nyprarchives
"At the time, weed grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York."
nyprarchives:


Remember when New York City was covered in weed? Well it turns out that even as the city oversaw historic removal efforts in the 1950s, there were already some in government urging swift legislative reform. From WNYC’s Campus Press Conference, 1951. Read the full story here.
photo: Weeding out operation—Police Inspector Peter Terranova, commanding officer of the narcotics squad, flanked by Anthony Cristiano, a Department of Sanitation workman, and Frank Creta, general inspector. photo: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.

"At the time, weed grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York."

nyprarchives:

Remember when New York City was covered in weed? Well it turns out that even as the city oversaw historic removal efforts in the 1950s, there were already some in government urging swift legislative reform. From WNYC’s Campus Press Conference, 1951. Read the full story here.

photo: Weeding out operation—Police Inspector Peter Terranova, commanding officer of the narcotics squad, flanked by Anthony Cristiano, a Department of Sanitation workman, and Frank Creta, general inspector. photo: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.

What causes someone to become a heroin addict — to give up their life, year after year, to something that bankrupts them, drives their loved ones away, causes them untold emotional and physical suffering? 
Chris Arnade, the photographer behind the "Portraits of Addiction" series, says of all the addicts he’s befriended in the Bronx, “90 percent” have experienced sexual abuse. 
"Pretty much everybody out there who is a life-long addict has been abused as a child."
That included Michael, or Michelle, a transsexual prostitute and heroin addict whom I met in her kitchen. Michael baked cookies for me, Chris and Chris’s partner Cassie Rodenberg. She’d stolen the dough off the back of a truck. 
She was clearly generous, but childhood sexual abuse and a family that didn’t accept her sexuality had caused her to run away. She’s now 40 and has been working the streets for 25 years, becoming a victim of rape and beatings and robberies. And using coke and dope on a daily basis.
"I use more because I’m lonely, I’m depressed, I’m out here by myself and I don’t want to think about fucking reality and fuckin normality and having to deal with regular everyday living and how to get myself back to it and the struggle it’s gonna take and the… It’s just the pain… of having to put myself back on track and doing the right thing and going through appointments and dealing with so much, it’s just a really big burden that what I have to do, and I know I have to do it, but I don’t want to.
"I don’t want to have to go through all that. So I continue to use just to forget and not have an excuse. Basically I have an excuse now why I’m not doing it. Because I’m on drugs. Because I’m on drugs I don’t have to do what’s expected of me.”
—photo of Michael by Chris Arnade
Listen to Michael and the Micropolis story here.

What causes someone to become a heroin addict — to give up their life, year after year, to something that bankrupts them, drives their loved ones away, causes them untold emotional and physical suffering? 

Chris Arnade, the photographer behind the "Portraits of Addiction" series, says of all the addicts he’s befriended in the Bronx, “90 percent” have experienced sexual abuse. 

"Pretty much everybody out there who is a life-long addict has been abused as a child."

That included Michael, or Michelle, a transsexual prostitute and heroin addict whom I met in her kitchen. Michael baked cookies for me, Chris and Chris’s partner Cassie Rodenberg. She’d stolen the dough off the back of a truck. 

She was clearly generous, but childhood sexual abuse and a family that didn’t accept her sexuality had caused her to run away. She’s now 40 and has been working the streets for 25 years, becoming a victim of rape and beatings and robberies. And using coke and dope on a daily basis.

"I use more because I’m lonely, I’m depressed, I’m out here by myself and I don’t want to think about fucking reality and fuckin normality and having to deal with regular everyday living and how to get myself back to it and the struggle it’s gonna take and the… It’s just the pain… of having to put myself back on track and doing the right thing and going through appointments and dealing with so much, it’s just a really big burden that what I have to do, and I know I have to do it, but I don’t want to.

"I don’t want to have to go through all that. So I continue to use just to forget and not have an excuse. Basically I have an excuse now why I’m not doing it. Because I’m on drugs. Because I’m on drugs I don’t have to do what’s expected of me.

—photo of Michael by Chris Arnade

Listen to Michael and the Micropolis story here.

theatlantic

theatlantic:

Portraits of Addiction: New York’s Red-Light District

Leaning over a tiny wooden table, dressed in a shapeless gray-green prison uniform, she described her first encounter with him. “I was scared,” she said. “Why should I open up? But after Chris posted my picture on the Internet, I felt amazing. People commented and made me feel like I could accomplish a lot. After that, they knew my pain.”

See more. [Images: Chris Arnade]


Something about the meta-narrative of New York City in the last 20 years — a shimmering city, inhabited by well-mannered professionals — allows us to forget that there are, still, wastelands within.

Temptations for the Formerly Incarcerated?

Wes Mullins, 22, can name a few, like “big-booty women” and nice cars.

He’s out of prison after serving time for drug dealing. Grew up in Camden, NJ, surrounded by crime and drug abuse. His mom, a former prostitute, died this year, and all his brothers, he said, are dead as well.

However, Wes is trying to turn his life around. He’s staying at The Castle, a halfway house in Washington Heights, and he’s moving to Maine in a few days, to join Job Corps.

But temptations and negative influences abound in New York City. Here are a few:

  1. Big-booty women. I love ‘em. Pretty women…. Since I been in New York I’ve seen different types of women. I’m used to seein the same types of women [in Camden] – money-hungry gold-diggin bitches, I mean women.”

  2. Cars. People with cars. Nice cars. Stores — you see a lot of stuff in the window that you want. When you desperate, you start doing desperate things. You start scheming. Your will’s criminal activity starts coming out.”

  3. Haters.They say ‘You’re gonna be just like your dad, you’re gonna end up like your mom.’ Shit like that. Or ‘You’re gonna be locked up. You’re still a dumb hood, nigger, dumb hood rat. You belong in the projects. You act like a wild boy, atrocity.’”
  4. "I’m seeing people selling drugs [on the street], so I’ll be like ‘Damn, I wanna sell,’ especially if I’m broke, when they pull out that big-old bank roll, I’ll be like, ‘Damn, think of all that money. I could use that in my pocket.’”