These photographs take me back to the New York I grew up with, the one without cell phones, lattes or ATMs. Yuppies were just coming into existence, gentrification was becoming a familiar word, and a ride in the subway for three months of every year meant braving 95 degree heat with 95 per cent humidity. But as Angel Franco shows us, there was another NY that went well beyond the commonality endured by all- the NY where a Presidential candidate once stood in the South Bronx and proclaimed that he couldn't do anything for its people unless they voted him in. And once empowered, established policy that ensured they would remain isolated, impoverished and doomed. What would Presidents speak of if they had to speak only what was true?
This was not only the NY of the South Bronx- but of Harlem, Bed Sty and East New York. Neighborhoods where New Yorkers scratched out an existence anyway imaginable in the hope they would be rewarded with reliving the ordeal just one more day. Angel Franco's photographs recall some of those everyday players, reminding us of what once was, what still persists, and the lives that got lost in the transition.