59th Street and Fifth Avenue, 1980. (Carrie Boretz)
Photo editor

“Those decades were never about me intentionally going out and wanting to take street pictures, they were moments I saw and seized as I went about my life,” Carrie Boretz told In Sight, in reference to her photographs of New York City in the 1970s and ’80s. “The ’90s were a different scenario entirely. Most of the pictures I shot then were on assignment for the New York Times.”

Boretz’s first photo book, “Street,” is a compilation of her work through those three decades. Boretz came to New York for an internship at the Village Voice and stayed on, photographing for the New York Times Magazine, New York, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune and Life. In the ’90s, her beat at the New York Times was the “Day” stand-alone photo, which was a daily photo of life in the city.


Beaver and Wall streets, 1994. (Carrie Boretz)

Parking garage, West 50s, 1975. (Carrie Boretz)

Panhandler, Bowery and East Houston Street, 1975. (Carrie Boretz)

Duke Ellington statue unveiling, Mayor David Dinkins, left, Bobby Short, Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, 1993. (Carrie Boretz)

Pet turtle, West 106th Street and Broadway, 1995. (Carrie Boretz)

Boretz cited photographing “Day” as a highlight of her career.

“I was on a strict deadline to get a picture I know I would feel good about and get it to them by their late afternoon deadline. Just enough time to then get my kids from school. They were days I felt I was thriving in my two worlds, being a mom and a photographer.”

Present-day New York City does not feel the same to her. “I find it more sterile, more challenging to get those moments I saw almost all the time I was out on the streets. The reasons are obvious, being that pedestrians are now hooked up to their phones and immersed in them. … I still see moments that make me pause, though, even in midtown Manhattan when I am not running into a person taking a selfie.”


Rochdale Village, Jamaica, Queens, 1979. (Carrie Boretz)

No. 7 subway train, Queens, 1984. (Carrie Boretz)

Murder scene, 103rd Street and Manhattan Avenue, 1995. (Carrie Boretz)

Dinosaur Playground, Riverside Park and 97th Street, 1993. (Carrie Boretz)

Line outside Manhattan family court, Lafayette Street, 1997. (Carrie Boretz)

Homeless teenagers, West 42nd Street, 1985. (Carrie Boretz)

Flower District, West 27th Street, 1994. (Carrie Boretz)

Arrest in Times Square subway station, 42nd Street, 1995. (Carrie Boretz)

Subway platform, 1984. (Carrie Boretz)

More on In Sight:
Two sisters pursue different lives in post-apartheid Manenberg, South Africa
The Park View vibe: A photographer’s ode to her new D.C. neighborhood
A Spanish photographer selects powerful images made by an American photographer on Chicago’s South Side

In Sight is The Washington Post photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.