STREETS OF NEW YORK - Work and No Work
Photographs by David Bacon
From Chinatown to midtown, Manhattan is part of a city that works, and also that doesn't work. That is, it's full of working people, but not everyone has a job. Some people work on the street, while others live and sleep on it. New York is not like the suburbs, or cities built around malls and cars. Everything and anything can happen in the streets here.
Mostly, people are divided into those on their way somewhere and those who have nowhere to go. People walk fast. You can tell the tourists simply because they're slow, they stop a lot, and they look at the sights -- the tall buildings, and even the ads on the buildings. New Yorkers have this determined expression when they walk -- life is too serious to dawdle.
Then there are the New Yorkers who live out on the sidewalk. The city has more than its share of the homeless. One man sits and asks for money or a cigarette. Another sleeps next to a drainpipe. But even an old man pushing a shopping cart has look of someone on the way somewhere. It's just that he's pushing it down the middle of 23rd Street, making the tourist busses detour around him.