On Sundays I run with a group called the “Officially Unofficial Running Group” which is headed up by a very accomplished runner and natural born leader named Julie. We explore new running routes in and around Buffalo every week and we often take turns choosing locations and charting each new course. This week took us to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor on Lake Erie where we encountered this striking woodland creature wandering around curiously close to the city.
The Belt Line: Hiding in Plain Sight opened at Sugar City on January 1, 2016 and we had a really great turn out opening night. The show was featured in both The Buffalo News and The Public. Here are a few shots of gallery goers checking out the work.
These are some of my pictures from another of David Torke’s amazing photography tours of Buffalo’s East Side.
The main event was hiking to the top of the gigantic snow mound formed from the nearly 7,000 truck loads of Lake Effect snow that was transported to Buffalo’s Central Terminal from South Buffalo and the southtowns after the historic “Snovember” storm of 2014. The mound is 40 to 50 feet high and provides a rare vantage point for shooting the Central Terminal and the surrounding neighborhood. The Central terminal is now being restored, but parts of it remain abandoned and run down. We made our way inside and explored as part of the tour as well.
Also pictured, scenes from the Belt Line and some neighborhood shots.
When I first moved to Buffalo for my MFA in photography in 2000, I spent a lot of time photographing all over the city for a project I was working on about abandoned toys. I found plenty of subjects for my project on Buffalo’s run down East Side and I became very familiar with the area.
Recently, when I saw a facebook invite from David Torke, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in his September edition of Tour de Neglect. David is a Buffalo photographer, blogger and community activist whose efforts to bring much needed love and attention to the East Side have been getting some impressive press lately. I’d read about past tours in various local publications and I was excited to get involved.
David’s efforts were recently featured in the Guardian and I am honored to have a couple of snaps I took on that ride included in the article by Ethan Powers.
There is an old man who walks up and down my street every day, all day long and into the night. He maneuvers along an intricate path, charted with precision on a secret map that is tucked safely away somewhere in his unconscious. He walks the same route each day, moving with short, quick steps, one hand in his pocket, the other hand often clutching a plastic bag from the convenience store at the end of the block. Every day it is the same invisible maze that he seems bound to like a magnetic lasso moving through time in self-propelled motion.
Once when I was walking home I saw him coming toward me in the distance. Just before we would have passed each other, he took a sharp left into a residential driveway, circled around the car that was parked there and came back out onto the sidewalk behind me. I assumed it was an antisocial gesture to avoid the pressure of exchanging pleasantries. But since then I’ve seen him repeat that circle time and again as I drive or walk past.
I have a friend who has lived in the neighborhood for years. She can describe every detail of his zigzags and loops. She says he makes figure eights up and down Auburn Avenue. My friend has in her mind for the old man a map that may in some ways mirror his own. But no one knows where his day begins and where it ends. For those who have noticed him, it may seem that he is living in a dream world. We do not have access to the logic in his heart that gives order to this bizarre system he is so committed to. He is probably out there walking right now. If you come back and read this later, he’ll be walking. Or even if you don’t.