Weideman had completed MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts, and the initial plan was to take up a job related to his studies, as a photographer, perhaps. But, that was not in store for Weideman. It was not offered on a silver plate. He anyway was prepared for the adventure ahead. After living with a friend for the first month and a half, Weideman found a 200-square-foot apartment in Times Square when ‘The Deuce’, as it was nicknamed, was home to pushers and prostitutes, sex palaces and porn theatres, hustlers and three-card monte dealers.
It was a perfect place to be. 1970s Manhattan was an outlaw town riddled with violence and crime. It became a magnet for fearless spirits who lived life on their terms. Although Weideman had taken visual cues from film noir throughout his life, it was the work of photographers William Klein, Diane Arbus, Joel Meyerowitz, and Robert Frank that made him aware that something spectacular was happening in New York. Weideman saw this as an opportunity, but then, there were other immediate concerns. Day-to-day survival, paying the rent and all wasn’t easy. When Weideman’s neighbor, a taxi driver, took him on a ride, the path ahead became crystal clear. Weideman decided to be a driver – he could be an active part of the nightlife of Manhattan. What’s more, he can get to meet different people. Within a week, he started taking his camera along and started photographing his clients.