My visual aesthetic was formed by the urban images of my childhood. I was born and grew up in New York City. The upper West Side of my childhood was a very different place from today’s neighborhood. Few of the buildings on Columbus Avenue rose higher than six stories. There were no large chain stores or giant drug stores. Rosie’s Penny candy store was my home away from home. The streets were my playgrounds. Today I no longer have a sweet tooth for penny candy, but I still love the kaleidoscope of shapes and color that I find now in the architecture of Havana, the small town drug store, and the foods and baubles found in the sooks and bazaars of Tangiers and Marrakech.
I am currently working on two projects.
My first project is to photograph neighborhoods in the five boroughs, the Bronx. Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. I travel solely on public transportation. My intention is not merely to document, but also to show the essence of each borough, focusing on culture and architecture. Wherever possible I include people and spontaneous street life.
The second is to photograph small town America. Found on roads rarely traveled, smaller towns and villages often offer a glimpse into the past. Although creating a document is not my primary goal, my images do provide a wonderful record of what America looked like a century ago. Often my camera is just one step ahead of gentrification. I have photographed in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maine, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Washington. Gradually, I’ve expanded this project to include bigger towns and even small cities. The older neighborhoods in Allentown PA ad Cheyenne, Wyoming are being torn down and replaced by modern buildings and stores. In the process, history is being lost.