Dede Emerson

From jazz pianist to UN Development Officer to NYC photographer

Dede Emerson, author of book of photos of Manhattan

Dede Emerson was born and raised in northern Minnesota. She came to New York in the fifties to study jazz piano improvisation at Juilliard and never returned home preferring instead the stimulation of the New York scene. She enjoyed several years as a successful jazz pianist in the New York area working with her own trio or quartet. Pursuing her music career took a back seat after she took a 6-month trip around the world in 1963. The impact of seeing poverty and misery in so many of the countries she visited, brought her to the United Nations where for 30 years she concentrated her efforts as an economic development officer on bettering the lives of people in third world countries. While at the United Nations she went on over sixty missions and worked in its offices overseas. To date she has been in 91 countries.

On April 24, 2005 she began the first of her walks that would result in her walking every single block, street, nook, and cranny of Manhattan taking more than 2,000 pictures along the way of the offbeat, yet normal side of Manhattan. The end result has been her first book, "A Different Kind of Streetwalker…Manhattan by Foot, One Block at a Time" published by Booksurge and now available at or

In conjunction with her book, she has been giving slideshows and talks about her walking project which have been well received by her audiences. She lives in Ossining, New York.