Amazing Snapshots Capture Street Life in New York City From the Mid-1930s to the End of the 1940s – Design You Trust

Amazing Snapshots Capture Street Life in New York City From the Mid-1930s to the End of the 1940s

In the late 1930s, photographer Helen Levitt rode the New York City subway system, first as an apprentice to photographer Walker Evans, then snapping photos of aloof passengers wearing fur coats, flat-brim hats, and antique brooches.


Yet for the majority of Levitt’s illustrious career (lasting until the 1990s), she ventured out of the underground to document life on Manhattan streets. She captured authentic moments — children playing on the sidewalk or dressing up for Halloween, a group of women gossiping — in neighborhoods including Harlem, the Lower East Side, and the Garment District.

Levitt spoke about her early pictures shot on the streets in the 1930s: “It was a good neighborhood for taking pictures in those days, because that was before television. There was a lot happening. And the older people would be sitting out on the stoops because of the heat. Those neighborhoods were very active.”

The New York Times, in 2009, described her as: “a major photographer of the 20th century who caught fleeting moments of surpassing lyricism, mystery and quiet drama on the streets of her native New York”.

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Photo of the Day: Typhoon Chan-Hom Lashes China
Photographer Conor Nickerson Adds Himself Into His Childhood Photos
The Best Adventure Photography: Exposure 2014
Cool Photos Defined Fashion Styles of Young Women in the 1970s
Artist Finds Solace In Dreamlike Photography After Mother Passes Away
After 4 Years Of Not Throwing Away His Trash This Photographer Created A Powerful Photo Series
Laragh McCann for Elle France, April 2012
Barbara Palvin for Victoria’s Secret, Summer 2012
Horses, Gigantic Wooden Table and Two Chairs
Muslim Lolita Fashion Is A New Trend Inspired By Japan
Fabulous Photos of Ewa Aulin in the 1960s and ’70s
The Best Winning Pictures From The 2019 Nature Photographer Of The Year
A Photographer Took Delightfully Messy Photos Of Meals In Mid-Air
British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014 Winners
Elevator with a Style
Photo of the Day: Emotions
Rare Vintage Photos Of The Timberline Lodge, Stanley Kubrick’s Film Inspiration For "The Shining", In 1921
"Belfast Kids": Photographer Dave Sinclair Shows Us the Faces and Lives of Children in The City Affected by Social and Political Change and Upheaval
Neringa Rekasiute's "We. Women" Photo Project Places Women In the Throes Of A Major Fear — And Is An Ode To Raw Self-Love
Before Bikini: Cool Photos of Women in Swimsuits From the 1930s
Quiet Nights In The City: Photographer Captures Beautiful Photos Of Everyday Scenes In Large Metropolitan Cities At Night
September 17: This Day in Photos from the Past
Homeless Couple Get A Makeover And A Surprise Charity Wedding After Being Together For 24 Years
Trapped In The 1930s: Artist Draws Popular Characters In Rubber Hose Style