These photographs were taken on Tuesday September 11th, 2001 between the hours of approximately one o’clock and three o’clock in the afternoon at the east end of the Williamsburg Bridge. The people in the photographs had all walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Sitting at home by myself, staring out the window at the smoke cloud where the towers had stood, watching the people evacuate lower Manhattan on foot across the bridge, listening to the uncertain and horrifying news coming out of the television was making my skin crawl.
Maybe making some pictures would help? There was nothing else for me to do and I had nothing to lose. I decided to photograph people.
That day caught me at home with only two rolls of film for my portrait camera, allowing a total of forty-eight pictures. I chose to risk one frame per person. As people stepped off the bridge I asked them, at random more or less, if they would let me take their picture. The majority said yes, without any fuss.
After I processed the film I saw that two frames were defective, which gave me a total of forty-six printable negatives: twenty-three men and twenty-three women. One of the women had carried her three-month-old baby with her.
The violent tragedy caused most people, including myself, to take stock of the experience of living in New York, in America. What I might have known on the tenth of September acquired a new meaning by mid-morning of the eleventh. The lasting realization I faced that day was amazement at the utterly unique variety of individuals from different cultures and ethnicities that live and work together in the city.