Two Girls with Matching Outfits
Young Man Pulling a Go-Kart
The New York-based photographer Christine Osinski’s images of Staten Island 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 particular 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 and 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.
Boy on a Bike
Two Shirtless Boys
Braided Girl Holding a Flag
Children on Wrecked Car
Two Girls at the Beach
Girl Holding Flag
Animals Near the Staten Island Mall
All images © Christine Osinski