New York City Bus Passengers

A unique collection of anonymous photographs taken on NYC buses

“These pictures were taken in Manhattan between 1993 and 1999. After I had a serious motorcycle accident in 1992 I came to the belated conclusion that riding a motorcycle in a city where everyone is in a big hurry and where the enforcement of traffic laws is essentially non-existent was not a good idea. Better late than never.

As a result I found myself riding the city buses almost everywhere and I was struck by the rich diversity of people I encountered: young people, old people, everyone in between, people of all ethnic origins, outcasts, homeless people, business types, nannies with children, members of all social classes. This is where New Yorkers really mix. Here you are in close proximity to people you may never see again, the atmosphere is far more relaxed than in the subway, there is a steady change of characters and you might even strike a conversation. Yes, a conversation between strangers in New York!

I had to document this. I decided to take pictures. Not quite surreptitiously but discreetly, shooting mostly from the hip, using small, quiet, unobtrusive cameras (a Contax T and a Rollei 35 S for those who must know).

From the beginning, I was enthusiastic about this project and few people seemed to mind. I caught a few looking right at the camera and two attractive young women positively glaring but everyone else either paid no attention or let me indulge in my quirky behavior. Hey, this is New York!

My heartfelt thanks to all of them.” – DF