Comfort Diner Exhibiting Photography of Ann Sanfedele with ‘Around Here’
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South St. Seaport in 1977, Photo: Ann Sanfedele
The Comfort Diner on Grand Street needed some flare to spruce up its guts, so why not double as a gallery of sorts. In a nod to the neighborhood, the newcomer eatery tapped the archives of Lower East Side photographer Ann Sanfedele. The result is “Around Here,” a mixed bag of black-and-white and color stills snapped around the downtown environs between 1971 and current day.
Opening reception for “Around Here” is planned for tomorrow (April 4), 3-5pm. Sanfedele tells us that the photos are already in place, though. “Not my first rodeo, but it has been a while,” she notes.
Meanwhile, we asked Sanfedele a few questions about her work and experience:
Bowery Boogie: Is the Lower East Side still as photogenic as you remember from back in the day?
Ann Sanfedele: Every place is photogenic in my book. It just depends on what is going on, the quality of light, the juxtaposition of forms.
BB: What was your first camera, and what’s your current go-to?
AS: The first 35mm camera that I owned myself was a Ricoh – which is kinda funny because after that it was Pentax all the way and Ricoh owns them now. I did take a brief venture into Canon when I first explored digital photography about 10 years ago, but came back to Pentax. Favorite film camera back in the day was my Pentax LX with a 50 mm manual lens. Today I have a digital Pentax K-5 body, couple of zooms and a couple of old manual primes that I’ve had for 30 years.
BB: You live in close proximity to the explosion site on 2nd Avenue. What’s your take on the selfies taken near the wreckage?
AS: Just awful. I didn’t even shoot any of it on the day it happened – partly out of respect for the official first responders and staying out of their way, partly out of my feeling it was ghoulish to do so, and partly, frankly, of just being scared to be that close. I smell fire and am the first one going in the other direction. But I did take a photo of a gawker doing a selfie on 7th street and posted that on Facebook … took it before I saw the New York Post cover but didn’t post it to my friends until later.
BB: Tips for the aspiring photographer?
AS: If I try to answer this it will turn into a rant, but trashing your smart phone would be a start.