Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Last Word 2008

I wouldn't want to guarantee it, but this may well be my last blog post for this year as I'm going on a reduced schedule... sort of a vacation at home... to clear some unfinished business before the end of the year. Doesn't mean I won't have more to say, but I'd think it unlikely.

Anyway, I was reading the paper this morning when I spotted a story on the resurgence of the use of coal as a home heating fuel and I remembered a story I'd photographed a few years ago about the use of coal as a fuel for heating NYC public schools. It seems that, at the time (and I don't think much has changed), 25% of New York City's schools were still being heated by coal.

It was a December day, cold, snowing like crazy... just like today, in fact... that my assistant, Doug Lloyd, and I loaded the car and drove down to the Brooklyn office of the Board of Education to meet our contact who would then shepherd us out to PS 73, in the Brownsville section.

Doug and I had arrived early and decided to grab some lunch so I sent him over to a deli I'd spotted on the corner of Fulton Street and he brought back two turkey sandwiches on rye with mayo, lettuce and tomato; two bags of chips and two cans of Coca~Cola... grand total under nine bucks, which the client refused to pay for when I noticed the payment for the shoot was short the price of the lunch. We ate it in the car, in the snow, on Joralemon Street and it was less than nine bucks!! Some clients are just plain cheap, the explanation was that since we never left town..... but I digress.

So, yeah, 25% of NYC schools were still being heated by coal..... amazing! I also learned that John, the guy in the picture, had this great union job shoveling coal. And, Johnny had this coal shovel that he'd special-ordered from the one hardware store he could find where they actually knew about the existence of coal shovels (looks like a regular shovel to me).

I learn so much interesting stuff on this job, it blows me away.
Furnace: Canon EOS-1N, 70~200/2.8 Canon Zoom Lens EF L Ultrasonic, Fujichrome Provia
Johnny: Canon EOS-1N, 28~70/2.8 Canon Zoom Lens EF L Ultrasonic, Fujichrome Provia
both for Invention & Technology magazine


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