photos, Visual Journal

Post-New York Blues

September—I’m on the L train into the city and I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been reading a lot of James Baldwin, New York’s black literary hero. I’ve been living in Brooklyn for these past weeks, staying in a townhouse in Carroll’s Garden and then in a warehouse loft in Williamsburg. I love it all: the trash-lined sidewalks, the thick air, the cicadas buzzing in the trees. New York has always been somewhere on the vaguely familiar side of my soul’s navigation—I think I lived here in my past life. In a hippie life, I soaked in the fountain at Washington Square Park and spent my days crawling up and downtown across the islands. I sing aloud as I walk here. I walk with conviction and shove past people like I always know where I’m going—even if I don’t. I didn’t think the end of summer would cling on to the sticky summer heat. And as the muggy nights dull into muggier days, it dawns on me I don’t know New York at all. Yet, here I am melting on the subway platform, waiting for another F train to take me back down to Brooklyn.

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—Tyler

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Lyrical Journal

#Crushing on Mike Brodie: The Train-Hoppin’ Narrator

Mike Brodie came to me by way of tumblr. He sporadically hopped my reblog radar until finally I said shut up and wikipediaded him. This is Mike Brodie:

Self-Portrait of Mike Brodie aka the Polaroid Kidd. Shot from a SX-70.

Self-Portrait of Mike Brodie aka the Polaroid Kidd. Shot from a SX-70.

Born in Pensacola, FL in 1985, Brodie’s life took a twist when he left home to become a trainhopper. Legend has it that he was working at a grocery store around the time when he stumbled into a vagrant, hopping a train going to Jacksonville. These testaments are shrouded in mystery, although they venture off into his young adulthood, documenting his travels with a Polaroid Sx-70, loaned from a friend. His work has been divided into two exhibits. The first ones show his premier experience with the Ride Culture and his raw vision for pictorial storytelling.

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Brodie’s vision for storytelling is what helped define him as a modern day photojournalist. He was able to capture a sense of place, and time, and relay it to the viewer in an artistic fashion. His images captured the faces of America’s underbelly victims. He now lives his lifelong dream of being a mechanic.

-TB

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