Kensington Avenue is a hot spot for drugs and prostitution located in North Philadelphia. Populated by cheap bars, pawnshops, and check cashing businesses, the Avenue is also the major business corridor in the neighborhood. An elevated train runs the full length of Kensington Avenue, approximately 3 miles into the far North East of the city. The massive steel structure acts as a shelter, attracting the residents of Kensington as they battle to survive.
Jeffrey Stockbridge’s blog for his Kensington Blues project looks very promising. There are a handful of interesting entries from the last few months that are worth taking the time to look over.
The idea to create a blog to track the progress of this project has been a long time in the making. Kensington Blues will be a repository of photographs, audio recordings, journal entries and reflections. Over the next few weeks I will post a chronology of photographs I’ve made since the project began and recount the experiences that happened along the way.
Hearing his subjects talk about their lives and experiences on the street is incredibly powerful. As I wrote in ‘The Process, The Stream, and The End’, presenting projects in progress on the web presents an interesting dilemma for photographers. From the dozen entries Stockbridge has up already, I think it’s safe to say he’s onto something interesting. It’s the kind of project that I think really benefits from telling the story on the web using multimedia.
After reading some of the stories, I wondered if they’d be as powerful if the photographs didn’t resonate with me. I’m not sure I have an answer yet. I’ll have to think about it, but I know I find the photographs incredibly interesting.
©Jeffrey Stockbridge- Tic Tac and Tootsie
We mess around with Zanies, once in a while we do Wet, sometimes we do Percocet’s and that’s about it. We don’t do no hardcore drugs, dope, crack, none of that. We don’t drink… We’ve been out here a year. My dad lives in a halfway house and my mom lives with her boyfriend. She gives us money here and there but we can’t live with her. We’ve been raped, tied up, guys try to say they’re undercover cops… That’s why we stick together cause we try to be there for each other as much as we can… cause without each other I guarantee we would have been dead by now. – Excerpt from Tic Tac and Tootsie
Most of the men I date are married. They’re over 35, probably over 45. They’re married their wife doesn’t give head or they don’t have a lot of sex and they’re just trying to do their thing and go about their business. They’re not real into the touchy feely wanna kiss. Some guys are, some guys wanna kiss and all that. I don’t really care for that. It’s kinda personal. – Excerpt from ‘Sam’