New York Shitty Day Ender: Faces Of Recovery

March 31, 2012 ·
Filed under: Bronx, New York City 

Tatiana: East Tremont Bronx

Chris Arnade writes (of his latest series):

I was invited by Debra Vizzi, the head of VIP Services, to attend their Friday Morning Breakfast Club, a weekly support/inspirational meeting for addicts in recovery. Tatiana, 24, from the Bronx and now in the women’s residence, was one of many to stand up and share; she recited a poem she had written.

Tatiana started using drugs in ’06, initially weed, mushrooms, and ecstasy, but she quickly moved to heroin. The drug abuse led to her selling herself, and constant thoughts of suicide. Twice before, she has been through detox and rehab, and has now been clean for 99 days. “This time I’m getting clean for me, not for my family. That’s a big difference.” When she leaves the program she is hoping to get the last four credits to complete college and go into nursing.

When I asked her how she wanted to be described she said, “I am an eccentric piece of work. Addicts are sensitive people who often don’t know how to deal with their emotions.”

Please take the time to read her poem here, Strolling craigslist avenue for drugs. Tatiana’s picture is the first in a companion series that I hope to shoot over next few months called Faces of Recovery.

Thanks to the writer Cassie Rodenberg for all the help, and please check out her blog…

Quicklink: Telling The Stories Of Hunts Point, One Portrait at a Time

Roxy: Hunts Point Bronx

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.

Portraits & Pigeons: Photographs by Chris Arnade
Opening Reception: Friday, March 9, 2012 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Urban Folk Art Gallery
101 Smith Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Faces of Brooklyn

January 20, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11201, Cobble Hill, Cobble Hill Brooklyn 

Although this is still a ways off I wanted to get the word out early. Chris Arnade, a very talented photographer; frequent photo pool contributor and all-around nice guy will be having a show of his work next month. Congratulations Chris! Check it out!

The Borough: Faces of Brooklyn
Last Exit
Opening Reception: February 3, 2011 7:00 p.m.
136 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Miss Heather

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