MICHAL DANIEL east village
Discretely recording street scenes was already my quarter century long passion, when in 2001 I found the now obsolete Eyemodule2, a 640x480 pixel (0.3 megapixel) digital camera. It's a tiny lens that fits on a long discontinued Handspring organizer. It's also a silent, nearly invisible tool for collecting fleeting moments. When anyone notices me working with it, "don't mind me, just organizing here," is what I appear to be doing, staring down at the screen.
The “digital Diana” toy personality of this camera, with its restricted color palette and pinhole-like focus, make for painterly effects that transform telling moments into visual poems. http://www.640x480.net is where I hang my keepers, now numbering close to three thousand. Nearly half of them were made in New York’s East Village.
"The East Village is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It lies east of Greenwich Village, south of Gremercy and Stuyvesant Town, and north of the Lower East Side. The East Village encompasses the neighborhood of Alphabet City (Avenues A - D). The neighborhood is bounded by 14th Street on the north, Avenue D on the east, Houston Street on the south, and the Bowery and 3rd Avenue on the west."
(From Kugel, Seth, "An 80-Block Slice of City Life", New York Times, September 19, 2007.)
For someone like me, who fled to America from communist Czechoslovakia, New York's historic immigrant hub is a special place of magic. On the few blocks of East Village, the daily drama of America's never ending transformation plays out, in all its glory, humor, happiness and pain.
For over five years I've explored the East Village neighborhood, collecting lasting glances at vanishing poetic moments and colorful inhabitants. Here is my personal view of East Village street life in the beginning of this new century.
In case you wondered, I take home $20 for each book sold, Blurb gets the rest. Thanks!