As somebody with relatively zero income (got to love student life) you have to work with what you got. There’s no fantastical trips to Paris, or New York (even though I actually go up there constantly but shhh I’m trying ot tell a story), Sydney, and St. Petersburg and so on. I live in the small urban playground of Trenton, NJ, a 7sq mile radius of high crime that’s absolutely and utterly dangerous! Or so they would like you to believe.
To those that aren’t used to a city, and have the perspective of their lives shaped by news media and television programs, then Trenton is definitely a scary place where one has to clutch their purse at all times and cross the street at night to avoid intersecting paths with dark skinned individuals WHO-WILL-ROB-THEM! Although, you should probably always be aware of your surroundings no matter where you go. But that being said it’s like any other medium city-town that’s suffered from the decay of the middle class through the results of gradual economic recession and the white flight. As I said previously in my mini spotlight of Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden and it’s jail like bathroom, with poverty does come crime and Trenton isn’t absent to it. Some of the houses are dilapidated, there is some gang problems in certain isolated areas, though less of a problem now than it was in 2006 when the gang craze was at its height and as much as I love rap, gangster rap does take some blame for that.
Yet even with that all when all is said and done, Trenton is still normal with unique conditions. There are artists here, there are former professional athletes here, there music bands here. They’re just a bit hard to find. Yet most importantly, there are people that are afraid to come here because of the preconceived notions and trust me, I know this personally, I’ve heard the comments and read them going through other the social media portfolios of other photographers in this city. That sentiment is both a curse and a blessing; as it may not help with bringing in outside business inquires, but it does mean there’s genuine areas here that tell a story, not some fake mural created by a corporation’s viral marketing ploy, but by people here. All to be found and shown to the world.
And that’s what makes it an adventure.