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Friday, January 30, 2009

Horrible and Miserable

Hunt's Point is not the first place visitors or photographers want to go. And that's fine with me - no crowds, no competition. It has the most extraordinary conglomeration of commercial establishments I have ever seen. In an article in the New York Times entitled "Motor City," the area is referred as a "grease monkey mecca, with almost 200 junkyards, garages and used auto parts shops packed into a couple of square miles." Subsequent to the article, a resident who seemed quite offended sent a letter, stating that there was an "explosion of vibrant artist and performance communities and theaters, as well as a bustling community that works hard to improve Hunts Point's quality of life."
There may in fact be one, but any pioneering activities certainly misrepresents the situation. I can't say that I combed every square meter of the place, but I did cover some ground, and this is one of the most blighted looking areas I have ever seen (however, I haven't been to Camden, New Jersey, yet.) See another photo here.

Its very extreme nature is what makes it such a photographer's paradise. Everything it does have is bigger and better - junkyards, used auto parts dealers, garages, prostitution, and the Hunt's Point Terminal Market. And garbage bags - it is unfortunate that I did my article on plastic bags before I visited here - I was awed by a collection ensnared by barbed wire.

I'm neither a Luddite nor the type to romanticize the edgy - I don't prefer vinyl over CDs or a Holga or Lomo camera over my digital. I don't mind a clean neighborhood or renovation. I would prefer an afternoon in the Tuillierie Gardens of Paris over a stroll through Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But I do have a fascination with the very dull, mundane, boring, nondescript, or if I am lucky, the really horrible. I have posted on many subjects of this nature, in some cases even a place or building for which there is no reason to give a second glance. Why? Because these subjects force you to look and be aware, to find something of interest. I do love the the glorious, wonderful, beautiful, and magnificent - so easy to enjoy. It's the horrible that is a challenge to appreciate.

I am reminded of a passage in Annie Hall where Woody Allen says that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable and that you should be thankful that you're only miserable. Perhaps thats one of the things I like about Hunt's Point - it makes me happy that I am only miserable :)

1 comment:

Sony Laptop Parts said...

these pictures are beautiful. You know i love unique photographs. Places and things no one would think of photographing.

The uniqueness really makes you look at it and look into it. That is what makes it truly beautiful.

Hunts point really does sound like photographers paradise the way you're describing it.
Id love to go there with my camera one day i think it would be great. Possibly a black and white film.