Menu

Endearing Photographs of Staten Island in the 1980s

Two Girls with Matching Outfits

Two Girls with Matching Outfits

Young Man Pulling a Go-Kart

Young Man Pulling a Go-Kart

The pictures she made in Staten Island, suggests New York-based photographer Christine Osinski, she produced only for her own unnamable reasons. The images remained tucked away for nearly thirty years, and until very recently, she held no plans to reveal them publicly. Summer Days: Staten Island is her homecoming, to the curious and friendly borough she came to know so well.

All of the pictures in the book were taken between 1983 and 1984, capturing only one peculiar slice of time. She and her family had relocated from Manhattan, and in many ways, the island was a strange and unfamiliar world, removed entirely from the rhythms of the rest of the city.

On some other ineffable level, taking the ferry across to Staten Island was a return to her roots; here, she recognized the faint echoes of her childhood and young adulthood spent in the working class areas of Chicago’s South Side.

And childhood takes center stage in Summer Days: Staten Island; though there are photographs of adults, it’s the youngsters and adolescents—autonomous and sovereign over their own little universe—who make the book truly special.

As the grown-ups lounge about outdoors, attending block parties and tinkering endlessly with their houses, cars, and lawns, the children approach stare back at the camera. They are independent, strong-willed, and very much aware of being watched.

The people pictured here were strangers to the photographer, met only in passing. Still, in the pages of this book, they emerge as friends and neighbors, unnamed and unforgettable.

Summer Days: Staten Island is published by Damiani. Find it here.

Boy on a Bike

Boy on a Bike

Two Shirtless Boys

Two Shirtless Boys

Braided Girl Holding a Flag

Braided Girl Holding a Flag

Children on Wrecked Car

Children on Wrecked Car

jacksons 1984 tou.2 001

Two Girls at the Beach

flag 001

Girl Holding Flag

Animals Near the Staten Island Mall

Animals Near the Staten Island Mall

man beckoning 001

Man Beckoning

All images © Christine Osinski

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!