Photographer’s New Book Captures Community Spirit From NYC Rooftops

COVID may have paused Josh Katz’s Explorer-in-Chief creative fellowship at the Downtown Alliance, but that hasn’t stopped the Brooklyn-based photographer from putting his talent toward a good cause. 

The 23-year-old combated 2020’s cabin fever by developing an extensive photo book, “New York in Quarantine: Rooftop Culture Through Crisis,” which documents a community’s perseverance in light of once-in-a-century pandemic. “When NYC emerged as a pandemic hotbed,” Katz explained via his book’s Kickstarter, “rooftops became our only respite from cramped apartments; our only escape into the outside world.” 

Katz documented rooftop culture as it emerged during New York’s stay-at-home orders, which helped him stand out from his excellent fellow finalists during the interview process for the Alliance’s Explorer-in-Chief role. And now the photographer has adapted his work into book form. “I’m creating ‘New York in Quarantine’ to memorialize the hope, beauty and eccentricity of New Yorkers persevering through this difficult moment in history,” Katz added. “This will be a 96-page, 9×12″ photo book with over 70 images and several essays chronicling the unique rooftop microcosm through quarantine.”

One-hundred percent of the book’s profits will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and is available for preorder on Kickstarter until October 29.

photo: Josh Katz