1/400th at F13, ISO 1600 (28mm).
It's often on purpose, but even when I'm not trying I can't seem to take a photo without that damn New York Dolls taxicab advertisement. It's on half the cabs.
Here's the last one. If you notice, it pops up in a lot of my street work.
1/80th at F2.8, ISO 1600 (24mm - cropped) - slight bounced fill flash.
Read the full interview here.
"I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I always wanted to live in New York and so I ended up making the big move to the East Coast while everyone else was making the move to the West Coast. This is the only place I’ve ever lived in New York and I’ve been here for 43 years. This is it.
I am so proud of Tompkins Square Park, which I consider my front yard. Important things happen here. When I first arrived here, I thought it was heaven, paradise on earth, because in the Park on May Day you had all the young people with big red flags celebrating May Day, Communism, Collectivism, and then you had a group of Ukranians with great big signs saying, “Free the Captive Nations,” free all the people in communist countries.
I’ve also seen it go through terrible times. In 1988, I was so stunned to find the entire place surrounded by helmeted police with nightsticks during the riots. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I remember the screaming when they were throwing out all of the homeless people from the Park. I know there were a lot of dangerous things going on, but it killed me to hear that. I was yelling, “Why are you doing this to those people?”
I’ve had a very checkered career. When I moved to LA after college, one of my first oddball jobs was creating a hand-puppet show for the County Parks Department out of a converted park washroom. We eventually took it on the road and showed it to zillions of children and then had big puppet workshops all over the place.
When I moved here, I worked for an arts funding organization. It was the perfect job for me. Having no money, I was able to give away money that was provided by the New York State Council in the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It was quite a wonderful organization. I was a traveling consultant and I went out to meet with all sorts of groups around the state having to do with issues of arts, saving interesting architecture, poetry groups, dance groups. I advised groups on how to stimulate the community to support them. My role was to instigate them to instigate excitement within the community and bring in more people. I also worked on prison projects and with migrant worker programs.
I also created a jewelry business with my sister for 10 years. We named it Krasne Two. We were designing imaginative accessories and jewelry. We made quite a splash but it is very hard to keep that kind of world going when you are limited financially and don’t have enough backing. It was fun while it lasted. Now I design floor cloths and murals and all kinds of accessories
And then I went into the Argentine Tango business. I fell in love with the Argentine Tango as so many other have. I first fell in love with the music and then I fell in love with the dance. If it grips you it grips you and you’re really caught. I helped start the first New York City tango festival, which was about the wonders of New York and the wonders of Tango. I took the Milanga (Argentine Tango Party) outdoors to Central Park about 15 years ago. I called it the hit and run tango because if the police came you ran. You find a beautiful place, free or pretty free, open to the public, attractive, and everybody dances like crazy and you expand this community, which was teensy weensy. I don’t run it anymore but it’s still going on every Saturday afternoon."
1/400th at F9, ISO 400 (51mm).
For those of you that don't know him, Chico is an incredible East Village street graffiti artist. His murals are everywhere and they have this uncanny ability to express the culture, community, and beauty of the neighborhood. It makes me happy to see how one person's art can add so much to the fabric of a neighborhood.
Anyway, I wanted to create a Chico within a Chico, so to speak. For those of you that care, this is a composite of a couple shots occurring within about a minute. The people were all in a scene together and the birds in the middle and top right were in another shot.
1/500th at F7.1, ISO 1600 (28mm).
Sometimes if I want to capture a person but have to be obvious about it, I'll walk up to them, take the photo quickly before they notice, and then ask if I can take their photo. The original shot is usually the one I prefer, but this time I'm not so sure.
He pulled up his sleeves and said, "You know my watch is three times your age."
1/80 at F2.8, ISO 3200 (24mm).
Here's a cut down version of this week's Out and About interview, but I think this one needs to be read in its entirety.
If ever there's a testament for the virtues of the bodega and why we love them, I think it's all in this interview. This is why so many people in the neighborhood are fighting to keep the corporate 7-11s from taking over the bodega business.
"I’ve lived in the neighborhood for four years and on 7th and D for three years. I’m from Rhode Island and I came here to go to the New School. I’m studying anthropology and I graduate in May. I’m actually writing my thesis about the ethnography of Zaragoza. It’s about family business.
Zaragoza is owned by the Martinez family. It’s the mom, Maria, the dad, Pompeo, and their son Reuben. Maria does all of the cooking at the restaurant and Pompeo is always here. They make all of the food at the family restaurant in Coney Island and bring it in every day. They’re the hardest working people that I’ve ever met in my life. We stay open late on the weekends and Reuben will tell his parents to go home and relax, and they’re like, “No, what are we going to do at home? Let’s just hang out here, it’s way better.” They stay all night.
I’ve been working here for three years... I started working here because I really needed a job. I used to come in here a lot and I was working at an American Apparel. That was the worst thing ever, so I had to quit that job immediately. I thought it would be great if I could just work here and then they hired me because they were planning to go to Mexico and they needed some extra help. Then it just stuck.
The thing that’s great about this place is that, since it’s a family business, they really appreciate their customers and they feel loyal to them. In this neighborhood there are a lot of small businesses, but you don’t get that everywhere. This place is very special. If I have the sniffles or a cold they give me medicine and say, “Katie do this and this.”
Also, they think rubbing alcohol is definitely going to fix any ailment that I may have. It’s rubbing alcohol and all of their cold medicines that I have no idea what they are. They take care of me. They’re like my parents here. They’re like, “Yeah we’ll adopt you.” We’ve went to soccer games and we go out to eat and all sorts of family stuff.
I always get the same questions. New people who just come in ... “Oh, how long have you worked here? Do you speak Spanish? How did you get this job? And do you live in this neighborhood?” Those are the four questions. As soon as someone new tries to talk to me, I’m like, “I know exactly what you’re going to say and I might as well just give you the answers right now.”
There are some people who seem to have some animosity toward me, like oh god she’s gentrifying this bodega. Maybe that’s true and they weren’t looking to hire some random white girl. I just kind of forced them too. And now that I’ve been here for so long, if anything, I’ve adapted to them. It’s very strange and random that I work here. For example, I’ll do deliveries and people get very uncomfortable. The last thing they expect is a little girl to show up. I show up and they’re fumbling to give me more money and I’m like you don’t have to tip me any more. I haven’t seen anyone open the door without pants yet though.
We get good reviews on Yelp. I read the Yelp reviews because I’m interested to know what people think about us and the last review that I read that mentioned me was like, “Yeah, there’s some weird white girl with a nose ring. I wonder what her deal is?”