As New Yorkers go to the polls today, Andrew Lichtenstein shares thoughts and images from covering the mayoral race.
A non-profit collective of dedicated photojournalists and writers coming together to explore America and to build a forum to chart its future.
Photographer Andrew Lichtenstein
views (838) comments (1)
A photo op-ed by Andrew Lichtenstein
It’s easy to be cynical about real estate interests and Wall Street’s political influence, but I found myself amazed and amused covering the process of vote chasing. Democracy feels alive and well in the act of campaigning.
The candidates travel all the world through the five boroughs of New York City, traversing Sikh temples, black churches, and Chinese restaurants.
The fundamental contradiction of democracy vs. m ...
The fundamental contradiction of democracy vs. money is the contradiction of the metropolis itself. We’re a vigorous growing city in a time of larger economic malaise. Racial tensions are higher because of the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactics, but the city is safer. There’s more accountability in education and yet it’s one giant test score. Perhaps, it has never been harder to make ends meet across the great divide of inequality.
I feel nostalgia for the city that was rougher on the edges, less safe, less clean, but more human, more spiritual, more engaged. Mayor Bloomberg, despite his strengths and weaknesses, has no sense of what it’s like to live on a salary, pay rent, keep sanity in a vibrant New York. The city is ready for change.
Covering this race, I saw that New Yorkers are seeking a more direct connection and a more sympathetic person in a candidate, regardless of where they fall on political issues. That may have been one reason for Anthony Weiner’s success before he was torpedoed again by scandal: he got out there and spoke his mind.
So New York City is facing the same issues as the rest of the country, but in a concentrated and exaggerated sense because we are forced to share precious space. It is one of the few American cities not based on the automobile. Shared public space is our great blessing.
PHOTOGRAPHS and TEXT by Andrew Lichtenstein / facingchange.org
hide full story
[...] Lichtenstein: After Oligarchy: New York City’s Mayoral Race [...]
Mail (will not be published) (required)