Viewfinder | Public Display of Affection

Scott Lynch on capturing his love affair with New York.

Hey DJ

“I’ve been in New York City for more than 30 years now, since the late 1970’s, and have always had such a huge crush on this town. Street photography, the (sometimes a bit obsessive) shooting of anything and everyone that catches my eye, or makes me smile, or suddenly seems fresh and new even if I’ve walked by it a thousand times before, has been an amazing discovery for me, the most immediate and satisfying way I’ve ever found to express my affection for this beautiful city and its never-ending parade of people, and to share it all with my daughters, my friends (especially New Yorkers in-exile… LOVE making them homesick!), and, thank you Internet, tons of strangers.”


“I love when old-school New York plays well with the new fanciness–there’s too much energy, creativity, and humor on both sides, old and new, for it to ever get TOO sterile around these parts–as when this elegant blown-glass chandelier was hung from a crane over the auto body place on Bowery and Great Jones.”

Staten Island Ferry Terminal: Plant girl

“After more than 30 years of being strictly a four-borough-er, I took my first-ever ride to Staten Island recently. The Ferry Terminals on both sides were packed with interesting folks, including this trio.”


“There couldn’t be a block with less DANGER on it than this one. This kid (in matching shirt!) was loving it, though.”


“I always have fun shooting at streets fairs because the vendors tend to be chatty, motivated I guess by both salesmanship and boredom. For example: this excellently-bearded gentleman, who patiently explained to me that his rows of Ka’ak were loafs of Lebanese bread, not some sort of sesame-studded bag.”

Skateboarding is not a crime

“Ah, the NYPD. Of course I appreciate much of what they do in this town, but they also make for good street photography subjects, because, especially in uniform, they juxtapose so nicely with… well, with just about everything. As this scene was unfolding I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on with this officer and his detainee, who was clearly some sort of dangerous skateboarding hoodlum, but there was a touch of Norman Rockwell to the proceedings too, almost as if he were handing out fatherly advice to the young ruffian.”

Quick snooze

“I’m extremely pro public nap, but think this guy would have been more comfortable stretching out on the lawn. Seriously, though, I never shoot the homeless or the crazy, and try not to post anything in which people look bad, or ugly, or foolish, but to me this falls more into the ‘cute’ category. Unless he was supposed to be at the office…?”

Warm Up PS1: Dancing

“Yeah, sure, cute kids having a blast make for an easy subject… but most of the time they’re tearing around too much for my camera (and my reflexes) to get them. Shot about 20 pictures here, got lucky with one.”

Lost on East 12th

“It was only around lunchtime, but these two tourists looked like they’d had enough already. Of course I asked if they needed help (AFTER I took a few shots of them against that great big bright blank wall, the guarantor of a good photograph), because, like any solid New York citizen, I love being able to show that I know something that you don’t.”


“The first thing I noticed was a humongous empty limo — really, it was some sort of crazy mega-sized thing, bigger than many apartments I’ve seen — with all kinds of mylar birthday balloons and music blaring. Then, across the street, there they were, getting slices of 2 Brothers Dollar Pizza, of all things. The whole party was out on the sidewalk, wolfing classic New York City folds!”


“This is the smallest car I’ve ever seen (a Fiat 500, apparently, thank you, commenter austinmini1275), and it cracked me up when the NYPD cruiser stopped it in the middle of 14th Street, presumably as a goof, though maybe questioning its street legal-ness. I wish the cop had stuck his/her head out of the window, but still, I thought this was a pretty funny shot.”

Scott Lynch is community contributor to The Local East Village.