25 Vintage 1980s Snapshots Of Times Square That Will Never Be Seen In Real Life Again

All photographs have been used with permission from the photographer.

Mitch O’Connell is a Chicago-based photographer. As a 17-year-old, he would travel to NYC to document the now long-lost treasures that Times Square once held in the 80s.

As an aspiring artist, starting at 17ish, I would travel to NY every once in awhile to show my illustrations. This was before websites, emails and electricity, so you had to get your work seen the old fashioned way, pestering. I’d crash at friends/relatives apartments and spend the day cold calling and pleading.

If I was lucky I’d get an actual face to face with an art director at a magazine or comic publisher, but more often than not I’d have to do the portfolio drop off where I’d get it there by 10am and pick it up after lunch. I only had the one (didn’t think to have multiples) so that left me plenty of free time to stroll the city, and what was more eye catching than 42nd Street? I wish I had taken 1000 more photos (and gone back at night) of the amazing buildings and people that could only be found there, but at least I got a handful of snapshots of the long gone cool decaying seediness of that bustling stretch of real estate! – Mitch O’Connell

To everyone else born after the 80s, I think this is a great opportunity to get a glimpse of what Times Square was like, before Disney set foot and changed it.


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Mitch O’Connell Photography

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Mitch has a new book out: Mitch O’Connell the World’s Best Artist, which you can check out here.

Mitch O'Connell the World's Best Artist
Mitch O’Connell the World’s Best Artist

Visit Mitch’s website here. You can find him on Facebook and Blogspot, too. TC mark

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