Drawing inspiration from Bruce Davidson’s “East 100th Street,” a photographic study of a single block in Harlem, Zimmermann wandered up and down Hufelandstrasse, capturing the faces and facades of the neighborhood.
His old-fashioned view camera required Zimmermann to work slowly and deliberately, sometimes testing the patience of his subjects. He had an arsenal of bad jokes to keep them entertained before the decisive moment.
Zimmermann later brought his photo sessions into his neighbors’ homes, recording their carefully decorated abodes in rich color.
After a small exhibition in 1989, Zimmermann’s photos were hidden away in a box for more than two decades.