"What are you most looking forward to in 2019?"
"I'm off from school so I've been relaxing, spending time with family and friends. Now that I have free time, I've been able to go out and discover some stuff in the city."
"Thai Select. I had the chicken pad thai, it's just really good."
"I'm here for a few months, helping the owner. In Pakistan, I am a phone repairman, I have my own business. But I like to travel, and I like to eat."
"Where do you live in Pakistan?"
"In Islamabad. It is very, very beautiful in northern Pakistan. There are mountains and waterfalls. We go to the country, my whole family, like 70 cousins, and have barbecues."
“Always happy to help a fellow artist.”
"I've worked at Japan Village for one month. But I was at a Sunrise Mart in Midtown before that."
"Are you originally from Japan?"
"Yes, in Tottori Prefecture."
"What's it like there?"
"It has mountains and the ocean. There is a mountain there that looks like Mt. Fuji, and people will go there and take pictures of it instead of Mt. Fuji because it's easy to get to."
"I haven't really been riding it enough to justify the expense, it's a bit of a luxury at this point ... but there's something about the independence that I really like."
"That's important, though!”
"Earlier today I was riding around Manhattan for fun. I know that sounds a little weird, but there's something special about the views when you're going over the bridges, when you kind of own the streets a little."
"I'm bringing some stuff to my girlfriend's place in Windsor Terrace, and then moving up to The Bronx later tonight."
"It's already 5:30, that sounds like a lot."
"I'm also looking for a second job because my teaching gig doesn't cover it. And I'm looking at grad school."
"Holy moly. School for what?"
"Well, I was getting a Phd in theater, but decided I cared more about helping people, so I want to get into systems-involved mental health counseling. Foster care, or to help people who are in and out of detention. I want to create spaces where people—girls, especially—can feel honored."
"Wow. Do you get to relax at all?"
"Tonight we're going to meet up with friends to watch The Bachelor. I've never seen it, but I hear that's what people do."
"I started shooting photos about a year ago because I was playing too many video games, and it's something else to do. On my days off, I come here or go into the city, shoot, and meet people. Today we're probably going to SoHo."
"And did it work? Are you still playing video games?"
"Only when my friends come over.”
"I'm hopefully signing a lease on my first apartment today. My roommate is coming here to see 'If Beale Street Could Talk’, and then we'll talk. We're approved, but we're trying to negotiate an earlier move-in."
“When you came to New York, did you know you'd be moving here?"
"No. I came to New York from Texas for a 10-week program at the Met, and then I fell in love with all of the people I've met through work, through friends ... and just started to build a life here in a way that I didn't expect."
"It's hard to say, there are so many different types of photographers. But for documentary, maybe Gordon Parks and Dorothea Lange."
"What do I do for a living? Oh, maybe four or five things. Artist, professor, etc. Then there are the less interesting jobs."
"Oh, I don't know. Prop stylist."
"That's actually interesting, sorry."
"Well, assistant prop stylist."
Santa Ines is in Puebla." (When asked about the name of her store/restaurant offering "Gran Variedad de Productos Mexicanos" around the corner from my house.)
"You're from there, yes? How long have you been here?"
"Are all the cooks here from Puebla? The food is delicious."
"What's something I should eat that is special to Puebla?"
"I just want you to set it up so I can come by and spin some records."
Cynthia, aka Delilah
"I just came out of the house looking every type of which way—I didn't know I was going to have my picture taken!"
"Well, you look great."
"Thank you! I look forward to seeing your face again!"
"Only one of use needs to bring her to daycare, but she goes to bed early and I come home later, so it's good to spend some time together."