Culture

Haunting Photos From a New York City Rodeo

Photography by Adam Powell / Story by Brendan Wetmore

"Do I smell bacon?" Next to me, a photographer sniffed the air of the loading dock at Madison Square Garden. A small crowd of press had gathered at rows of metal chutes set up to guide a bull parade along a sloping driveway and into the main arena.

"No, there's a steakhouse right outside," another photographer quipped. Sure enough, Nick & Stef's Steakhouse sat immediately adjacent to the loading dock on Pennsylvania Plaza, built right into the stadium. An undeniable meat odor continued to waft through the air as bull after angry bull filed out of the trailers.

It's the type of peculiar circumstance that can only result from a Professional Bull Riders event occurring smack-dab in the middle of the Big Apple, as it did last weekend. Against the backdrop of yellow cabs and bustling commuters outside Penn Station, thousands of cowboys and spectators arrive to witness a bucking event like no other. The juxtaposition of western culture and midtown Manhattan is obvious, but even more eclectic is the actual crowd that makes it to the Garden each year.

Superstar street photographer Adam Powell takes on the task of capturing the energy of the urban rodeo for PAPER below. Saddle up, and view the full slideshow.

Photography: Adam Powell

Subscribe to Get More