. I also took a photo of Bob Gruen, who has told me he was walking across Bleecker Street to CB's that night, from his darkroom to show Johnny Rotten the photographs he had just printed of the Sex Pistols tour. Just another quiet Monday night at CBGB's. 

Bob Gruen, Bleecker St. 1978

There were two big snowstorms back to back that winter. This one in late January followed by the Blizzard of 78 two weeks later on February 6th. Style took precedence to winter wear that night, as evidenced by these next two photographs. 

Jimmy Destri & Phyllis Stein, Bowery 1978

Kristian Hoffman & Bradley Field, Bowery 1978

Jump cut to 1996, another winter full of snow. I was out on Wall Street late this night. Downtown was shut down to all cars for the blizzard. Garbage Trucks and plows ruled the streets. It was a bit scary to be out there on foot but I'm a dedicated snow shooter. 

Wall Street, Blizzard 1996

It was also that long winter of 1996, when I navigated through the slush and winds of Astor Place to get this Xmas photo. 

Astor Place, Winter 1996

And then there was 1983, when I took this photograph on the roof of my St.Marks Place apartment building. Guess I didn't travel to far then to get a snow photo. 

St.Marks Place roof, 1983

Just one more thing to tell, before I go out to get some new snow photographs. The first shot, of CBGB's in the 1978 storm, has sat unprinted / unseen for all these 35 years. Last night in anticipation of the coming Blizzard, I went back to the analog proof sheets, pulled the negative, unfroze the image, and brought it back to life. What did Diane Arbus say? - "I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them."



  1. So great! I was inspired to go to my 1978 diary, which only went till May or so, alas (and picked up in 1979). Anyway, I wrote the diary in those days a couple of weeks after, and on January 17 I did not see fit to mention the storm (ah youth!) But there is an interesting entry for January 18, a Wed. I went to CBs to see the Voidoids filming a scene for movie directed by Ulli Lommel, who, says my diary,used to work with Fassbinder.Apparently Johnny Rotten was there that night, rather incognity: "everybody assumed it was a guy who was trying to look like Johnny Rotten!" He was there later at a party at the Erasers loft, to which I was not invited, but went w/Lydia Lunch...

  2. Very interesting. That's the Blank Generation film with Richard & Carole Bouquet. That was some winter. I've only dated the photo since seeing Binky's piece this week. Weirdly, my father died on the 24th of January, in between both those storms, so it was a pretty intense period for me.