Twenty Years of Life in Hidden Areas of New York City

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A new exhibit shows how Brooklyn, Queens, and other parts of the city looked like starting in the 1990's.

The New York Public Library is showing 86 black and white photos by American photographer William Meyers. For about 20 years he captured scenes from under-explored areas of the outer boroughs.

Beginning in 1990, Meyers traveled from his home in Manhattan to random stops throughout the city. He visited neighborhoods like Astoria, Co-Op City, and Bensonhurst, and his images portray daily life, as well as how those areas were changing. In one photo, Meyers gets a different perspective on the New York City marathon. At a glance, it looks like an empty street until you notice there’s a runner in the distance.

Stephen Pinson, curator of photography at the NYPL, said Meyers shows a lot of affection for the subjects in his images. “You can really see that he has a great love of the city and for the under-explored parts of the city. And also, there's this underlying humor that comes across in the photographs and especially in the comments that he makes,” Pinson said.

Pinson believes the show can be revealing for tourists and New Yorkers alike. “I think this is an opportunity for people that think they know New York to see a different side of the city."

The exhibition will be on view through June 30th at the 42nd Street library.