Monday, December 31, 2012

Molly and Martin

She was eight-years-old when I first photographed her -– cross and beautiful. We met again 20 years later on the road not far from her house where she used to ride her pony. She had not wanted to be photographed the first time, she told Caroline, but her mother had persuaded her. Now she has a horse but if the Philipstown Town Board have their way and pave this road she may never be able to ride down it again. Molly and her friend Martin both have jobs in the environmental protection world in the Catskills. Martin has a rein attached from round his waist to the two dogs on the right, so that the dogs can pull him on his cross-country skis. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Silent Night

Saunders Farm Nativity from Dmitri Kasterine on Vimeo.

Horses and unaccompanied singing are two loves of mine.  I grew up with horses, but as a child I was not as keen as my mother and sister were. It was not until Gay Kindersley put me on one of his steeple chasers (admittedly an retired one) that I began to understand the thrill and intelligence of the beasts, and will now go out of my way to watch or ride a horse.

At school I was head of the choir, therefore I heard a great deal of unaccompanied music. Recently a highlight of my wanderings through YouTube is the discovery of a recording of Schubert's Mass in G Major by the National Chamber Choir of Armenia, an ensemble that no one has probably ever heard of. But listen to them, particularly the Benedictus. This, as musicians will know, is not actually an unaccompanied piece, but so powerful and pure is the soprano's voice, she could well manage without the orchestra. Then, of course, Keith Richards has recently revealed that he was a boy soprano of great accomplishment, singing many times at the Albert Hall, and winning all the important school competitions in the 1950s. Then he had his first set-back in life... his voice broke. I wish I had heard him.

Strolling about Sandy's barn and field last week I saw the young children lost in their love of both activities.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Preview pages of Newburgh: Portrait of a City

I am giving a talk and signing of my book 
Newburgh: Portrait of a City at Mill Street Loft, 45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY. on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 5.00 pm - 7.00 pm. It is being held in conjunction with Three Arts Bookstore.

The book is published by The Quantuck Lane Press with a foreword by David Dasch. 
It is designed by Laura Lindgren.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lady with cat

I took this photograph in 1978 in the Upper Richmond Road in the district of Putney, London, England. It was recently selected by Rod Fry ARPS who wrote about it in The Royal Photographic Society magazine Contemporary Group Journal. Rod first noticed the picture in a book of mine called England and the English, published in 1982. He was reminded of it when he saw that I had an exhibition of my pictures of writers and artists at The National Portrait Gallery in London, in 2011.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Barn doors on Sandy's farm

Thanksgiving 2012. No Brussels sprouts, no pumpkin pie and no guests ― just us and the dogs. Practiced the piano, edited a video of Sandy Saunders making the last mowing of the season at Wing and Wing, the field below Castle Rock, the not very medieval, but never-the-less impressive wreck of a castle on the hilltop overlooking Garrison, NY. It can been seen from almost everywhere.

We walked in the sunshine on a windless day. Probably the happiest late November day I have ever spent. Cooked Pommes gaufrettes au beurre from the incomparable Jean and Pierre Troisgros cookbook, with fried turkey breasts in a sauce made from the last of a bottle of Cockburn 20 year-old Tawney port, white wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and a knob of butter. It was planned to be Madeira sauce, but Yannitelli, our local wine merchant, had run out. Glad to be a victim of the increasing popularity of this wonderful beverage, without which Washington and his generals would never have won the war.

The photograph is of the barn at Sandy Saunders' house. Pray for the mild winter to continue.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grey's last dinner

Grey Zein was overheard on his telephone in Foodtown, Garrison, NY on Saturday before Hurricane Sandy was due, saying, "What do you want for dinner this evening, before the world comes to an end?"

Train spotters

These are train spotters on a platform at Clapham Junction station in South London, England taken in 1979. You bought a platform ticket for almost nothing so that you could see your sweetheart off to visit her aunt in Brighton and if you were a photographer or a train spotter armed with a platform ticket you could go about your work without question. Now it is quite different. This picture was published recently in the photography blog London Column where the writer describes what happens if you want to go on to a platform and you are not a traveler.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

James Baldwin

I was still living in London in the late 1970s when Robert Priest rang me from Esquire in New York to ask if I would photograph James Baldwin. I knew that he lived in France and it is always a thrill to be asked to go somewhere else to photograph a writer besides a cold house in Hampstead or a cluttered flat in Earl's Court. This was particularly nice because Baldwin lived in Saint-Paul-de-Vence where I had  been once before and dined at La Colombe D'Or, one of the most attractive restaurants anywhere. 

I drove into the main square of Saint-Paul-de-Vence the evening before I was due to take his picture. As I past a café I noticed sitting at a table facing the street a black man. He was surrounded by five white young ladies all leaning forward towards him wide eyed as he spoke. I recognized the man almost at once as James Baldwin. The girls were young enough to be college students. When I saw him the next day I asked him about it and he said that yes indeed they were American college students. He said he liked that particular café and went there often. The group spotted him and he invited them to sit with him.

We spoke little during my time with him as is often the case when I photograph people. I concentrate on how to arrange the scene beside and behind my subject and where to place the camera. Mostly I allow people to compose themselves, with an occasional, "Just a little to your left...yes, that's it, there." And if the sitter looks too fixed I move away from the camera or ask a question which usually causes people to re-arrange themselves.

I remember James Baldwin saying that when the revolution came he would be out there in the streets with his carving knife. When Occupy Wall Street takes hold I wonder if it will be like that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


In 1988 I took this photograph of Jackie Mason for Andy Warhol's "Interview." He arrived at my studio with at least one other person followed shortly by the assigned writer accompanied by a friend. I was not told about these people coming to the shoot. Even after I asked if they would very kindly not talk and move away from the area of the studio where I was working they continued to chatter. 

I needed to be alone with my subject so I asked the spectators to  go downstairs please and wait in the very nice coffee shop below. They agreed but my request was reported to the editors who took a dim view of my actions and I was struck from the list of photographers the magazine used. "Just try and write an article with three or four people nattering at your side clanking cups and saucers of coffee," I told the art editor. 

I am telling this tale because I did not hear from "Interview" again until last week when they e-mailed me to ask if they could publish two of my pictures of Stanley Kubrick. The enraged editors, writers and their friends had, of course, long since departed from the magazine. Fabien Baron is now the editorial director. We agreed a price, I wrote some captions and the whole thing was done with much courtesy and ease.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Newburgh: Portrait of a City on NPR

 A young person for Volume II.

Quote from THE picture SHOW, the NPR news blog featuring my book and exhibition:

"But even after 16 years," he says, "the work isn't done." He still goes to Newburgh every week, and requests from young residents (who want to know why he hasn't taken their photos yet) keep his mind on the project.

"I'm thinking of volume two already," he says.

To view THE picture SHOW click here

Monday, September 17, 2012


Sometimes I mind the tame way people hold each other. Here it seems to me that the man is merely lolling around the girl and the girl only has the barest grasp of him, almost as though she's holding just his t-shirt. You can't feel someone the way she is holding him, with her half clenched fist. There is not much lust here. Well, of course there may not have been. I think I will ask them when I see them again. "Are you just friends?" 

Anyway, I have promoted this photograph into my favorites list because of her dress, their matching slimness and his pride (or is it challenge?) — the slightly raised chin.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Newburgh: Portrait of a City, book signing.

Hello and welcome,

I am holding a BOOK SIGNING on Saturday, September 8th at The Ann Street Gallery,

104 Ann Street, Newburgh NY 12550.
Click here to see a selection of photographs from the book,


Best wishes,


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Twist

I received this letter not long ago.

"I am a psychologist working at the Coltman Street Day Hospital in Hull❲England❳. Our primary work here is to help older people with a diagnosis of memory loss or dementia. We have excellent facilities here including a large flat screen television we use to flash up various historic photographs of Hull for our clients.

I want to update the images on our running PowerPoint display that we have in the main wait area and saw your website. I wondered if there was a possibility of copying your photograph The Twist on your site so that clients can be stimulated in memory back to their childhoods and persevere their precious memories. Is this something you would consider?"

I wrote back agreeing to his using it. I took the picture in the early 1960s in London at The Lyceum Ballroom for The Weekend Telelgraph.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Newburgh: Portrait of a City arriving in September

Hello and welcome,

This is the cover of my book. It will be published in early September and I am busy looking for newspapers, magazines, TV stations, web sites and radio stations in the New York area who might be interested in reviewing it. I have probably overlooked some, so please, if you have any thoughts, e-mail me. I will then send a copy of the book together with the press release to the recommended organization. I should be more than grateful for your help.

Click here to see a selection of photographs from the book.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Robert Hughes

I worked with Robert Hughes in the mid 1960s on several stories for The Telegraph Magazine in London. We became friends. He used to come to dinner, or in the summer, lunch in the garden, always carrying an armful of good Italian wine. He dressed at that time in Cossack style silk shirts from Turnbull and Asser, either in white or purple. 

He had not begun to write about art then, but accepted assignments of general interest from The Telegraph and other publications. We went together to Guernsey in The Channel Isles to feature a couple recently retired from British colonial life, and rather than coming home they had plumped for a tax haven. Bob took up the opening paragraph in the piece describing how we had been shown into the boot room and been kept waiting there for 20 minutes. 

Later, when he was snapped up by Time Magazine to be their art critic, the world became riveted by his prose. And his guts. Who dared to say what they felt about Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat, unless it was praise? Only Bob Hughes.

I saw him once again in London, by chance, at Langan's, the brasserie owned by Michael Langan and Michael Caine. Bob was eating alone and I wondered why. He probably chose to, I thought, as he had recently arrived from New York to fulfill some obligation for the BBC the next day and then return to New York.

Then in the late 1970s I went to New York for a job and rang Bob. "Take the N and the R train to Prince and walk four blocks west to West Broadway. My loft is on the north east corner of Prince and West Broadway, top floor." I got out at Prince and climbed the stairs to the street and saw that I was on Broadway and got in a muddle, both with the name Broadway and not being sure which was east and west. I called Bob from the pay phone. He told me to face the setting sun. "Give me two minutes and you will see me standing, waving on my street corner." I waited and there his was, waving, almost the only person on the street. Can you imagine today, thirty five years later, being able to single out a person waving at you from five blocks away, as you stood on Broadway and Prince at seven in the evening?

The south window of his loft looked slap at the Twin Towers. Bob had done most of the work himself including the plumbing. The claw feet bathtub stood alone at the end of the main room. "I may keep it like that."

We walked to Mulberry Street in Little Italy to a slit of a place where we were seated at once and waited on with attention. "Is this a Mafia place?" I asked?

"Oh, yes", Bob replied.

I have missed Bob for twenty-five years because our paths did not cross much when I came to live in the United States—chance meetings in the street or at Dean and Deluca where we would have a coffee together. I always came away chuckling at something he had said. And there was and always will be his writing.   
My favourite clip from Bob's multitude of TV appearances is his part in the documentary about R. Crumb.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kasterine's portraits on the wall of The Ritz Theater, Newburgh

This not a Photoshop mock-up. It is the wall of The Ritz Theater in Newburgh NY, with 44 of my photographs displayed on it, taken early on Saturday, August 4, 2012. They will be up until November.

The book Newburgh: Portrait of a City, in which these photographs are included, will be published in September by The Quantuck Lane Press, an affiliate of
W.W. Norton & Company.   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Deana and Nazaree

Here are my two interns, Deana Morgan on the left and Nazaree Newton on the right with one of the photographs they mounted. I call it The man with the well trimmed mustache. More about him in later postings.

Correction: In my recent newsletter I wrongly gave Nazaree's last name as Nelson. Her last name is Newton. 

Show opens August 4th

This is Alaya, taken today, with her portrait taken 14 years ago. "That was my favorite t-shirt. I always wondered what happened to this picture and the proposed book. And now up it pops."

Barring storms and tempest the outdoor exhibition of mural size prints from my book
Newburgh: Portrait of a City will be up on the wall of the Ritz Theater in Newburgh NY on Saturday August 4th. The opening is at 6.00 PM, corner of Broadway and Liberty Street.

For a drink and to see more of my work, go to Ann Street Gallery (next door building on Ann Street).
Portraits of known and unknown, life-going-on and landscapes.

You may also find us at The Wherehouse, the pub on the corner of Ann and Liberty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

24 and 7th

Today we celebrate 24 years of married bliss, and Roger Federer's Wimbledon win; his  seventh. Our wedding took place in our loft on Lafayette Street in NYC, but no pictures were taken so we dressed up again a few days after the wedding and set the delayed action. On my right is my son Alexander and on my left my daughter Cathy.

We spent today gardening; weeding to encourage nature's finest ground cover, Vinca Minor to spread, and spraying things with Dawn to keep the bugs off. Tonight we will open a bottle of Auxey-Duresse given to us by Nick Groombridge when he came round to show us his McLaren the other day.

The glory that is surrounding Murray's loss at Wimbledon is perplexing. You might have thought he had won. I can't remember a runner-up so praised. Caroline took another line: "The Queen should put him in the Tower; even have his head off." I pointed out that his being Scottish, with their impending independence, that's now not so easy. Federer does not read press reports about himself or an other player, he tells us, so he does not care  about all this.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Damaris on Liberty Street in Newburgh, 102 °F

After we finished taking the photographs we sat outside The Wherehouse and Damaris and Shakuur flipped through the dummy of my book, Newburgh: Portrait of a City. They recognized many people. with cries of, "I know her... I know him."

Turning the pages, Shakuur said, "There's Trista — my first. That's Sheila — she's blind now, she lives in Albany."

"Was she a girlfriend too?" I asked.

"He wouldn't remember," Damaris said.

Shakuur took no notice. "She has two daughters, they are beautiful. They are beautiful."

As they continued to look to see who they knew in the book, Shakuur glanced at the passing cars. He waved and yelled greetings to the occupants of many that passed. "I have an eye for this — recognizing people."

"This baby ... he's grown up now. That's his mother's girlfriend holding him; she was bi-sexual. They were openly gay in high school and she helped raise the kid."

More pages were turned. Damaris said, "This woman ran a whorehouse. My grandmother and her sister were girls then. Being half Native American they had long hair and she chopped it off ... for wigs.

Part of the beauty of Damaris and others I photographed is from the mixture of blood: African and Native American. Damaris is also part white, she told us, Jewish.

Here is Damaris in the original picture I did of her with a friend 14 or 15 years ago. I never knew her name; she just told me they were on their way to work at the mall, but they could spare a minute. It was not until earlier this year when we started to look for some of my subjects that we encountered a cousin of hers who put us in touch. 


I don't know that I ever did justice to the 15 year-old Damaris when I first took her picture with her friend Shamika. We used it as a card and we used it as the photograph on the main page of our Kickstarter fundraising campaign. It is an appealing photograph, but it's a soppy photograph. I wanted to do better and get something with more guts to it. Here is Damaris today, aged nearly 30 years-old, taken on Liberty Street in Newburgh last week.
Continued in next post.

Damaris and Yours Truly

Damaris arrived punctually as always, but my heart sank because she had brought a friend. When I was introduced, he said, "I'm her husband." My heart had sunk a little because friends, wives, husbands, lawyers, agents and well wishers of any description can stand in the subject's eyeline, talk, coo, and make suggestions as to how to do the picture. 

This husband, although he followed us down the street where I wanted to take the picture, went back to sit with Caroline and Louis outside The Wherehouse, as soon as I asked him. (Not before I had decided to do a photograph of them together, later.)

"We are married but separated," he told me as he stood beside his wife. She had already told me that they were living apart. "He has to get his act together, and then we'll see."  

Yours Truly is how Damaris' husband, Shakuur, refers to himself.
Continued in next post.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lost saw

Earlier this week I bought a hand saw at the Home Depot. When I got home I could not find it in the car and thought that probably I had left it behind at the store. It took me an hour to be put through to the person who deals with this kind of absent-mindedness. After giving the person who finally came on the line the item number on my receipt she told me that they had found a saw, but just a minute... this one was a Stanley; mine was a Dewalt. Then she said, "I remember you, I recognize your accent. I'll put the details in the book. Just come in and show your receipt and pick up another." 

Speaking with an archaic English accent, and at least, not looking like a crook, surely helped. But encountering an angel was the luckiest part.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Caroline and Hansel

Sadly we may be seeing less of Hansel now that he has a live-in guardian at his house in Garrison. For the last month, whenever Caroline had a day working at home or at the weekend, she would collect Hansel and bring him to our house where he would either make himself comfortable on the sofa, or on our bed alongside our dog Louis. He quickly learnt not to go anywhere near Louis' bones, or near Nutmeg, one of our cats who dislikes all other animals and most humans. Others have been doing the same thing while Hansel was temporarily without a housemate.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hana's idea

During the talk I gave at The Wherehouse benefit evening in Newburgh last week, Hana, above, asked, "May I suggest you give up the idea of renting a cherry picker for installing the photographs. They are very expensive, aren't they? Keep the money for taking more photographs and ask the Fire Department if they would donate the use of one of their engines with a long ladder and platform. They once helped us out on a job."

Hana is an AmeriCorps volunteer with Habitat for Humanity who build houses for those in need.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In spite of the large amount of time taken up with printing, mounting, installing and fundraising for my Newburgh Exhibition, there is time left for domestic bliss in the form of stewed red currents, as done by Mrs. Beaton, accompanied by a glass of Sauternes. The dog belongs to Sandy Saunders and is a friend of our dog Louis. He comes for visits at the week-ends. His name is Hansel.   

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father and daughter

Father and daughter shrimping in The Solent, England, early 1970s.

The camera still loves me.

Number 103 Renwick Street in Newburgh is a small three story house. On the right of it a car sits behind a high wooden fence with grass growing to the height of its wheel arches. On the other side of the house, more cars behind a chain linked fence, a tiny cottage beyond and three dogs barking, running up to the fence, bouncing off it and charging up to it again. All the blinds at Number 31 were drawn. Clothes were stuffed in the gaps where the air conditioner curtains would normally fill the space. An air conditioner fitted to a street level window had clothes in the gap but the clothes had been drawn aside a little, presumably to let in fresh air or to inspect activity in the street. 

Somewhere in this house we hoped we would find Toni, one of my subjects who was going into my book of Newburgh portraits. We needed her signature on a release in case we I wanted to use the picture of her, taken about 12 years ago, on the cover of the book. Through her sister, Caroline had found Toni on Facebook. She had agreed to sign and meet us at her house at 3.30 PM.  I knocked on the door several times and the only response I got was from a neighbor across the street, a Hispanic man in his sixties with a fragile command of English. He seemed to want to help but shook his head continuously saying that he did not have anything to do with the people who lived there and did not know if a young woman with three children lived there. Then I saw her name on the mailbox so I suggested to Caroline we sit in the car and wait.

We waited only a minute or two before a couple appeared followed shortly by a third person who said that indeed Toni did live there. "Go through the front door, down the corridor and her door is at the end on the left." It had not occurred to me that the front door might be open. On reaching the end of the corridor I knocked on the door on the left. There was a half minute pause perhaps and then a voice asked who it was. I said, "It's Dmitri, the photographer you were expecting." The door opened slowly and a female figure stood in the threshold surrounded by children. It was no lighter in the apartment than it was in the corridor that was lit only by the curtained glass front door. She said hello smiling a greeting that conveyed a warm welcome.

I said. "Do you remember what you said when I stopped you in the street and asked to take your picture?" Without hesitation she said, "I said yes." I replied that she did not only say yes but had added, "Of course you can, the camera loves me." She asked us to come in and the children crowded around Louis to pet him. 

The only light in the room was from the cracks in the window shades. But I could see clearly enough to catch the glow of the clear complexion of Toni's lovely smiling face. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

"About 12 years, I think."

I explained about the need for her to sign a release. She moved across the room to a book case and switched on a small desk lamp on one of the shelves. Then I saw, propped against a division, slightly crumpled in places, an eight by ten print of the picture I had taken of her twelve years ago. Caroline and I were both very moved at the sight of it. I had with me, in an envelope, a larger version, recently printed on my digital printer. I pulled it out and gave it to her. While the smallest child turned up the volume of the stereo to maximum, Toni found a pen and without saying anything to the child turned the stereo off. "I think it's the sixth today, isn't it?" and signed the release.

I said I would love to take another picture of her but she said she would like to dress differently so could we do it another time. We moved towards the door and the children came with us on to the doorstep where they played with Louis for five minutes until their mother called them in to tidy up their room.

We returned today and I took this picture.        

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Celebratory spirit

As promised, here is the celebratory spirit I said I would find. We reached our goal on Kickstarter and are going ahead with the proposed exhibition. But the smile we see here is also a very natural vivacity, unrelated to a specific event. Here is a greeting that Latoiya would give to those who greeted her, whatever the occasion. We met her today in the heat of the afternoon, taking her three year old nephew to basketball practice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Don't mess with me! Hurry up—take it! It's  not actually what she said but it sure looks like it. I don't always find that peaceful, enigmatic look I search for. 

But, this weekend I shall look for a face that gives a more celebratory feel, to match our reaching the Kickstarter goal earlier this week. Watch this space! 

If you or a friend were considering a pledge, Kickstarter will gladly receive them until June 5th. One's project is allowed to be over subscribed. We have indeed reached our goal, but we still need funds to pay our interns and volunteers who will be helping with printing, mounting and installation. The expert help required with the printer, and the cherry picker operator for installing the work, must also be paid.

Giving a talk at the Newburgh Library, Thursday 24th May, at 7.00 PM.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Three Blades

I ran down Chambers Street in Newburgh to catch up with these young men. They agreed to my photographing them but immediately took off. They shouted and waved at me as they disappeared down the street, "We'll be back!" I waited five or ten minutes. Then, there they suddenly were, dressed much as they had been when they left me, but... they had all changed their shoes. In spite of the gleam and marvelous colors of their sneakers—jet black, shining like patent leather, to piercing lime green—I liked this shot the best. It showed their beauty, style and physique—what had caught my eye in the first place. 

Please visit Kickstarter to consider pledging support for the outdoor exhibition of mural size prints we plan to display on the wall of The Ritz Theater in downtown Newburgh.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gardening and drumming in Newburgh NY

I was filming Agii and Decora sowing seeds in their garden on Chambers Street in Newburgh. I noticed how Decora showed Agii how to do everthing with her hands. Smooth the soil with the palm, make the 1/4 inch trench with your forefinger and fill the trench after you have sown the seeds with forefinger and thumb.

Along comes Kazi Oliver to volunteer his help. Decora said to me, "You must film him; he is a great drummer." Kazi fished out a drum from the back of his mini-van, tapped it a few times but was not happy with it and exchanged it for another. This is his battery.

To see him playing go to:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Waitt

The Waitt are the poetry rap group from Newburgh, NY. We met them at an open mic night at The Wherehouse on Liberty Street in Newburgh. They kindly agreed to record this to help promote our Kickstarter project for the planned outdoor exhibition of mural size prints on the wall of The Ritz Theater in Newburgh. To find details of the exhibition and how to pledge, please go to

Monday, May 7, 2012


Michael is a photographer and his friend from California is still not used to the harsh winters and humid summers here in the East. But she has been here 12 years, mostly in and around Newburgh. What does that say?

He is a member of The Waitt, six young poets and singers who rap. We filmed them for an update on our Kickstarter project. The good life in Newburgh—forthcoming event.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Taken a couple of months ago, this is a picture of Bettina Utz, Caroline's Pilates teacher.

Diverse talent

Agii is a gardener and poetry rapper in Newburgh. We met her first at an open mic night at The Wherehouse. on Liberty Street, a place where they want everybody who passes through their doors to leave knowing they have been more than welcome, and given the best burger for their money. In the back, Dan, the proprietor, once a month gives over the space to people who want to perform. They are charged nothing and encouraged to bring their own food. The place is packed.

Her garden is precisely laid out into six 4ft x 8ft raised beds where she is going to grow raspberries and strawberries. All the wood that lines the raised beds is recycled from torn down neighboring houses. The land itself was donated by her friend Decora of ReadNex Poetry Squad.

Please go to Kickstarter for details of the re-launch of my appeal for funds for my outdoor exhibition of the people of Newburgh. During our many visits to the city during the last three weeks we have received wholehearted approval for this endeavor and a cry that this exhibition must take place. Please help if you can.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Essence of Newburgh"

Purvis, who's store looks out directly on to the wall where I plan my exhibition, has some nice words to say about its prospects.

Thank you all for your generous support of the Kickstarter project. We still have 5 days to go so there is time to pledge if you are thinking about it.
Purvis, proprietor of the Newburgh store Hiphopheaven, says that the exhibition will be, "A benefit to Newburgh and for Newburgh."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Newburgh newlyweds

Susan had lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cynthia on the Lower East Side for many years. "The urban architecture and the broader community is what I love most about Newburgh," said Cynthia.

They found a small abandon but solid building that made electrical parts. They converted it and made raised beds on the rough ground in front of it to grow raspberries and strawberries. 

"This is the face of Newburgh; this is why I like this city," they exclaimed when I showed them the mockup. 

It's all on Kickstarter and if you have a moment, please look. We still need pledges. If you already have, thank you.

Cynthia, a resident of Newburgh, describes the effect the outdoor exhibition of my portraits of the citizens of Newburgh might have on them and the world around us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"They are going to stop and look."

In the video below, Ianthe Dehaney recognizes friends and acquaintances in the mockup photograph of the planned outdoor exhibition of my Newburgh photographs.

Please go to Kickstarter to pledge. The exhibition can only take place with your help. It is an exhibition of portraits of citizens of Newburgh which will be displayed on the wall of The Ritz Theater to pay tribute to the people who live in this lovely place. We welcome, with great thanks, any amount that you can afford. 

Pledges must be made by April 11 to be sure that the exhibition takes place. If you have been thinking about it please act now, and tell your friends that you have done it. They may understand why, and be able to help too.

Ianthe Dehaney recognises friends and acquaintances in the mockup of the planned outdoor exhibition of my Newburgh photographs.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Exactly what's needed."

Rodney was sitting outside The Wherehouse in Newburgh, across the street from the Ritz Theater where I am plan to display my portraits of the citizenry of Newburgh.
I asked him if he worked at The Wherehouse. "I fill the gaps when needed," he replied. "I am a musician." He is also a decorated Vietnam war veteran.
For details of my appeal for funds to mount this exhibition please go to Kickstarter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kalia likes "Newburgh: Portrait of a City"

As soon as I had got out of the car and slung the tripod over my shoulder I turned to see who was around.  I saw her at once. A flash of orange hair, chatting merrily with her friend striding towards us. Yes, she said, she would tell me what she thought about displaying prints on the wall of the building in front of us.

Please visit Kickstarter to consider a pledge for the proposed outdoor exhibition of my Newburgh photographs.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ruth Claiborne

Listen to Juanita talking about Ruth, the Newburgh bar owner, who spent her retirement visiting the sick.

Please visit Kickstarter to consider a pledge for the proposed outdoor exhibition of my Newburgh photographs.

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's dark inside

What, I thought, goes on inside this pair of garages, nothing to do with cars surely. Outside, ivy falls like icicles, flag stones have sunk but are not yet buckled or cracked, weeds are fairly under control and there are signs that two cars have recently been parked there fairly regularly. A dark mystery inside. Of course, I could have looked.

Please, if you have given this photograph a moment's pause, go to Kickstarter where you will find details of the planned outdoor exhibition of pictures like this to commemorate a time when nobody took any notice of this lovely place. We need your financial help to make and install the mural size prints.

A smile on Broadway

I do not take many smiling pictures but this was irresistible.

She is featured in my proposed outdoor exhibition of the people of Newburgh. This exhibition can only take place with your support. Please go to Kickstarter if you think you can make a pledge. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The date, 1996, one of the first photographs I took in Newburgh. He is also a photographer,  doing weddings and events. I saw him again a couple of years ago in the same hat.

Please see details of plans for an outdoor exhibition of my Newburgh pictures on Kickstarter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Engaged couple

Two young men and a young woman were sitting outside their house on one of those glorious days we've been having. I climbed a few of the steep steps that led up to where they were sitting and said that I wanted their views on my proposed outdoor exhibition of mural size prints to be displayed on the wall of the Ritz Theater. (Please see my Kickstarter project.)

Something familiar about the woman kept nagging at me. At first she wanted nothing to do with my quest. She did not want to be photographed and did not want to give her views on Newburgh. "I would not be able to say good things without the bad. Anyway," she added with a good natured look, "I am waiting for a proper proposal of marriage and a ring, before I am photographed with him."

I continued to wonder where I had seen her before. She began to tell me where she thought we had met. It was Williams Street, when she was a sixteen. I had also photographed her friends.

In the end I took their picture, thanks to the gentle persuasion of her fiancé. I marveled at their beauty and style and left them knowing we'd go back and film them when we'd got a decent microphone to update our Kickstarter project

Two days later Caroline got an e-mail from her. This was who she was—13 years earlier. With, as she put it, "Her first fiancé."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Newburgh teenagers

Today I am launching an appeal on Kickstarter for pledges to support the cost of an exhibition of mural size prints (4ft x 6ft). The exhibition will coincide with the publication of my book "Newburgh: Portrait of a City" published by W. W. Norton.

Newburgh lies 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. First settled by German Lutherans in 1709, it became in turn the center of the timber trade, the fur trade and shipbuilding. During the 1930s through the mid-1950s it was the great manufacturing town that produced hats, ribbons, handbags and military uniforms.

Downtown Newburgh has fallen from the status of "All American City" awarded by Look Magazine in 1952 to one of the most distressed cities in the United States. It is a city that has never recovered from urban renewal; a city that has been ignored and overlooked for more than 50 years.

The photographs will be displayed on the wall of the Ritz Theater in the heart of downtown Newburgh, through the sponsorship of Safe Harbors of the Hudson, a nonprofit organization that is committed to transforming lives and building communities through housing and the arts.

The outdoor display will allow all the citizens of Newburgh free and constant access to them.

Thank you for your time in considering this appeal. You will find the details here on Kickstarter.