Saturday, February 21, 2009

the cage

On one of my very early trips to New York, sometime in the early 1980s, I took one of the best shots of my life - a black and white picture of basketball players in the Cage, the public courts on W 4th St.   This week we had a talk in the department by Walton Muyumba that was, in part, about John Edgar Wideman's 2003 memoir *Hoop Roots,* and about him observing a young, flashily dressed basketball player on these very courts.  I'd never quite taken in their legendary status - but was very much conscious of it when walking past today, and wanted to try and take another, twenty-five years on shot.   Not that I can lay my hands on the first picture right this minute...but when I do, I shall look at it, and the clothing, in the light of a rephotography project, like Mark Klett's revisiting the sites where Muybridge took some of his most spectacular views... The trouble is, this image isn't nearly as exquisitely perfect a moment as my earlier shot, where I totally lucked out with players, movement, light, and shadow.   Nonetheless, it's for me quintessential New York.

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