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1970s HarlemJack Garofalo’s Photographs of 1970s Harlem. Photo by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match, via Getty Images

Living in New York City during the 1970s sometimes meant looking over your shoulder or trying to get indoors before dark. It’s no hidden fact that the city was not exactly at its safest during this time. Just ask The NYC Council for Public Safety, who created an anti-tourist guide to the New York City in 1975. The city was in the midst of a massive crime wave that reached its fever pitch when the infamous blackout plunged the sprawling metropolis into darkness in the summer of 1977. None of this stopped Jack Garofalo, a French photographer for The Paris Match from taking snapshots of Harlem during the summer of 1970. Recently featured on The Retronaut on Mashable, these simple yet captivating photos capture the beauty beneath the grim and gritty veneer of 70s era New York.

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

For six weeks, Garofalo scoured the streets of Harlem during a time when the neighborhood was reeling from an abrupt dip in its population as well as its reputation. A mass exodus of its residents fled the neighborhood in search of better homes, better schools and safer streets. Despite the tangible sense of danger that stigmatized the neighborhood, Garofalo’s photos proved that he was adept at capturing the spirit and essence of New York.

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

Harlem 1970sPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s HarlemPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

1970s Harlem
Photo by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

Harlem 1970sPhoto by Jack Garofolo/Paris Match

Next, check out photographs by Bruce Davidson of the gritty NYC subway in the 1980s and then/now photos from “Dirty Old 1970s NYC.”

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