Haunted Memories

By the time I was seven, I was finally enjoying some of the freedom I so craved. With my parents about to divorce, I bounced from my mother to my father and on to my grandmother. Being that my parents had worked different shifts,’ my mom was a 9-5 secretary and my dad working as 3-11 since I was born. I spent most of my early years with my baby sitter and her family of two boys and an older sister. By the age of seven, I became schooled in many of the pockets and corners of my neighborhood. While there were several parks and ball fields within reach, you might think I’d be found climbing monkey bars or holding onto a swing as I launched into the air.

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Two things I did enjoy from time to time. However, the sudden need for housing and the new and bursting real estate market provided all the excitement a kid could want or even handle. The first one just happened to be on the way home from school. With there would be a bunch of kids, many I called friends or knew from the neighborhood already hanging out inside just outside of the wood panels and fences marked “No Trespassing.” There would always be an irresistible draw to join in and maybe journey farther within than the older kids.

On one particularly memorable day, some of the older kids started to throw a football around. Perhaps since they were older or I never quite got into throwing the pigskin around, I started heading home. Matthew went long on a pass and fell about two floors to the rubble below. I still remember the moment, the complete shock that left everyone’s expression in a frozen state. I had seen people die on TV and the movies before, but this was very, very different. I still remember the blood, the concrete pieces in his hair, and around his face and that frozen look that said: “I won’t be coming back in the squeal.” The next day, the news of Matthew’s accident reported over the school’s loudspeaker. Though he had not died immediately, he remained vegetated until his heart gave out a few days later. Strangely enough, I always felt his mom. The secretary at the school we attended and the two I later went to, knew I was there when that horrible accident happened. And while I didn’t understand why she was always so hard on me then. These days, I wish there was something I could have said or done something to comfort her during that time.

Georgetown and its Tones of Home

GTII (1 of 1)GTIIII (1 of 1)Since our arrival in Seattle, we’ve found a number of neighborhoods we’ve grown quite fond of. Pioneer Square with it’s reminders of New York’s once edgy Lower East Side was our first love. While the International Center, Capitol Hill and pockets of Queen Anne have all spirited our first months here. That said, there has been somethng special about Georgetown that keeps us coming up with reasons to visit from one week to the next. Having moved to Columbia City just over a week ago has brought us even closer to the somewhat quiet pocket of Seattle that often reminds me of the out of the way area known as Red Hook Brooklyn back in New York. It wasn’t until my wife mentioned how much she loved the area and her desire oi buy there, that I realized just how similar the areas seemed.

For it was during what seemed like an endless search to buy a condo that fit our style and needs that we found an off the beaten path area in Brooklyn known as Red Hook. In just a few visits, it felt as if the area would become our desired location for us. The problem, however, was that after we attended to underwhelming open houses. We didn’t anything else appear on the market. Short story long, we gave up on the area and rarely ever returned afterward.

Fortunately, Georgetown has all the charm of the aforementioned East Coast destination with a closer proximity and easy accessibility to where we currently call home. Who knows if we’ll find a place in Georgetown or if we’ll even stay in Seattle permanently.  (With all the talk of what we miss back East. It’s hard to decide, yet.) Regardless, we’re having a great time getting to know the area.

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Exploring Edgewater

After an unexpected trip to Paramus we shot down to Edgewater to do a little grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Being that each store sit a matter of feet from the Hudson River. I often take the opportunity to take a photo or two while my wife starts her three hour trip down the first aisle of either store. And while today’s trip through the veggie section of Trader Joe’s didn’t take quite as long as expected.     It gave me plenty of time to catch a few pictures of the wreckage that sits just off the short walking path on the Hudson.

While I had photographed The boat that lies to the south side of the two vessels. The one pictured sat closer. Allowing me to get more  detail. The second picture took a little searching to discover. While I’m not sure of it’s key function. I’d like to imagine it’s switches, levers and wiring control the destiny of every person, living space and business in the entire county. While I hadn’t been to the area in quite some time. I’m happy to have found some neat stuff to focus my lens on. It seems that every trip outside my door is an opportunity to discover something new.

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Exploring My New Surroundings

Since moving in to the new place less than two weeks ago.          I’ve made a point to take time out of each day to explore my immediate surroundings. When we originally learned about Canco ( I admit that I had some concerns.) Though our loft offers all the modern amenities, features and space a resident could offer.         I was somewhat concerned about it’s location and accessibility. Since those initial visits, I’ve quickly come to learn just how close we are to everything and anything while still maintaining somewhat of a remote and very private personality. Just steps away from Rt. 9, 7 and 139. Dey St. is just a short walk to Kennedy Blvd.,  the Journal Square PATH train (there’s actually a free shuttle bus you can pick up a block away that takes you right to our door step) and downtown shopping area. To finish, Canco is surrounded by some of the most unique and awe inspiring factories, warehouses and industrial beauty. Enough to keep me busy documenting my surroundings for years to come. I can only hope to find a healthy balance between my studio work and my urban landscapes. Learn, I will. Until the next time.

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Warehouse

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Inside Neumann Leathers

As stated in my last post. I finally had the chance to wander the halls of Hoboken’s landmark building Neumann Leathers.             After hitting the drums for an hour or so I took a few minutes to explore the nooks and crannies of this character filled old factory. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved going to factories, junk yards and “Off Limits” areas to explore, investigate and take pictures. Sadly, most of these places have quickly disappeared. Ultimately being replaced by soulless high rises and retail franchises. Forv me personally, finding spots like these is like winning the lottery. Below are several of my favorite images from my exploration.

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Industrial

My passion for finding and photographing industrial articles is pretty insane. Many is the time I’ve gone to factories and industrial parks to find those pieces that peak my interest and curiosity. One of my dreams in life is to buy an industrial loft somewhere in Brooklyn. Not one of those completely converted ones they advertise with such glee. Something raw and bare that has character. A raw canvas craving for a creative and twisted makeover. A few years back I presented a portfolio entitled “Left Behind.” to  SOHO Photo Gallery. They fully understood the message I was trying to convey and granted me admission to the COOP. Since then I’ve worked hard to find  pieces to update and refresh that port. Often being chased out of construction sites, being questioned/detained by Police or both. But for me, the reward outweighs the hassle. I didn’t get into any such shenanigans capturing the ones below. But I enjoyed taking them just the same.

Finding Inspiration in Old Familiar Places.

Back in July I met up with the guys from !No Pasaran! to do an interview for my website. As I drove up to the series of buildings on Van Houten Ave. I got a serious case of De Ja Vu. Long before I moved to New Jersey in 2001 I spent a lot of time going to music venues and hanging out with friends here. Most of the time I really wasn’t paying much attention to exactly what town or what street I was on. For the most part  I was was just along for the ride. Since moving here I’ve had my share of “Wait, I know that place.” moments. Thus was the case with that day. During the nineties I had a lot of friends who played in local bands and rehearsed there. I always thought it would be a great place to take pictures and do photo shoots. So on a beautiful summer day I took my favorite test model and friend Audrey along with me and got it done. Since then I’ve returned twice and found different spots within the complex. It’s always a blast when you find a new spot to shoot. Especially when it turns out to be an old one.