Sunday, September 23, 2007

meeting Camilo Jose Vergara

Camilo Jose Vergara is a Fellow this year at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and I had the opportunity to meet him a couple of weeks ago at a reception. Vergara's work is truly inspired and inspirational, and I love that he combines sociology (one of my undergraduate degrees is in sociology), photography, and urban exploration. There were lots of things I wanted to say to Mr. Vergara, but he seemed a little bit shy. I did attend with my copy of American Ruins, and I asked him to sign it. When I handed him my copy of his book, he retreated to his office and started flipping through the pages to ascertain which printing of the book I owned. I was elated when he noted that my book was well-used -- oh, the empty lots it's laid in -- and he recommended a few places for my upcoming trip to Detroit. He signed my book "for Gayle a fellow enthusiast of ruins."

Vergara is speaking about his Harlem project (see Invincible Cities link) on Wednesday, October 10 at the Museum of the City of New York. The program is titled Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto. I'll report back afterwards.

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