The last time we looked at the South Bronx it was 1979 through 1987, and now photographer Ray Mortenson focuses in on 1982 through 1984 in his new exhibit titled "Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx." Opening November 14th (and running through March 9th) at the Museum of the City of New York, Mortenson's exhibit of 50 black & white prints will take a look at "the abandoned, burnt out, and razed structures of entire city blocks in the South Bronx in the aftermath of the 1970s, during which this neighborhood experienced dramatic decline." (Did you know about 12,000 fires occurred annually in the neighborhood throughout the decade?)
Mortenson says, “The buildings were like tombs – sealed up, broken open and plundered. Inside, stairways with missing steps led up to abandoned apartments. Doors opened into rooms that were once bedrooms or kitchens. Small things left behind hint at who the occupants might have been – a hairbrush, photographs, or bits of clothing.” The urban decline had begun in the Great Depression of the 30s, and "accelerated with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the 1950s and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s." A real pick-me-up during the current financial crisis.