Project Nightshot | Documenting NYC One Night at a Time | す べ て s h ∞ t s p i t t e r
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RFK Bridge. Under the Bridge. East River Plaza. Astoria Generating. Tennis. For whom the cars toll.

Nightshot(s): Jan 31st.

In the spirit of Janus, I look both ways when crossing bridges. Randalls and Wards Islands used to be two, but the Little Hell Gate that separated them has since been filled, making them one. Native Americans called Wards Island Tenekenas, which translated to “Wild Lands” or “uninhabited place.” It still feels very much like that on a cold winter midnight. Ears to the winds of history, there are fascinating echoes of the islands being used for asylums (an “idiot” asylum), hospitals (Manhattan State Hospital, at the time the largest psychiatric hospital in the world), cemeteries (burial ground for the poor and the relocation of hundreds of thousands of bodies from the Madison Park and Bryant Park cemeteries), and other social institutions (orphanage, reform house for juvenile delinquents, rest home for Civil War veterans).

Looking forward, there will be plenty of sports and recreation. And music. And sex, drugs, and other reverberations. And rain that pours. But after all the exercise and partying is over, everyone will return to their homes, maybe eat a little something, refresh, and wash away their accumulated scents before calling it a night.

Except for those who cannot leave.

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