With the recent closing of iconic NYC locations like Mars Bar and Film Center Cafe, I thought it appropriate to render a tribute to the city that I am from.

I have always been nostalgic. Even for places and events and people that I have never been to or attended or met. Certain weights that tug on my heartstrings. They are simple, like fire escapes, or fading painted advertisements on the sides of older buildings. They are ghosts of the past of a city that was raised by ambition and seems to be taken down by the natural element of ‘progress’. Establishments that have existed for years are closing. Huge skyscrapers are being built in the midst of beautiful characteristic low-rises. I am interested in documenting the things that are fading. In the buildings and the blocks. In the telephone wires and the phone booths. The neon signs.

I once wrote a letter to the Landmarks Commission in attempts at saving 35 Cooper Square which as a federal style house is one of the oldest surviving buildings on the Bowery. The following is an excerpt from that letter;

“There are reasons why tourists come to Manhattan. There are reasons why people from all over the world come with not more than a weeks’ saved wages to try to ‘make it’ here. There are reasons why numerous artists, writers, revolutionaries, business people, great thinkers, and big dreamers have chosen New York as their home base. I can tell you right now, its not because of our newly built glass towers, or the gastro-pubs, or the bottle service nightlife clubs. It’s because Manhattan was raised with charm. It has a grace that not many cities posses. It gives off the potential that anything is possible and part of this element is the structures that exist here. There are buildings that have dated back to the 19th century. They hold the city’s secrets. They have been standing throughout fires and floods, bombings and shootings. They are older than all of us, and deserve to have a chance to continue to show newcomers what the city is really made of. That throughout everything, New York buildings, like New Yorkers themselves, are durable, are¬†resilient. That they¬†have a strong history and past to settle their roots to, and because of that past, have a chance to to root their future in something promising, something real.”

Place is extremely powerful. There are spirits and lives that are buried beneath these streets. Under the concrete, under the cobblestone. They permeate every inch of the air on this island. I wish to document what’s been left and what is soon to go. Not only for a cartographical basis to determine footprints of the city’s mindframe, but for an artistic sense of seeing as well, creating in our time, a similar likeness to the times of those past.

I have lived in New York City for my whole life, and just this year I have begun to document it correctly. Here are a few images from this journey.

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