Although I don’t think good street photography requires a project/series context, over time I have compiled a collection of photos that defines the place we call Atlantic City. It’s one of my favorite places to shoot street.
Atlantic City isn’t a microcosm of anything. Its culture is unique, in a mainly unflattering way. It is a city of extremes that happens to border the Atlantic Ocean. It’s what happens when countless promises to share the wealth are broken.
At any given time, its population is largely comprised of the ultra-rich, the ultra-poor, the thousands of middle-income recreational gamblers — and those who make a meager living serving them all.
Originally scratch-built as the USA’s first seashore resort, the ocean now is little more than an afterthought. Atlantic City’s several-mile stretch of seashore is practically devoid of bathers. Signs remind board-walkers that the ocean is only a few hundred feet away.
The rich brush elbows with the destitute. Lavish casinos are juxtaposed with row house squalor. Hints of the grandeur that was can be glimpsed through the crumbling architecture that still stands. The boardwalk is a constant parade of Boardwalk beggars, Boardwalk hustlers, Boardwalk prey.