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Colorful Photos Of Chicagoans On Their Lunch Breaks In The 1970s

By Jen Carlson in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 23, 2015 4:00PM

Remember when people took lunch breaks? These glorious one-hour journeys out of one's office and into the great wide open have since been replaced with sad desk lunches, but in the 1970s photographer Charles Traub captured humans out in the wild, basking in sunlight, interacting with the city and its people on their way to get a bite to eat.

Traub's images are so crisp and vivid that they can almost transport you decades back in time, when fashion was bold and colorful and way more fun. We asked him about the series, which is comprised of very up close & personal shots. Traub recalled:

"I must say most of them are memorable in some way. Simply because it was so easy and indeed remarkable that people were so cooperative. We quickly exchanged information, most importantly about who they were: professors, business people, shop owners, musicians etc. A couple of the people became real friends. Most memorable is the fact that I have no memory of anyone rejecting my quest to photograph them. Of course, there were always questions like why are you doing this, and I answered I'm an artist and I like the way you look, or the drape of your scarf, or I'm just curious about where you are going for lunch."

Click through for a look at Traub's images (which you can also find in his book now). He tells us that nearly all of his photos from his "Lunchtime" series in Chicago (he took some in NYC, too) were taken on either South or North Michigan Avenue in 1976 and 1977.