MEN AND MEAT
Here's the meat!
The wholesale market
The hard hat inspectors
It's Fourteenth Street
Before the street became elite!
A lthough these photographs were taken over twenty years ago near my studio in Greenwich Village, New York, many could be taken now. There are still some wholesale meat dealers on West Fourteenth Street, however most have been replaced by art dealers. Where loins of pork, legs of lamb and sides of beef once hung, today hang paintings, photographs and objects of art in up scale galleries. The street business is transforming from one kind of consumerism to another.
Invariably when I'm moved to take a picture the subject stands still. This happens whether I'm in the coal fields of Appalachia, the desert of Jordan, a hospital in South India, a Buddhist monastery in Nepal, playgrounds in Israel, England, or the USA. It happened when I wandered into the meat market with my rolleiflex in the late 1970's. When the butchers saw my camera their reactions were to pause and pose. Comments flew "hey Popcorn smile for the camera", "Rabbi show your kosher stamp she'll take your picture", "he's the ugliest guy in the meat market take his picture!", "sure baby, I'd do anything for you, take my picture". I went back several times to photograph. My rewards were manifold -- they are these pictures, new friends, and some choice cuts of meat the butchers sent me home with to feed my then growing family.
Cities change, neighborhoods change, diets change, consciousness changes and economics change everything in profound and unexpected ways. West Fourteenth Street is a vivid example of the ongoing process of change in New York City.
Fulton Street Fish Market