Undercity: Exploring the Underbelly of New York City

Steve Duncan is an urban historian and photographer whose mission is to “peel back the layers of a city to see what’s underneath” – to piece together the complex cities we inhabit. In this fascinating video, we follow Duncan as he explores the underbelly of New York City. Andrew Wonder, using a Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 24mm f/1.4L lens, documents the adventure. The sensory experiences must be extraordinary, as Alan Feuer (who accompanied Steve and Andrew on one of their trips) writes in the New York Times:

The sounds down here are even more impressive than the sights and smells: the Niagara-like crash of water spilling in from side drains; the rumble of the subway; the guh-DUNK! of cars hitting manhole covers overhead, like two jabs on a heavy bag.

For more, I highly recommend reading the NPR story, “Into the Tunnels.” Also worth seeing are Duncan’s photos of New York City bridges and the underground rivers of London. The video above has a run time of 28 minutes.

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  1. Chris says . . . | February 9, 2011 / 10:47 pm

    People interested in this sort of thing should also check out the documentary Dark Days about the homeless that used to live in a sort of city in abandoned NYC subway tunnels (though sadly I don’t think it is available for free anywhere).

  2. Jake McGowan says . . . | February 10, 2011 / 8:08 am

    There’s a great article about Mr. Duncan in a recent issue of Columbia Magazine:


  3. mcbn says . . . | February 17, 2011 / 1:57 pm

    Dark Days can easily be watched online for free. See the link.

    Its definitely see-worthy in relations to this film.

    Fun Fact: DJ Shadow is credited for the music on both films


  4. Anne says . . . | February 18, 2011 / 10:14 am

    The photos on his website are beautiful! Thanks for posting the video and all the links!

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