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“But you CAN’T go THERE!”

I’m not from Pittsburgh. I was born in Syracuse, NY and by the time I was in 6th grade, I had moved a ridiculous number of times, all over the country. But at the beginning of 6th grade my family moved to Chittenango, New York, a small town outside of Syracuse. We stayed put for 5 years, the longest I had ever lived in one place. Chittenango felt like home. It is the place that I discovered photography.

I stayed in Central New York for the next 26 years. When I came to Pittsburgh in 2002, I asked my now ex-wife “where are all the steel mills?”. Her response was “there aren’t any, except in Braddock, and you CAN’T go THERE!”. Well, that’s all I needed to hear. I began photographing Braddock then and continued for the next 21 years. Below is my very first photograph of Braddock. Most of those buildings are long gone.

When I began living in Braddock in 2016, I wanted to feel closer to the place, to feel like it could be home. I started learning everything I could about Braddock, its incredible history and who the people who built it were. I was looking for a connection to the place.

21 years later I have a massive number of photographs of Braddock, and I know quite a lot of its history. While Chittenango will always be home, Braddock has given me a place to grow, to heal, and to refine my photographic voice. The culmination of this is my show “Welcome to Historic Braddock” that will be taking place on Friday April 14th from 6-9pm and Saturday April 15th from 3-6pm. 

I hope to see you there.

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