“The Deuce” 1985

This is one of the first pictures I took that has some historical significance. Driving across “The Deuce” in my taxi, I was still 26 years old. That’s half a lifetime ago. I would probably have had my doors locked and been fairly alert, as the block was loaded with some pretty scary people. Now a quarter century later, the block is clean and almost safe for the tourists 24 hours a day. I want to lament the changes, but when I remember how bad the place was, I have to admit that nostalgia can even make us miss a cesspool like the old 42d Street. I was threatened several times, not for taking anyone’s picture, but merely for carrying a camera down that block. Fifteen year old prostitutes and their pimps were nothing but sad, and people selling fake drugs didn’t make me think “The Deuce” was where it was at. It’s just now, many years later that the new sterile version has made many of us wish for the days, when not being mugged on “The Deuce” was a major accomplishment…

© Matt Weber