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Alleys & Ruins no. 41, Nutin tu say! (1998, Brooklyn, NY, 3am)

Alleys & Ruins no. 41, Nutin tu say! (1998, Brooklyn, NY, 3am)

Alleys & Ruins no. 41, Nutin tu say! (1998, Brooklyn NY, 3am)


Oliver and I are walking down a long narrow passage that intersects with another alley 30 feet ahead. I see some shadows that interest me and I set up my tripod and camera. Its dark and the exposure will be 40 minutes, so I start the timer and stand back while we gear down for the wait. As usual, I'm keeping an ear and eye out for trouble, even while Oliver and I are talking. I usually plan for a quick escape if necessary: my bag is packed, and I know where the exits are.


Somewhere in the middle of the exposure, a gang comes around the corner, 30 feet away. I stare at them for a very long second. There are five or six, and at least two are gripping thick, heavy chains, which dangle as they march. I see lots of black leather and metal studs. I look at their faces and glimpse an odd rage. It feels a bit like I'm in a scene from West Side Story except this is real. They're marching quickly toward me, yet I feel like they haven't seen me. But of course they have, I'm right there. I can't figure out what's happening. Are they headed for a confrontation elsewhere?


I snap out of it. Enough thinking! I quickly grab the camera and Oliver grabs the bag. We bolt and turn the corner 20 ft away. I hear some yelling, but I don't know if they're pursuing - we just keep running, finally stopping several blocks away near a gas station. I have no intention of returning to get the shot.


Later that evening, we find Alley no. 41. Oliver pulls out the tire iron from the car, and I set up. It's also a 40 minute exposure.



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