I didn’t want to move to Bushwick. I felt like I was too old, didn’t have enough tattoos, and was wary of being smack in the middle of an extremely strong wave of gentrification.
But, the price was right, we were near a train, and we had a “backyard”, which I affectionally call the “prison yard” due to its small size, lack of grass, and high walls on all four sides. So my partner and me began building our first home together and it was going swell.
Then I hurt my back, badly, after returning from our first vacation in 5 years. I was laid up and frustrated and feeling sorry for myself. I missed people. So I decided that, when I was back on my feet, I would go out and meet my neighbors.
In January of 2019, The New York Times wrote about this personal project of mine. I am very, very grateful to everyone who allowed me to photograph them. I’m equally grateful to my neighbors who didn’t say yes to being photographed, but still hung out with me.
This is a simple project. I’m not trying to say anything specific here. I just wanted to meet and hang out and, if they were cool with it, photograph my neighbors. And guess what? They were awesome. I’ve always been optimistic about my fellow human being, and this project was a great reminder of its easier than it looks to relate to strangers.
I'm really looking forward to meeting more neighbors in 2019.