Reader Submission Du Jour: Calvary Cemetery 20 Years Ago

December 15, 2008 by
Filed under: Queens, Sunnyside 

This image was generous provided by New York Shitty reader (and former Pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church), Bodmin. He writes:

I developed the film on Thursday, 15 December; it was probably shot either that afternoon, or on the 12th or 13th. The image is absolutely straight; I never manipulate, except in traditional terms like choosing when to shoot. I’d cased the location after seeing it used in Midnight Cowboy and Shaft (Shaft II, I think); when I saw the sky that afternoon I knew it was now or never for this shot, hopped in my car and drove over the Greenpoint Bridge and got it, somewhere between 4 and 4:30, as the sun set through the magenta murk. It became part of my Cemetery Series, which was put together as a personal memorial to a friend and fellow Greenpoint photographer, Bill Vetel, in that first wave of artists in the 1970s, who had rebuilt an old flophouse down on the block of Greenpoint Avenue between West and the pier/radio mast, and who had died of a heart attack at age 43 earlier in 1983. It kind of shook me; I was the last person to have seen him alive, and he was the first person more or less my own age to go.

Firstly, I would like to thank Bodmin for sharing this lovely image with us. It should also be noted that Bill Vetell’s widow, Barbara, is alive, well and very active in matters of Greenpoint interest. Including Friends of Transmitter Park!

Miss Heather


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