Page 223 - From Canalstreet to 34th street
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 POEM: CANAL STREET TO 34TH STREET, 2013 Photographs 1982 - 2012
The photographs in this book were taken between 1982 and 2012 on the west side of Manhattan between Canal Street and West 34th Street. In 1982 my camera was “analogue” and my photos were in mostly black and white. As time passed I began to work with color and more recently, only in color.
I did not take photographs of this area each year, even if I happened to be visiting New York City.
I made photographs in this area when I felt like doing so.
I have no doubt that I missed a lot of changes, but that is not a problem because this work is a poem; a visual poem about a part of Manhattan which I like very much. My poem is chronological, beginning in 1982 and ending in 2012. Thirty years passed by and the neighborhoods in this part of Manhattan changed dramatically. Once shabby industrial neighborhoods were transformed into a lovely yuppie enclave full of luxuries for those people who can afford to live there, and many problems for those who can no longer afford to do so.
The Highline, now a renowned urban park, saved a part of the old elevated railway system that moved freight beginning in the late 19th century. In the later part of the 20th century that once grand struc- ture fell into disuse and was allowed to decay. The Highline allows us to remember the grandeur of another time and to experience the new neighborhoods from a unique vantage point.
Thirty years went by and that means that I am thirty years older. I still feel the same. I don’t look the same as I did thirty years ago, but inside I feel much the same as I did then. That is something that I believe is also the case for this part of Manhattan.
This book is part of my biographical archive project: World Works / the Library.
Peter Spaans, Amsterdam, 9 september 2013. Concept, photography, lay out: Peter Spaans.

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