Photo: 539 West 162nd Street

For September’s theme, I chose the word Memory because I thought it would be a good challenge and started thinking of various ideas, discarding the first few that were strong in memory but didn’t have any relation to my city.

The idea for the above diptych came about because for the last 6 months I’ve been gathering information, trying to build a family history that I could one day give to my sons. I come from a slew of interesting characters, one of which is my grandfather Edgar Brastow (formerly Alvarenga before being adopted by his stepfather), who was born in New York City and lived just 45 blocks from my first apartment in the city (he on 165th and Broadway and I at 207th and Broadway). I liked the idea of visiting the building/street/neighborhood he once lived in and picturing him as a little boy in this city that we’ve both experienced, just at different moments in time. Sentimental I know. This isn’t my best photograph(s). It’s not particularly creative and there was construction at the entrance that I had to work around but in this case I felt the experience was more important than the end result.

Below is my Great Grandmother Theresa Alvarenga’s Naturalization paperwork where I came across the address they lived at during the 30’s.

Friend and NY/LA Photo Project co-conspirator Paul Kingsley has chosen “light” for October. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of creating something interesting for our next theme.

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