The urban environment constantly compelled Bertschmann to return to figurative expressionism. This voluminous body of stylistically related series of paintings is generally referred to as the New Yorkers Series but includes twenty specific sub-series. Each series is appropriately named for an incident or location, such as Collisions, Packed Chaos, West Side Highway, Inner City, Times Square, and Impact. They are the result of his frequent forays exploring the city, each part of a visual quest for a particular series as if he were hired to be an illustrator for an urban sociologist or an environmental psychologist. Drawing wherever he went, he absorbed the spirit of his immediate neighborhood — from prostitutes to drug dealers to street fights. Also just steps away was West Street, long known as “Death Avenue” owing to its history of numerous car crashes. The area was littered with abandoned cars that weren’t worth salvaging because they got stripped down so quickly after accidents or breakdowns. Rising above the chaos of West Street was the old Westside Elevated Highway, which was closed in 1973 for a lengthy demolition process. However, for many years before and after its demolition began, Bertschmann was intrigued by the numerous abandoned cars that remained testament to crashes.