The news about Detroit’s bankruptcy broke as I finished packing the car for the four hour drive across Michigan. We weren’t visiting Detroit to cover its bankruptcy and didn’t seek out the choreographed events looping through the headlines. Other than bumping into a press conference complete with half a dozen news vans and plenty of grey and blue suits, there was little to even suggest the announcement had been made.
It’s unclear how the bankruptcy will affect everything from pensions to city services, but life away from the news cameras carried on roughly as normal: people visited parks, cleaned up streets and ate at restaurants. The landscape remained as dynamic as always. Detroit didn’t simply feel like “a city on the brink” or “a half-century of decline” and it certainly wasn’t scored with ominous electronic music. It felt like every day in Detroit.
The following is a small selection of photographs over the course of the visit. For more of my Detroit work, visit the Detroit gallery on my website, my post about life with Detroit’s failing streetlight system and my flickr set.
Last week I returned to Buffalo, New York for the Society of Architectural Historians‘ annual meeting. As usual, I took advantage of the combination of arriving early and a little free time to explore the city. While my last trip was primarily dedicated to photographing the great buildings of the city’s expansion era, I had greater latitude this time around. I’ve pulled out some favorite images below, but feel free to visit flickr for additional photographs from both trips.
I was most intrigued by the city’s preponderance of “telescope houses,” or buildings that were enlarged through rear additions that incrementally reduce in scale. The result is houses that seemingly could be collapsed into themselves.
The buildings are located throughout the city but are clustered on the East Side. There, the combination of small houses, narrow lots, growing families and limited resources seems to have led to the distinctive expansion patterns. Years of concentrated divestment and neglect now provide windows into back and side yards to view the full depth of the houses.
The wide-open views also reveal the tenuous condition of many of the buildings — and the neighborhoods as a whole.
While I spent a couple of days documenting the telescope houses, I still made time for the city’s remarkable grain elevators. A few photographs of those better-documented Buffalo structures are below.
I just returned from a visit to Lubbock, Texas for the opening of my show at the Texas Tech University School of Art on September 2. While my schedule at TTU kept me busy, I was fortunate enough to have some free time to explore the city along with the Director of Landmark Arts, Joe Arredondo, and TTU MFA photography students Sarah Jamison and Tom Turner. Here are a handful of favorite images from the visit. As always, additional images from the trip can be seen on flickr.
I’ve just returned from a few days in New Orleans attending the Society of Architectural Historians‘ annual meeting and visiting field sites. In my spare time, I photographed other portions of the city, from which a selection is posted below. If you’d like to see more, a variety of other images from 2010 and 2011 are posted in my New Orleans set on flickr.
Every weekend, motorcycle and all terrain vehicle enthusiasts gather on the north side of Camden, New Jersey. Driven from most city streets by the police, the participants converge in and around Pyne Poynt Park to race amongst a patchwork of row houses and vacant lots. The riders are predominantly male, ethnically diverse and range in age from teenagers to those in their late 20s, while bystanders span from the very young to even the mothers of some of the riders.
Despite tricks and high-speed races, police officers mainly leave them alone, perhaps figuring it’s better to sequester the riders than risking police chase accidents like the one that left one rider with a broken back and seizures. Even so, the occasional warning siren from a passing squad car is greeted with jeers, engine revving and more than a few choice gestures.
The following images are a sampling of the events and the surrounding area.