I have lived in Tribeca for 30 years. My apartment is a rental – the complex I live in is one of 3 highrise towers named Independence Plaza. The three towers and attached townhouses, erected in 1974, were meant to be luxury rentals, but at that time Tribeca was mostly non-residential. There were practically no grocery stores, pharmacies, and the like to support a residential community. It was considered a “pioneer” neighborhood.
The complex was converted to NY state subsidized middle income housing until 2004, when the buildings were sold and the subsidies were removed. Some tenants were forced out, others remained, and the vacated apartments were renovated and rented to new tenants paying premium market rents. The neighborhood had changed dramatically since the mid 1970’s.
When I, and my neighbors – first moved into our apartments, we had to qualify officially as “middle income” – we are teachers, nurses, artists, civil servants, social workers, writers. We have rented in Manhattan for years, working to pay our rent and bills and enjoy life in New York. The high cost of living has made it difficult to save for retirement, and many of us don’t own any real estate that can be sold for profit. We have contributed to the diversity of our neighborhood and our city.
I have been photographing the original and long - term tenants of Independence Plaza, making portraits of residents in their apartments and in the common areas of the complex. My intention is to illustrate the diversity of the people and the created comfort of their residences. Every apartment may have same parquet floors and bathroom layouts, but people have in many cases transformed the mid 1970’s layouts into real homes. When I visit my neighbors and photograph them, I listen to their stories about the neighborhood and realize how important it is to maintain this diversity in our city.
After having been married for 32 years my husband passed away in 2008, after a long illness. Once widowed, I experienced the confusing and mixed feelings of grief: guilt, loneliness, regrets, indelible memories of loving glances, hugs, and laughs. In 2009 I decided to try online dating because I wanted to meet a man for an occasional movie or dinner date.
The second man I met online was Joel, and we felt a bond right away. Soon after, I closed my account on JDate. We married in January of 2012 in a lovely ceremony at home. I hadn’t expected to fall in love, but I did. To my surprise and delight, I found that I could deeply love this wonderful man who entered my life, while holding dear the memories of my first husband.
Having been in a long-term marriage, I came to this new relationship with the tools in place to be a good wife. We quickly fell into the routine and ease of being a stable married couple, except that we were newlyweds in our 60's. There is humor in that. For one thing, our bodies are not supple and streamlined the way they were when we were young. We both come with a lot of baggage, and at our ages, it’s no big deal, nothing to get excited about. We’ve both seen a lot, done a lot, and have higher thresholds for idiosyncratic behavior than in our 20’s and 30’s.
In this series, Second Time Around, I delight in observing my new husband as he goes about living day to day. We both know that life is short, and perhaps because of our new found love and comfort, can journey through this life with a certain enthusiasm. We feel secure, yet we know we’re lucky.
Two actors, husband and wife, living together for many years in Manhattan Plaza, a New York City housing development created and maintained for performing arts professionals. Anita is a cancer survivor, and lost her leg over 30 years ago - but it hasn't and won't stop her from having a full career as an actor, producer, director, teacher, composer and advocate for performers with disabilities. Paul is a gentle yet commanding presence as a person and an actor- with a love for the Detroit Tigers, certain TV series, and the theatre professionals he works with. I visited with them over a number of weeks and captured them in the every day.