William Gedney moved to Brooklyn as a nineteen year-old to attend the Pratt Institute of Art. He graduated from Pratt in 1955, but continued to live in Brooklyn for more than twenty years, first in a cold-water flat on Myrtle Avenue and later, in 1974, moving to the basement apartment of a brownstone owned by his closest friends from art school, Arnold and Anita Lobel. New York was one of Gedney's favorite subjects, and over the years, he photographed parades, revivals, holiday shoppers, automobile shows, Washington Market, Times Square, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. There was one particular bar in Brooklyn, O'Rourke's, that he visited, wrote about, and photographed often in the early 1960s. In 1969, William Gedney compiled two notebooks devoted exclusively to Myrtle Avenue, the street on which he lived. That year he also began a series of photographs from his apartment window, his view of the commerce of life under the elevated train. One of the last series Gedney undertook was to photograph the yearly parade commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots.