Click to preview Outer Borough photo book

When travelers imagine New York City, they picture Manhattan. And, in fact, the island metropolis with its soaring buildings and restless crowds, is like nowhere else. But there are other worlds, too, in the great City. These pictures were made from 2004 to 2009 in the smaller cities, called boroughs, that surround Manhattan. To a New Yorker, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island are known as the "outer boroughs."


About the Author

Tim Connor
timpconnor Brooklyn, NY, U.S.

Comments (5) Write a comment


dmellos says

nice work, and the juxtapositions and pairings are very intelligent and witty. Thanks.

posted at 09:57am Jan 06 PST


dmellos says

nice work, and the juxtapositions and pairings are very intelligent and witty. Thanks.

posted at 09:56am Jan 06 PST


erikg says

This book looks great, I've only seen it in virtual form so far, but it is thoughtfully sequenced and the image pairs playfully comment upon each other. I hope to have the chance to see a printed copy.

posted at 07:00pm Jan 18 PST


timpconnor says

I'm not interested in making a statement about the boroughs -- not psychological, sociological or ideological -- & that's why my pictures in this book don't have titles or even locations. I photograph what moves me in these neighborhoods -- that includes what amuses me, also what I disapprove of -- but to me the one thing my subjects DON'T have is "lack of vibrancy." I appreciate you bringing this up. It's something I obsess about & work to avoid. In fact, I started this whole series because I was fascinated by the Catholic religious statues in front yards all over NYC & Jersey -- mostly in Italian neighborhoods, mostly Madonnas & child or St Anthony w the Christ Child -- & I was sincerely fascinated but I didn't know why. Here's what I wrote about it for a show I was in:


I was drawn to the statues of madonnas and saints in the yards and alleyways of Brooklyn because they seemed to gather light. This was during the dark winter months of 2006. I was attracted to the statues for other reasons too. Raised a devout Catholic, I had turned violently against the church as a teenager and could still fly into a rage when the subject of priests or Catholic dogma came up. For me the statues represented another kind of religious impulse, outside the official church – outside any church -- more ancient. They gave a form to the universal human yearning to be magically protected, to be comforted in a hard and pitiless world. It was easy to make fun of the statues. They were in fact spiritual action figures for grown ups with their bright colors and iconic symbols, and many homeowners had combined them in dizzyingly kitschy displays with everything from garden frogs to Disney cartoon characters. I photographed them on the weekends all winter and through the spring and summer -- statues that were fussed-over and revered as well as those that were being allowed to disintegrate, a vague superstition away from being discarded. Eventually I realized that – weird as they could sometimes be -- I was photographing the saints without irony. In the end, like their owners, I found them comforting.

Or to put it another way. I could seek, as you say, the "desolation of cities" in the neighborhoods or I could romanticize them as bastions of good honest working people w "family values", but both, I think, would be dishonest. The pix are what they are. I don't change anything. I just move around a lot, frame & shoot. I think they're important, obviously. But I accept that every viewer is capable of assigning his or her meaning to the images. And btw, I have myself lived in the "outer boroughs" -- Brooklyn -- for 18 years.

posted at 10:23am Jan 17 PST


runningwild says

a lot of english photographers do this sort fo thing about london, and there have been several on booksmart .... they try to portray the desolation of cities, the mindless ugliness and the lack of vibrancy it seems of this life ... but the residents themselves complain when outsiders show them as human garbage since the londoners havers a rich culutre (brick lane, cockney)

posted at 07:57pm Jan 16 PST


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