williams meyers outer boroughs

Why do suburbs get a raw deal? I’m not just talking New York. London, Paris, Rome, Sydney… even in my hometown of Brighton which is small enough to walk from one end to another just about, people overlook them; some shudder at the thought of them, even. This is why photographer William Meyers is special. For 20 years starting in 1990, he began exploring the parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island usually overlooked by other photographers in favour of Manhattan’s glitz. The result is his fascinating first book, Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan, a poetic collection of black and white photos that fills the gap in New York’s photographic heritage and pays tribute to New York City’s suburbs, capturing the rarely documented beauty of its less renowned neighbourhoods through street scenes, cityscapes, interiors and intimate portraits of locals going about their everyday lives. Here are a few photographs from the book to get you in the mood:

Above: Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, 1998.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2005.

Roosevelt Island, 1998.

Co-Op City, Bronx, 1999.

Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, 1998.

DUMBO, Brooklyn, 2002.

Seaside, Queens, 2001.

Long Island City, Queens, 2004

Riverdale, Bronx, 1998.

340395Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, 2002.

Outer Boroughs: New York beyond Manhattan by William Meyers is published by Damiani.

Psst! Posts you might have missed: Dreamy Photos of a Brooklyn Night Owl. and New York’s Disappearing Store Fronts.


  1. It’s so true – there’s so much more to New York than Manhattan. And so many photo opportunities.

  2. I’ve just been looking at these old suburban pics again. I think the fact that they are black and white adds to their mystery and nostalgia. Pity b&w is so underused.

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