Brooklyn Heights resident/photographer Chris Arnade posted a compelling guest blog at Scientific American a couple of weeks ago that’s worth sharing here.
Arnade, a former Wall Streeter, now spends his time chronicling the lives of prostitutes, addicts and others living the shadows of New York City. His photographs tell their stories, which would otherwise go unheard and unseen. He addresses this in the piece’s postscript:
Scientific American: In January of this year one of my subjects, Millie, passed away. Her unclaimed body was tagged #97 (the 97th death in the Bronx during 2013) and shipped from Lincoln Hospital to the New York Medical Examiner’s office. After two months she was buried in a trench on Hart Island by the department of Correction.
She and the close to 900,000 others buried on Hart Island have no tombstones or a place for relatives to remember or lay flowers. Millie’s death notice was the gossip on the streets. Her life story, growing up in Puerto Rico the daughter of addicts, of twenty years of prostitution, homelessness, and drug abuse will not register beyond a close circle of friends.
I am thankful and fortunate that over the last two years I got to know her as Yafna Garcia, not just the 97th death in the Bronx of 2013.
Smoking crack in the rain under a sheet in a wheelchair. South Bronx. http://t.co/kk1vQowKGT
— Chris Arnade (@Chris_arnade) July 14, 2013