Sunday, September 22, 2013

Season of Jewish Holidays

For the past week I've been loaded with work: photos to edit and process, events to photograph, and meetings about my current project about the Lower East Side. It's good to be busy with what I love to do, but it's kept me from writing on this blog about what I do. I need to write about it - to have some kind of perspective on the whole process.

The real meat of the project is in pursuing the threads of the work I produced twenty years ago when I first began to work on Manhattan Diaspora. After this week when the holidays are over, I'll be able to start in on that. But it seems that as I work along, new avenues open and need to be explored. Besides digging back into the original stream of work, which is centered on the dissolution of the long history of the Jewish Lower East Side, I've decided to explore where it has moved on to: Brooklyn, upstate New York, New Jersey. And as I reconnect with some past acquaintances from the previous work, I'm finding new people, which lead to new directions to explore and gets me deeper into the culture and community.

I hope to be able to eventually have a show of the project - the original photographs shot in 1993-94, and the current work - and hopefully a book to accompany it. I can always dream. Becoming once again deeply invested in a long term project is invigorating, but being invigorated now is quite a bit more taxing physically for me than it was twenty years ago.  Boo hoo .... poor me.

Last week I revisited my friend Sholom Halpert - the Henry Street bookbinder - and received an invitation to visit him in Monroe, NY and to see his Sukkat. I'm hoping to get up there in the next few days. I've heard from several sources that Monroe is rich in subject material. When I was at his shop, Mr. Halpert was repairing and recovering a Talmud (the compendium of Jewish written law) that had been printed in 1860.

I'm hoping to write several more blogposts this week to catch up on material I've been shooting. But then again, I have several more events to shoot this week, so who knows how exhausted I'll be.....

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