For a grad school assignment in August, I had to produce a photo essay. I chose to photograph one different person I came across on each street from 1st Street to 10th Street in Manhattan. I also included a number of things I had in common with each person based on the street number.
East 1st Street
Noman Tara said he is currently taking a liberal studies program. His goal is to become a cop because, as he said, “I want to protect people.”
1. Enjoyed the original “Spider-Man” (2002) movie more than this year’s reboot.
East 2nd Street
Kirk Sterling said he studied acting in school, and he now works as a banker and a writer.
1. Dislike black licorice.
2. Like wearing shirts more than T-shirts.
East 3rd Street
Nina Tiari said she studied fashion and is currently working on completing her fashion design collection.
1. Moved to New York City for grad school.
2. Haven’t watched any 2012 Summer Olympics TV coverage.
3. Had or currently have a permanent retainer; she recently took hers off.
East 4th Street
Gretchen Vonbrun’s said her friends call her “Ms. New York” because of how well she knows the city. The writer and sketcher said she considers herself a punk rocker. Vonbrun said she used to work at the doors of venues that hosted the B-52s, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Clash. She is pictured with Lucy, her dog.
4. Unable to handle hot peppers well.
*Her words, not mine.
East 5th Street
Ancela Nastasi, a lawyer, was trying to hail a cab when we met. I neglected to ask her why she was holding so many flowers.
1. Ivy Leaguers.
2. Have astrological fire signs.
3. Dog people.
4. Of European ancestry.
5. Enjoy Italian food.
East 6th Street
Mona, who did not want her last name included, said she had a stroke six years ago. It paralyzed the right side of her body, requiring her to use a wheelchair. Still, that hasn’t stopped her from going on walks, which she said she does often with the help of a cane. Mona said that the apartment she lives in does not have an elevator, and she has to climb down four flights of stairs, which can be tricky. Opening her front door is the hardest part, and that prevents her from true independence, she said, though she has friends to help her with that.
1. Visited Spain.
2. Enjoy country music.
3. Able to speak “un peu” of French.
4. The youngest sibling.
5. Other than Manhattan, consider Brooklyn to be our favourite borough.
6. Enjoy Quentin Tarantino movies.
East 7th Street
Alex Poindexter said he works at a pet foods store. That may no longer be the case by the beginning of 2016. He said he plans to attach a trailer to his bicycle, then ride it to his native San Francisco. Is it to increase awareness of a cause? Raise money for something important? No. The man said he just wants to do it.
1. Put our cellphone volume low enough on the subway so others don’t know what music we’re listening to.
2. Owned a pet frog at some point. His was “a big bullfrog named Kermit.”
3. Had at least two family cats.
4. Failed at least one high school course.
5. Lost a Game Boy and never got it back. He said he lent his to a friend who never returned it. My Game Boy Advance was most likely lost on a school bus during a field trip in Grade 6 to Centre Island in Toronto on the last day of school that year.
6. Became licensed drivers at age 16.
7. Consider Pokemon had the better video game while Digimon had the better TV show.
East 8th Street/St. Mark’s Place
Tourists love to get pictures taken with an NYPD officer or their cruiser. Keith Larick said he knows that quite well, having been a New York City cop for decades and, subsequently, the star of many tourists’ photos. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sci-fi movies and probably doing many other things I neglected to ask about. He is also a big Spider-Man fan. Did you know that Spider-Man’s actions may have, technically, resulted in Gwen Stacy’s death? I didn’t, but Larick did. And he said he has the original comic to show it.
1. Didn’t enjoy “Alien: Resurrection” (1997) as much as the other entries in the movie series.
2. Dislike eating mushrooms.
3. Have O+ blood.
4. Attended high school summer school at least once (English was his tricky subject, mine was math).
5. Have no tattoos.
6. Don’t wear leather unless absolutely necessary (he said he has to wear his leather utility belt for work).
7. Been a vegetarian for at least three months and then stopped (I went one and a half years).
8. Not superstitious about numbers.
East 9th Street
Joyce Wadler has been with The New York Times since before I finished elementary school. She said, at times, she wishes she became a TV news writer. Wadler said she was two minutes from being late to a meeting when I asked her if she would like to be part of this project. Her involvement lasted well over three minutes.
1. Saw “Mamma Mia” on stage.
2. Prefer window seats.
3. Wearing green at the time (I think mine was more of a teal colour, to be fair).
4. Have an iPhone.
5. Wearing soft-soled shoes at the time.
6. Enjoyed “Some Like It Hot” (1959).
7. Don’t pay much attention to astrology.
8. Experience deadline nerves.
9. Like rain.
East 10th Street
Helen Luchars said she has had two bouts with cancer, and she doesn’t have a bucket list. “I enjoy the things I have and experience things as they come,” she said. Luchars said she embraces the fact that life plans never work out the way originally envisioned. Her cancer is in remission, she said.
1. Had friends warn against cutting off a dramatic amount of hair. After cutting it, the same friends said they liked the look.
2. Watch “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” if time warrants.
3. Visited Mississippi but didn’t go on the Graceland tour.
4. Love celery.
5. Have one sister.
6. Save seeds from avocados to plant them.
7. Never broke a bone.
8. Return carts to the front of grocery stores when done with them.
9. Haven’t walked the George Washington bridge.
10. Never experienced acupuncture.