From the Archive
New York Streetwalkers, 1971
July 11, 2013
by Burt Glinn
In 1971 Burt Glinn documented street prostitutes for New York Magazine. At the time, prostitutes had been getting more mention in the press due to a series of incidents in which streetwalkers had attacked clients. Many thought that prostitutes were beginning to make more money through violence than "rendered services", this at a time when the New York Times claimed that there were more protitutes, gangsters and hoodlums in Times Square than ever before.
Prostitution was able to exist at such a scale since laws at the time made it practically impossible to get a conviction and even when one was attained, the fine was usually as low as $50-$100; a trifle since a streetwalker could earn her money back in less than an hour.
Since Magnum's office at this time was located in the same area in which the photos were taken, publications were told that neither the photographer's nor Magnum's name should appear in credit lines. A precaution like this was essential in the "bad old days" of New York. How the city has changed!