THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
New York City, NY
Drugstore Photographs, or, a Trip Along the Yangtze River
I grew up listening to stories about the New York City of my parents, their friends and my grandparents generation. I decided to go to art school in New York as I had never lived there, only visited these family friends and my grandparents in all parts of the city throughout my childhood and adolescence.
When I finished art school I saw many buildings being knocked down, some of these were buildings from the beginning of the 20th century and I knew they were going to be lost forever, including most importantly the streets around 42nd St where my mother had been throughout her childhood with her father as they both loved films so much.
So I started buying bricks of 35mm film and came up with a way to methodically photograph every facade of every building, and I went first to the tip of the island below the World Trade Centre. I would write with a Sharpie on each reel a number, then use the reels in the correct numerical order, then when I put the reel into the envelope at the drug store to be developed I numbered the envelope also. In this way when I got the photos back I knew the exact order of the way I had taken my photos.