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Mean Streets

Almost a year to the day after my last trip in 2016, I was back on a plane headed for the East Coast. (As fate would have it, I did indeed fly United Airlines -- a rather cruelly funny coincidence given recent events. But I digress...) This visit, however, was far more personal, as I'm also dealing with an ill family member. Nevertheless, I've been able to do another round of interviews...and I can't wait to discuss them in more detail upon my return to California.

New York is a magnificent place to visit, but also challenging to navigate. I grew up primarily in northern New Jersey, and worked two internships in Manhattan many, many moons ago. But after all these years, still I feel like a fish out of water. NYC is a very different place from when I left it, and I've become a very different person in the years since. Perhaps I've been in LA too long.

Above: The Empire State Building, half shrouded in evening fog.

NYC is really a city for the young, mobile, and rich. I'm none of those, and am just not used to this kind of environment anymore. I love it, but it'd be easier if I had more money in my wallet and fewer inches around my waist.

Rarely have I been so exhausted. A film crew of one, lugging around his camera, tripod, and light equipment for at least ten miles. Or at least it felt that way. It's also a wake up call when you discover parking your rental jeep for three and a half hours can set you back nearly fifty freaking bucks.

But in other ways, I feel invigorated. I've met some incredible people, and some exciting things are being set up for the future -- stuff that makes me feel like I'm soaring over the moon. I'll just have to bite my tongue for now.

Above: My camera setup within my hotel room, prepping for a time-lapse video.

Some of the location shooting involved a visit to Chelsea, and David Edward Byrd's former studio on 17th Street:

While lugging my stuff around, I came across the Chisholm Larsson Gallery and decided to look inside. To my surprise I found Amsel's poster for FORMERLY THE HARLETTES framed on the wall. I spoke briefly with Robert Chisholm, who was kind enough to give a few impromptu words on the poster and Amsel's work. Goes to show Amsel's enduring legacy after all these years.

I also was able to reconnect with my cousin Katie, whom I had not seen in over two years. She just moved into a cute apartment in Queens, and shares it with her longtime companion, a 15 year old dog named Gizmo. They graciously let me crash at their place for a night, which was a nice relief from the noise and bustle of Manhattan.

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