Filed under: 11201, Bronx, Cobble Hill, Cobble Hill Brooklyn, Hunts Point, Hunts Point Bronx, Stuff That Makes Miss Heather Happy
Many who have followed this site are familiar with the work of Chris Arnade. He is not only a frequent (and incredibly talented) contributor to my photo pool, but he is also a good friend. His latest series of photographs documenting life in Hunts Point (after dark) has put a very human face on individuals this city seems to have forgotten. One such example is Roxy, about whom he writes:
Roxy, 23, has been walking the streets for six months, turned out by a pimp she met. “I am in school. I got tuition, food, housing, all that to pay for. This is just a way to get by. I got turned down for student loans.” When I asked her about the dangers, she said, “sure, its not easy. I’ve been kidnapped once and raped twice.” Over the summer she got into a car with a john. Another man was hiding in the backseat. They drove her to Yonkers, tied her up and raped her. “Now I am friends with the other girls. We all lookout for each other, because no one else will.”
Five minutes after we spoke the police arrested her best friend. Fifteen yards away, undeterred, the johns continued to pick up girls…
Mr. Arnade’s portraiture and accompanying anecdotes of life in Hunts Point are at turns disturbing, outraging, sad and yet curiously hopeful. The people who pose for his camera face adversities the likes of which many of the readers of this site (including me, the author) cannot begin to fathom— but instead of simply taking photos, going home and posting them, Chris follows up. Most importantly: he listens— and we should as well. These people are not “statistics”; they are our fellow New Yorkers and as such deserve our compassion and respect.
Thus, as both a friend and colleague, I was very pleased to learn he has garnered (yet more) recognition for his work. This time via the New York Times. Please take a moment to read this article. It is good read.
In closing Chris will be having a show of his photography next month—- albeit closer to home: the Urban Folk Gallery in Cobble Hill. Check it out.