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The Beauty That Remains

Linda Cubitoso | New Jersey, United States

Take Out, Paterson, 2020

My goal was to create a visual documentation of two of the post-industrial cities in my home state of NJ, Paterson and  Newark. 

Unlike some larger cities that have transformed from manufacturing to the service sector, many smaller cities throughout the nation have not been able make the transition. Paterson, where the industrial park had its creation, was once a bustling city, is a case in point. Several factors contributed to the city's decline including the movement of factories to Mexico to reduce costs, and the "great white flight" starting in the 1950s.

Newark, the largest city in NJ,  has seen some renewal in certain downtown sections of the city, but if you explore a deeper, you see incredible devastation. Once a booming city known for its production of leather, bricks, and for its several breweries, Newark began its decline post WWII.  Factors contributing include the rise of large housing projects that failed to meet decent standards of living and the Newark riots of 1967.

The decline lingers as you will see depicted herein, as well you will see the beauty that remains.



All photos in this exhibit were taken by me.  Everything is candid or a spur of the moment pose as a response to a request by me for a shot.  Nothing is staged beyond that.  I edited in Lightroom and Photoshop but there are no composites or double exposures. I use a Canon T6 DSLR camera.

Please note that beyond photo titles, I don't do long written descriptions of the photo or why I shot it.  That is because I want to stay objective and let the viewer read into what they will.  Yes, we are seeing decline in infrastructure, yes we are seeing some poverty, but it doesn't have to seem unsightly.  We can find the beauty and vibrancy of these neighborhoods and the lives of the inhabitants of these cities, which is the point of my study. I like to give the viewer the chance to find that out.


Linda Cubitoso

Instagram account @justlikeabirdonawire

Email:  lcubitoso@msn.com

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