An Unenviable Task

Ensign @ CBGB’s

As a budding photographer in the mid to late 90’s I went through countless rolls of both negative and slide film accumulating boxes upon boxes of slides, negatives and prints. I had a neat linen closet in my one bedroom Hell’s Kitchen apartment filled with my photographed history. Everything in a separate, marked envelopes with negatives intact. I was really anal about it and why not. One of the first things I was taught  was to keep your negatives with your prints and keep them in pristine condition.

Christy Front Drive @ ABC No Rio

However, at one point all of that changed. I got a job at a photo store on University Place and B&H opened it’s Super Store within walking distance of my apartment. My organizing obsession started and my simple, organized hobby went haywire. One day I had this genius idea to separate my negatives from their prints and put everything into binders. I spent lots of money and time making complete nonsense out of my once perfect system. A few years later my girlfriend moved in and that converted linen closet turned photo library became my girlfriends converted personal storage unit. Negatives and Pictures soon separated before legally becoming divorced and despite supervised visits, rarely saw one another.

Helmet @ Maxwell’s

Years later I’m happily married to the woman that took over my closet, living in another town in another state. I’ve begun the unenviable task of going through about sixteen years of newly digitalized negatives putting names to bands I may have only seen once or twice at CBGB’s, ABC No Rio, Maxwell’s or perhaps Connecticut’a Anthrax club. Most are immediately recognizable while others draw a complete blank. It seems I attended my share of crappy Thugcore shows at CBGB’s in the 90’s along  with a few Jersey Metalcore shows. Add to that I’ve started the process of putting names to the bands I’ve shot since going digital. A task that has been a tad easier since I’ve labelled each folder with at least the nights headliner. One thing I have gone as far as doing is tracking down the names of the band members. There are so many bands I’ve enjoyed over the years. Many of which I never had the opportunity to get personal with. So I’ll continue digging, archiving and shooting. Putting names to the many faces whose music continues to add to my loss of hearing. Back to work…

Creating a Comfort Zone.

I’m often complaining that my apartment is too cluttered and there are too many things that are out of place or have never had one to begin with. Over the years I’ve often purged using the old TLC show Clean Sweep’s mantra of “Keep, Sell, Trash.”  However, as I’ve learned, no matter how much I get rid of. I basically have the same size apartment. Being that I do so much work from home it makes the apartment feel even smaller. A living room that doubles as my photography studio and a second bedroom that doubles as an office. It’s a juggling act to say the least. If things are out in the open or out of place it creates chaos. Having to deal with that chaos means I get less work done while spending more time doing it.

So today I got up at the crack of dawn and started erecting my own little “Man Cave”.  Moving furniture from one room to another while taking random frames off the floor and giving them the walls they have been missing for months. With a little hammering and finagling I created a wall Martha Stewart would be proud of. I cleared my desk to the point I could actually see the surface and created a little nook where everything was within reach. In the end, the only thing missing was a heaping cup of coffee just left of the keyboard. Though I’ll surely be tweaking it with different pictures and such, it is my little peace of mind that takes away some of the stress I feel when I’m sitting here doing what I do. Like the wise man said “Surround yourself with the things you love.” Soon we’ll be moving to a new place. I have visions of a room all my own with nothing but records, photography and all things geeky. A Geek can dream. Right?