Posts Tagged 'new york city'

Cyclist Protests Ticket for Not Riding In Bike Lane

I love this — this guy has a sense of humor about the way that our cities always find a way to punish the most innocent behavior (while the real dirtbags walk free, I might add).

Storefronts From Bygone Days

James and Karla Murray have been photographing the unique and quirky storefronts of New York City for over 10 years. Their documentation is especially nice considering how quickly independent stores are disappearing and being replaced by boring corporate chains. In 2009, they released their book, Store Front, which features 225 businesses — half of which are now gone. They started the project because they were attracted to the signage, but then they met and talked with the owners and learned their stories. Their work has turned into an archive of New York City commerce.

It sounds like a cliché, lamenting the “good old days,” but when you look at these great old businesses and think what’s now in their places — Starbucks, Foot Lockers, cookie cutter condos — you have to admit, we are losing out.

To see more of their work, go to the Clic Gallery.

Photo by Erik Calonius/The U.S. National Archives

Q&A…The ‘Chasing Sanitation’ Duo

Photos courtesy of Chasing Sanitation

Writer Lisa Dowda and photographer Liz Ligon decided an oft-overlooked population of city workers needed their due. So, in 2008, the Brooklyn residents joined forces to create “Chasing Sanitation,” a project to promote the “oldest green-collared profession,” New York City’s Department of Sanitation workers.

Now that they’ve met their goal of raising $7,500 (and then some) through a campaign, they’re talking to exhibit curators and looking for sponsors and gallery venues.

Here, we talked to the duo about the thrill of the chase.

Why sanitation workers?
Lisa: If we chase cops, we’ll get arrested. If we chase firemen, we’ll get in the way, and it’s already been done by countless fans. So we Chase Sanitation workers – and we never stop laughing and crying and being amazed at the stories of their lives. Who knew there were so many germophobe sanitation workers?

Why does it matter that people know who these guys are?
Lisa: Guys and GALS! Because they catch such flack all the time and they’re everywhere, all day, all over the city, every day. Once I noticed one, I couldn’t stop seeing them everywhere. They’re the caretakers of all we discard. No one wants to talk to that person. There’s too much of some sort of elusive societal continental divide between that person and us. That’s what I’m interested in – the person that people just take for granted and shame or ignore but need so inherently.

Why not bus drivers or corrections officers?
Liz: Well, when you put it that way, it does matter that we know who our bus drivers and corrections officers are, too.

Lisa: Ha! I’ve thought about bus drivers. A lot. But there’s 7,000 employees of sanitation and we’re only two people! We knew we had a big project. Especially how we wanted to do it, the time we want to take to chase and interview them. And corrections officers … well, with as many parking tickets as I’ve gotten doing this project, I may be stuck interviewing them from prison anyway.

How do you decide who to approach?
Lisa: It’s all such a feeling, a connection. We’ll get in the car, early in the morning, drive around looking for trucks, try to catch someone’s eye – it’s really all in the eyes. If we can connect to them, we’ll go running up to the trucks at a stop sign or red light. I’ll give them our schpeel, and if they’re willing, Liz will shoot them for about an hour as they work and I’ll chat them up. I’m looking and listening for the strength of their own individual story and the life they live every day.

There must be some serious surprise and skepticism.
Lisa: Always. Everyone.

Continue reading ‘Q&A…The ‘Chasing Sanitation’ Duo’

The “Tiny” Apple

In world that more often than not goes to the extreme,  maxes things out, and super-sizes everything, filmmaker Sam O’Hare chose to follow his own miniaturized path by pulling a Wayne Szalinksi on New York City in his wonderful and tiny short film, The Sandpit.

What’s amazing about O’Hare’s miniature world is how much it mimics the insect world. For instance, the helicopters look just like dragonflies stopping for a quick drink at the water’s edge before they leave as quickly as they arrived. And of course, all of the people resemble marching ants, hustling in and out of their nests, searching for their next bite of food.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to bust out the Legos and Tonka trucks.

New York City, 1972

Photo by ©2010

Ground Zero Tolerance

Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen

Strip clubs a block and a half from Ground Zero are OK. Mosques are not. To see more photos from the neighborhood, see Jens Schott Knudsen’s photo essay on TPM.

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