In 1980 Ed Fausty and I began photographing the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the famous neighborhood of tenements where so many Americans trace their roots. In those days, the neighborhood was regarded as the area extending from 14th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge with the Bowery/Third Avenue as the western boundary.
We spent a bit more than a year documenting the neighborhood using a 4x5 view camera and shooting color film. We collaborated as a conceptual and aesthetic experiment, but also for practical reasons. The neighborhood was often dangerous, and it was also advantageous to share the cost of materials.
In 1981 the project was exhibited at the Henry Street Settlement Arts for Living Center. The exhibit was well received, but once it was over, the entire project sat in my archives until recently when I decided to start photographing the Lower East Side again, this time on my own.
On these web pages are the original 1980 images and a still growing collection of contemporary views. Except for a few instances, I have chosen to address the neighborhood with fresh eyes rather than repeat the earlier pictures.
On the Bowery 2003-2008