Saturday, June 7, 2008

“When I go out my door now, I don’t see anyone I know. I see the loss of a community.”

[Image by Clayton Patterson]

The new issue of The Brooklyn Rail has a great feature on Clayton Patterson, the artist and documentarian who has been chronicling the changes in the Lower East Side since he first set up shop here in the early 1980s. Some of his 100,000 photos and 10,000 hours worth of footage went into Captured, which debuts Friday at The Rooftop Film Festival. "The film is as much a biopic of the neighborhood as it is a portrait of Patterson himself," according to the article by Jericho Parms

Here's an excerpt from the article:

When the Lower East Side took hold of Clayton Patterson, it never let go. He speaks of it as “a magic crucible that everything else would come out of.” In the last decade, he believes, he’s seen the end of that era as soaring real estate prices have begun to empty the village of its artists, bohemians, radicals and immigrants.
“When I go out my door now, I don’t see anyone I know. I see the loss of a community.” Patterson notes the changes—the cranky old tailor is gone, a trendy café bar bought out the Latino grocery on the corner. Still, there is a good chance that any person that walked the streets or attended an event in “the deep pool that is the Lower East Side” in the past two decades can be found somewhere in the Clayton Patterson archives. And, in that sense, they will live on forever.

Here's a trailer for the film:

Here's an article on Patterson from the Times.

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