Tag Archives: New York subway

Vintage Photos Reveal the Gritty NYC Subway in the 70s and 80s

The New York subway has fascinated street photographers for generations, never more so than in the 1970s and 1980s. Gritty and tinged with danger, a subway ride was always an exercise in caution. In fact, in 1979, 250 serious crimes a week were reported on the NYC subway.

It’s within this context that we view the work of Swiss photographer Willy Spiller, who was living in New York and documented the subway system for seven years starting from 1977. Traversing the city with the curious eye of an outsider, his photos tell the story of the graffiti filled New York subway.

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