Rich Allen, NYC street photos + Filmmaker

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Ricochetrider, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. A buddy of mine who's a lifelong New Yorker is always posting neat old street photos of The City & Lower East Side. I've marveled over them for ages but only yesterday did it dawn on me to see who the photographer was exactly.

    Turns out it's Rich Allen- a guy who had some humble beginnings as a bicycle messenger in the 70s- and then went on to become a film maker. His book, (and I may not have the name exact here) Street Photos NYC/ Hooky comes with a CD of either his 1st or an early film. Still available new (signed too) from his website, but here's an article on him and his work

    From Bike Messenger to Filmmaker Rich Allen’s Magnificent ‘Street Shots / Hooky’
  2. BTW Rich Allen is alive and presumedly well. He was born in 1949 so he's a "young" guy! :)
  3. Isn’t this just more of the same? It’s very much what I’ve already seen and know. I’d like to be led down a different alley.
  4. Great photos Ricochet! What an eye and courage those guys had. I was in Cleveland in those years.......Ah, good times, affordable dissolution.

    SS - I suspect there's any number of people who'd like to lead you down an alley..............
    PapaTango likes this.
  5. EP - I doubt you can even begin to imagine! [Oh, the alleys I've seen.]
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  6. Certainly, these photos are nothing New In This World... new to me tho. Resonating with me particularly because I happen to hang out occasionally in the neighborhood he shot, on some of the same streets, making my own photographs there

  7. I wonder whether Allen ever shot any street photos in what was, still in the 1970s, a rich and vibrant Jewish culture in the lower east side. From the examples in the article the OP, perhaps he did not.
  8. Allen did shoot on the Lower East Side. That neighborhood, by the 70s, was already changing and was not as much a home to the Jewish immigrant community as it had been in the earlier 20th Century, though there was certainly more Jewish influence than today. By mid-century, other ethnic groups were moving in, as Chinatown's numbers were increasing and Latin American populations were also moving in. Allen, from what I've found, doesn't seem to have concentrated on particular cultural or ethnic aspects of the city, though I haven't found all that much.

    Here are a few photos a google search of "Rich Allen Lower East Side" found ...

    Fernando, Lower East Side, 1976, by Rich Allen

    Walking the Lower East Side, 1975, by Rich Allen

    Lower East Side, 1975, by Rich Allen
  9. Muchas gracias.

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