Starting next month, I'm off to some mental places for my new book 'A** **** ** *** ****' (all will be revealed) and so I'd thought it would be nice (for me) if I had a look back at some of the place/faces/walls etc I'd written about/shot since I began this journey in 2003. I'm gonna (try) and dig out at least one a day and shove it up here.
EAST VILLAGE, NYC, MAY 2007
I was in New York writing the Urban Cookbook, and was staying at my mates spot on 1st & 1st. One sunday morning I was walking somewhere to meet someone and this guy was sat at a table in a pavement cafe on Bowery. I loved the fucked-up juxtaposition of the sleeved arm and the New York Times, so I snuck up behing the oke and let it off. I think I only took one shot (checking roll now) and this was it. For me this said it all about the lower part of Manhattan. I mean why the fuck would you want to go above 14th street now that the Shake Shack is so popular?
FROM MY NOTEBOOK AT THE TIME OF THE ABOVE SHOT
The L.E.S. is a-changing. They’ve stuck a big glass hotel in the middle of it ($400 a night). Get there before the magic is gone completely, before it’s gentrified. Plan your own route, and check out everything that’s happening; But most of all check the Bowery Bums and listen to their stories. These are the real historians, the real tour guides. Buy one a beer and they’ll give you a guided tour of all their spots, if they can still walk.
You will find many casualties of the war on drugs. Most are in their 50-s and so in the 1980’s they would have been at their peak, sniffing, snorting, freebasing their respective lives away. The result can be seen on the street, most of them are slumped in wheelchairs, still displaying the hospital wristbands from their last visit. Some want to talk, some want to be somewhere else. Talk to everyone, live for real.
And then I walked around the corner and spotted this flyposter. I fucking love New Yorkers!