“Oona, Aimee and Jete are close because we live close together. Being on top of each other is the best part of being a city family. A big house in the burbs would only isolate us. Here we’re immersed in each other’s lives finding moment to moment connection with our neighborhood and city.” -Robert Gladding
It was an interesting experience walking into the Gladding household on East 88th Street. I was young and new to New York and I was unfamiliar with having to walk up multiple stair cases to get to a front door. For a family with three kids I was expecting space and to my surprise found a one bedroom railroad apartment. I’m not sure how they made it work but their home just exuded love. In that moment it was so apparent to me that home was more a mind set then a place or any number of belongings. I spent the early evening with them watching them play and sharing in their laughter.
Surrounded by the madness of our own individual lives it’s always nice to know we are connected to those few we can call real friends. The friends that become the family of our choosing. It is in those moments with them we find the true joys of life, in sharing experiences and laughing until our bellies hurt! It is in those moments true love in New York City exists.
“Good deeds are the rent we pay to live on this planet.” -Evan Klayman
I met Alicia while photographing her children for my Finding Love in New York City project. After discussing with her how the point of my project was to showcase love in its most genuine forms she spoke of her love for her art teacher Lynn DeRosa after which we planned a day touring the city with Lynn, then 83, to recapture her life. This day still remains to be one of the most special days of my time in NYC. Alicia and her fellow classmate, Evan are shown here helping to get Mrs. DeRosa out of the car to go to her favorite place in the city, Bryant Park. Sadly, Mrs. DeRosa is no longer with us in the physical form but her love of the city and her students will never leave those of us she shared it with. Evan wrote that day how love exists in New York every single day by doing at least one good deed for a friend or a stranger. I like to think Mrs. DeRosa played a part in creating that thought.
Posted in Documentary Photography
Tagged Art, Beauty, Black and White, Black and White Photography, Bryant Park, Compassion, Elderly, Finding Love, Good Deeds, Love, Michaela Dalzell, New York, New York City, NYC, Photographer, Photography, Portrait, Teacher, Wisdom
Below are two examples of my “Families” section of this project. It’s been such a blessing to get to know such amazing people and to be invited into their homes. Even though New Yorker’s are known for being tough, pushing each other into the subway during rush hour without so much as a passing glance, and for climbing that ladder of success no matter who we step on… there is a softer more intimate side to New York. I found that with these families. Compared to the rest of the United States their living quarters may be small, but their hearts are big and the bond these parents have with there children in incomparable to any other family dynamic I have witnessed. I feel truly honored to have met and spent time with these families and to have been proven wrong — they prove that you can have a sense of home, a sense of family and a love so deep it tunes the city out every once in a while.
Posted in Documentary Photography
Tagged Art, Baby, Beauty, Black and White, Black and White Photography, Brooklyn, Children, Family, Finding Love, Love, Michaela Dalzell, New York, New York City, NYC, Photographer, Photography, Portrait
Love, I’m almost certain, is not the first thing that crosses people’s minds when they think of New York City. When you visit New York City you can’t help but to think of the energy, the endless evenings, and the vast variety of entertainment options here. Yet somehow you eventually, as with every vacation, have to pack up your bags, leave your lavish hotel and head home. But what about the people who live here? Some may have been born here, some moved here for job opportunities and some just packed up their bags and headed to the city of dreams to do just that: chase their dreams. What is it that makes a “New Yorker” so great, that people set out in large numbers to create a New York City life for themselves? Sure there is fashion, there are amazing restaurants, plenty of ways to entertain yourself and money to be made but are we forgetting something? Has love in New York City been overlooked or does it just not exist?
As a photographer I am making this my first long-term project since my move to the city in August. It is my goal to connect with New Yorkers on an intimate level that exposes who they are as people, where they live, work or play, and what it is they love or have found to supplement love. The project is based around getting to know people, being invited into their homes or places of work and photographing them. Then it becomes a collaboration between myself and my subject. The subject gets the end say on how they are represented in this project. They are the one’s who finish my art by hand writing on their print what it is the photograph means to them, how it represents love, and why they love living in NYC.
This blog will track the progress of the project and share with you the different types of love I find in New York City.