Photos of of Pimps, Prostitutes and Homeless from 1970s Times Square Through a Bartender’s Camera

In 1972 Shelly Nadelman began a ten-year run bartending at one of New York City’s most notorious dives: the Terminal Bar, located across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square.

For ten years, right up until the bar closed for good in 1982, he shot thousands of black and white photographs, mostly portraits of his customers— neighborhood regulars, drag queens, thrill-seeking tourists, pimps and prostitutes, midtown office workers dropping by before catching a bus home to the suburbs—all of whom found welcome and respite at the Terminal Bar.

“In the beginning it was just the regulars and they were willing and able to be photographed,” Nadelman said in an interview. “Then there were just faces that came in and I knew I wouldn’t see them again. But they looked interesting. I’d say 90 percent of the people were willing to be photographed.”
In the early 2000s, his grown son Stefan began sorting, scanning, and printing his dad’s negatives, and very quickly realized that the scene at Terminal Bar had become a historic artifact. That New York was fading fast — it was just about gone, in fact — and Sheldon Nadelman had caught it all. The images were eventually made into a book, Terminal Bar, by Princeton Architectural Press; it brings back to life the 1970s presanitized Times Square, a raucous chapter of the city that never sleeps.

18 Vintage Photographs Document Runaway Teenagers Living in the Streets of Seattle in the 1980s

Mary Ellen Mark (1941-2015) put her hands on photography in the 1960s, depicting streets scenes in her native Philadelphia as well as anti-Vietnam and women’s rights demonstrations in New York. Quite promptly, when working for Look magazine, the American photographer chose to chronicle the existences of the desperate, the marginals, the homeless, the wounded of life such as Indian street prostitutes, psychiatric patients, juvenile heroine addicts: “I care about people and that’s why I became a photographer.”

In the July 1983 issue of LIFE magazine, writer Cheryl McCall and photographer Mary Ellen Mark published “Streets of the Lost,” an in-depth article and photo essay on Seattle street kids. In the piece, McCall and Mark tell the story of a group of homeless and runaway teens—Tina, a 13-year-old prostitute with dreams of diamonds and furs; Rat and Mike, 16-year-olds who eat from dumpsters; and Dewayne, a 16-year-old boy who hanged himself in a juvenile facility when faced with the prospect of returning to the streets. It’s uneasy subject matter, and a staggering portrait of what life without a stable home can look like.

Despite the darkness of her subjects, Mary Ellen Mark always managed to propose humanistic images, freed from obscenity and disapproval. She also captured the glamour of society as a recognized celebrity portraitist and an on-set photographer for Federico Fellini or Francis Ford Coppola. The photographer succeeded in linking the illustrious with the miserable in the same melancholic yet gentle manner: “I take sad photographs. But look at the tenderness.”

Friends Rat, 16 (far left), and Mike, 17, have this Colt .45 only for defense, they insist, against men who try to pick them up or rob them. "I get hassled a lot" says Rat. "Mike's my protection." They picked Seattle because Mike had once lived there.
Friends Rat, 16 (far left), and Mike, 17, have this Colt .45 only for defense, they insist, against men who try to pick them up or rob them. “I get hassled a lot” says Rat. “Mike’s my protection.” They picked Seattle because Mike had once lived there.
Mike, passing for 18 with a fake I.D., earns $30 a week by selling plasma.
Mike, passing for 18 with a fake I.D., earns $30 a week by selling plasma.
Patti, 16, was arrested minutes after this brawl, cited for simple assault and released. Like many runaways, she learned violence at home and doesn’t hesitate to use it–even though she’s now four months pregnant–to settle all disputes. She is one of nine children, six of whom prefer the terror of the street to life in their Seattle home.
Dark-haired Patti waited until her victim’s pimp was out of sight and then jumped this girl because she never returned a borrowed jacket.
Shaken but unhurt, the girl finds her pimp. He calls the cops.
Shaken but unhurt, the girl finds her pimp. He calls the cops.
Patti’s tender side is reserved for her boyfriend, Munchkin. Patti and her boyfriend, 17, used to share motel rooms with a group of kids. Then Munchkin struck a deal with a motel manager in which Patti exchanges sex with him for a room of their own each night. But they haven’t yet found a solution to the $16 jaywalking and $125 littering tickets they–and all the kids–get almost daily. These are a form of police harassment, and one unpaid littering fine (the only means they have of paying is by prostitution or theft) means five nights in jail.
Erin and her stepfather argue when she’s home. “He doesn’t want me around,” she says. “He wants my mom all to himself.” Erin, 14, has been arrested twice for prostitution. Her probation order states that she must live with her family, not on the streets. Home is a one-room apartment over a tavern in downtown Seattle, and her bed is the couch. Her mother and stepfather, both unemployed, spend most of their time in the bar downstairs. During the year she was on the streets, Erin was raped, was lured into posing for pornographic photographs and supported a pimp by turning tricks.
Laurie, 14, says she was promised $80 by a middle-aged doctor who sexually abused her but reneged on the payment. She recently left Seattle to live with a Christian group in Kent, Wash.
This young dealer is injecting a 14-year-old customer with MDA (methylene dioxy amphetamine) in a crash pad for runaways. At $5 a capsule, MDA is the drug of choice among Seattle street kids–though marijuana is common, and LSD is making a comeback. MDA users need at least five capsules to attain the desired “body rush,” a violent shuddering later followed by sudden vomiting, clenching jaws and twitching eyes. The $1 “rigs” are disposable insulin syringes, but addicts dangerously reuse them as many as 50 times, honing dull needles on matchbook strips and lubricating the plungers with Vaseline.
When a homeless boy collapsed in agonizing spasms, fire department medics speculated his problem was drug related and rushed him to a hospital.
Within an hour of leaving this motel room, the two 14-year-old girls on the right were arrested for prostitution. They call the boy on the bed their “popcorn pimp” because he is only 18.
James, 18, sleeps under a waterfront viaduct.
Rat and Mike call rummaging for food in trash bins behind restaurants dumpster diving.
Rat and Mike call rummaging for food in trash bins behind restaurants dumpster diving.
Rat gives the finger to a man who ignored his begging.
Rat gives the finger to a man who ignored his begging.
This window is the only entry into the hotel.
This window is the only entry into the hotel.

14 Rare Old Miami Photos from the 1900’s

Miami River and the Royal Palm Hotel, Miami vintage photo

These old Miami photos date from the turn of the century.  Given the warm temperatures in this state, it’s fascinating to see the locals and tourists alike, dressed in suits and other formal attire.  Must have been a lot of folks passing out under the hot sun!

Mouth of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, Miami vintage photo
Mouth of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, 1900
vintage photo, East 12th Street residences, Miami
East 12th Street residences, Miami, 1900
vintage photo, Residences along the Bay Boulevard, Miami
Residences along the Bay Boulevard, Miami, 1900
vintage photo, Clock golf at the Royal Palm [Hotel], Miami
Clock golf at the Royal Palm Hotel, 1905. This is my favourite of the old Miami photos.  How did they dress like this and not pass out in the heat?!
vintage photo, 12th Street, looking east, Miami,
12th Street, looking east, 1900
vintage photo, House boating on the Miami River, Florida Enlarge
House boating on the Miami River, Florida, 1904
The Royal Palm, Miami, Fla., vintag ephoto 1905
The Royal Palm, 1905
vintage photo Hotel Royal Palm, Miami, Florida
Hotel Royal Palm, 1901
vintage photo, Biscayne Bay by moonlight, Miami, Florida
Biscayne Bay by moonlight, 1904
vintage photo Sunrise or moonlight on the Miami River, Miami
Sunrise on the Miami River, 1900
vintage photo, Indians canoeing on Miami River
Indians canoeing on Miami River, 1904
Miami River and the Hotel Royal Palm, Miami vintage photo
Miami River and the Hotel Royal Palm, 1900
Sunrise or moonlight on the Miami River, Miami vintage photo
Sunrise or moonlight on the Miami River, 1900
old miami photos
Hotel Seminole, 1900
old miami photos
Avenue C,1904

If you enjoyed these old Miami photos you might also like these vintage photos of New York’s Chinatown.

 

 

 

Old Photos of Bream

Take a peak at these rare old photos of Bream, a mining community in West Virginia.

Bream is an unincorporated community along Indian Creek Rd (County Route 49) in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It is the first community after State Route 114 turns across the Elk River to Big Chimney. Bream is located between Milliken and Pinch, and is usually omitted from the map, because of its size. The community was named after Bream Graham, the son of the proprietor of a local mine. Do you have any old photos of Bream you’d like to submit? Drop us a line! Continue reading