Vintage Snapshots of Life on New York City’s Streets

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From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

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 ’90s), 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.

These candid snapshots of New Yorkers appear in Levitt’s newest book, out November 7 by powerHouse. One, Two, Three, More, by Levitt and Geoff Dyer, features Levitt’s photos of street life in New York City during the ’30s and ’40s, many published for the first time. Click through to preview the book.

One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt and Geoff Dyer
$25, Amazon

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Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

Photo: Helen Levitt/© Film Documents LLC

From One, Two, Three, More by Helen Levitt, published by powerHouse Books. 

See New York City Street Style From the ’30s and ’40s