Street View: Photographing Spanish Harlem in the 1980s
Feb 3, 2018
Rodriguez's photographs were (and remain) a rare window into a place that is considerably less famous than its adjoining neighbor to the west, the historically African American neighborhood of Harlem. Between the 1920s and 1940s, thousands of Puerto Ricans began settling in the area, also known as East Harlem or El Barrio, transforming it into a cultural hub. Rodriguez was raised in Brooklyn but frequently visited his uncle's candy store in El Barrio as a child. In Spanish Harlem, he writes about being part of a spirited community where "people on the block would come by to play dominoes, listen to the music of Puente, Palmieri, Colón, drink beer and talk about baseball."