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New York City’s parks in 1978

Girls on splintered boardwalk, South Beach, Staten Island. (Photograph by Neal Boenzi/NYC Parks Photo Archive/Caters News)

Summer in the city — New York City's parks in 1978

These fascinating photographs offer a colorful glimpse into the history of New York City’s parks, after nearly 3,000 slides were discovered while an official was cleaning out an office.

Forty years ago, New York City’s newspapers went on strike for nearly three months. Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis hired eight temporarily out-of-work New York Times photographers — Neal Boenzi, Joyce Dopkeen, D. Gorton, Eddie Hausner, Paul Hosefros, Robert Klein, Larry Morris and Gary Settle — to document the city’s parks.

Sixty-five of those images, capturing scenes across the city between August and November 1978, are currently on display at an exhibition dedicated to the find.

Jonathan Kuhn, director of art and antiquities for the New York City Parks Department, said: “I first learned of the slides in mid-October of 2017 and immediately decided to do an exhibition.

“The show is not just about nostalgia. What differentiated these images were that they were from a very condensed period of time.

“I’m interested in the use of parks and bringing people together.

“They show that parks will never be irrelevant.” (Caters News/New York City Parks Dept.)

“1978: The NYC Parks/New York Times Photo Project” exhibition is on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park until June 14.

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