This block of Elizabeth Street runs just south of Houston, and I know it really well because my good friend Herman Boykin started living there in 1979. Before I moved to the City in 1986 and while I was living there I would spend a lot of time in the neighborhood. There were many more shops like Albanese’s back then, but the area is really different now.
I took the train into New York City on Tuesday and met Craig Williams at City Hall Park. He took me over to One Liberty Plaza to meet some of the September 11 Memorial folks and have a peek at the WTC site. We then went over to Engine Company 6 which is just an amazing place. / The main purpose of the trip was to photograph the Albanese Meats & Poultry shop on Elizabeth Street. The history is a bit too involved to get into, but Moe has been cutting meat here for a very long time. He worked with his mom, Mary for almost 50 years until she died in 2002 at the age of 97. He is an amazingly nice guy. I’ll post more soon.
Cris really likes honey in her tea in the mornings. Usually we buy the cheap organic stuff at Trader Joe’s, which is pretty good, but this stall at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market had a really nice selection of flavors. The guy selling it said that the wildflower variety would be good in her Earl Gray, so I bought a 2 lb. jar.
Every time I go to Willard, NY to do some work relating to the Psych Center, I go to the cemetery and walk around. The setting is really beautiful; a huge rolling field with a view of Seneca Lake. It is also a very moving place. For reasons I have never completely understood (or agreed with), the only names on headstones are in the veteran’s section. All other graves are marked with a number. I spent all day Friday photographing the wonderful people who worked at Willard before it was closed, and then Brad Edmondson and I walked across the road to have a look. I was struck by the fact that it was late Friday afternoon on the 10th of September, the last day of Rosh Hashanah.
On Wednesday I was driving to the Ithaca area to begin a few days of shooting former employees of the Willard Psychiatric Center. I had to stop for a piss and as I was coming back to my car I saw the nun on the right putting something into the back seat of her car. The wind was really howling, and her habit was all over the place. She and her companion were more than happy to be photographed, even as they were unsure as to why I would want to take their picture.
Autumn is always a transitional time for me. It is mostly my favorite part of the year, but it always brings up some mixed emotions. I have felt kind of wacked lately, but am starting to leave the transitional phase and get comfortable again. I am always a bit weird before Peter goes back to school, but once he gets settled I start to relax. Cris and I dropped him off on Sunday.