Today I Met: The Everyday Projects
To see photos from daily life from around the world, explore these Everyday Projects: @everydayafrica, @everydayusa, @everydaymiddleeast, @everydayasia, @everydaylatinamerica, @everydayiran, @everydayjamaica, @everydayeasterneurope, @everydaysrilanka, and @everydayegypt.
This weekend on the festival grounds of Photoville, a public photography exhibition in New York City, the contributing photographers of the Everyday Projects are meeting each other for the first time. “This feels like the ultimate modern moment,” says writer Austin Merrill (@austin_merrill), who along with photographer Peter Di Campo (@pdicampo) co-founded Everyday Africa (@everydayafrica) in 2012. “We’ve all been talking together for so long from across the world that to finally bring this incredible group together in person is electrifying. It’s like we are already family. There was no ‘let’s get to know each other’, we just hit the ground running.”
Austin and Peter’s project has become a global phenomenon, with international photographers creating and contributing to Everyday editions in their own regions. Austin says, “The Everyday Projects give important perspective and context to what life is like for people around the world, outside of just the bad things that happen.”
The 72-Room Bohemian Dream House | Via
The building at 190 Bowery is a mystery: a graffiti-covered Gilded Age relic, with a beat-up wooden door that looks like it hasn’t been opened since La Guardia was mayor. A few years ago, that described a lot of the neighborhood, but with the Bowery Hotel and the New Museum, the Rogan and John Varvatos boutiques, 190 is now an anomaly, not the norm. Why isn’t some developer turning it into luxury condos?
Because Jay Maisel, the photographer who bought it 42 years ago for $102,000, still lives there, with his wife, Linda Adam Maisel, and daughter, Amanda. It isn’t a decrepit ruin; 190 Bowery is a six-story, 72-room, 35,000-square-foot (depending on how you measure) single-family home.
“I can’t believe it,” says Corcoran’s Robby Browne, an expert in downtown real estate. “I thought it was vacant.”
The house now feels like a dream world, or a benign version of the vast hotel in The Shining. Hallways go on forever. Rooms are filled with projects in various phases of completion. The renovations, mostly done by Maisel, are very “artists live here.” The air-conditioning, for example, is a building-wide network of giant plastic tubing (the kind used to ventilate greenhouses) that funnels cool air from six units, one on each floor. “It would have cost thousands to put in central air when I moved in,” he explains. The Mylar shades on the windows help keep the heat out; he and Linda make them in one of the rooms on the fifth floor.