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tv   Bill Hayes How We Live Now  CSPAN  September 20, 2020 10:00am-11:01am EDT

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c-span2, television for serious readers. on our author interview program "after words" craddock senator chris murphy of connecticut looks at the origins of violence and firearms in america's history and the role they play in society today. we're live with pulitzer prize winning journalist bob woodward on president trumps national and foreign policy decisions and history professor martha jones explores efforts by black women to win their right to vote . >> ..
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>> i will send out bookplates for any book buyer with this. if you have any questions you can use the q&a function at the bottom. your screen and bill will take your questions at the end of the event. let me introduce roz and bill. roz chast grew up in brooklyn. her cartoons began appearing in the new york in 1978 where she ascends publish more than 1000 and she wrote and illustrated the number one "new york times" bestseller can we talk about something more pleasant, national book critics circle award and a finalist for the national book award. "what i hate: from a to z" and her cartoon selections the party after you left and the reason everything. bill hayes is the author of "insomniac city" among other books, and a forthcoming history of exercise to be published by bloomsbury. he is a recipient of a
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guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction and is a frequent contributor to the "new york times." his collection of his street photography had new york breaks your heart was published by bloomsburg. he has completed a screenplay for "insomniac city" and he is also a coeditor of oliver sacks posthumous books of new york. i've painted over. thank you. >> hi, billy. >> hey, roz. hi, everyone. welcome. >> hi everybody. it's great to see you, billy. very excited about this. we are here to talk about your upcoming book, "how we live now," and we certainly do. i guess i want to stop asking you, when did you first realize
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-- start by asking -- this wasn't just like another news story about some virus but it was actually something that was going to change the way we all live? >> probably towards the very end of february, beginning of march as i read about it in asian and europe, and just felt like it was almost like a tsunami approaching our shores. and sure enough by the first week of march at that hit the u.s. >> i'm actually surprised in a way because, it's actually kind a a great because i think for me i was very naïve, you know. there were so many stories i hear on the news about of virus here, a disease here, and i don't know, like the mosquito thing. i just never really thought, i
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never took it seriously. i never thought there would be -- lord knows why, you know, lies a about it but it never thought there would be an ebola outbreak in the united states. i never gave much thought to the mosquito west nile virus, any of that. i was much later to realizing the seriousness of it, and that it was here. >> well, how can one ever imagine what this would become? yes, i sort of felt like it was coming and it's going to be serious, and perhaps because i lived through the aids pandemic in the 1980s, i lived in san francisco in 1985 and experience that entire ending of which of course has been devastating and continues to this day.
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there still is not an aids vaccine. so many people around the world have died of aids. i think, i remember how in the very early days it spread via just basic air travel, international air travel. but, of course, i never could have imagined it would become the global pandemic it is become and that we would be an lockdown and stayed home, and that our lives were changed virtually overnight. >> the thing with aids, you and i talked about this a little bit, is that they figured out how more or less how it was spread. not at the beginning because in the beginning there is so much paranoia, like could you get it from sharing food with somebody? but here we still don't even really know with this.
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we know it's respiratory but do remember at the beginning when they talked about washington groceries and stuff? >> yeah, yeah. it's amazing how much has happened in the past explants, isn't? >> yes, and also how little. >> and also how little, true. >> it's a very, very i think we are all sort of feeling that, i remember something one of my kids said in may. he said in talking about how sort of shrunken our lives have all become, like we don't travel, we don't eat out the way we used to hear we don't go into stores. and this was back a couple of months, but going to the grocery store was like you i really need that? or maybe i won't go to the
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grocery picky set it's like we all got old at the same time. >> that's really a good way to put it. >> yeah, yeah. >> in some ways i think that's what i try to capture in this book, how our lives changed virtually overnight in ways we never could have imagined. for me to try to capture in real time what it has been like. >> yes. i wanted to ask. you kept a journal, right? >> i do, at the behest of my late partner oliver sacks, god bless him, who really when i first met him in person i wasn't really writing much in those days and he said you must keep a journal. i followed his advice and started a journal in 2009. i still keep it, maybe not as
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judgment or have gone through stages but i do keep a very close to going defendant and lots of material from the book came directly from those journals. >> are you still keeping it? >> sure, , yes. still making notes. that's how this book started just with notes from a journal, things us noticing, things i've hearing or not hearing, how our lives are changing so. >> at what point did you realize this might become a book? >> well, i have to give credit to my editor nancy miller who's also your editor at our friend whom we share an amazing, brilliant editor nancy miller. believe me, i had no idea that a write a book about the pandemic in 2020. and, in fact, at the end of january i completed a draft of a different book, a very different books on history of exercise
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called sweat, which had been working on for years. i sent that into nancy at the end of january, i also in finish this screenplay for "insomniac city" so i i thought i would st back for a few months and relax. this would be the year of my book on the history of exercise. but not long into the pandemic after his the u.s., a be the second week in march or so i was posting some things on facebook, little vignettes about things ii sync my neighborhood rmi bookstore. as you know i was chief photographer, so posting photos. nancy arrange for a face timing and i thought it it would be a meeting about talking about this of the book, sweat. and is that she said what would you think of writing a book and photographing a short book about the pandemic? i was sort of taken aback, but i immediately said yeah, , yeah,
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that is a great idea. in retrospect it feels like a great gift. it was a gift to have this book to her -- tour especially in those early days when we were in lockdown, and i live alone and it kept me from climbing the walls. >> wow, that's fast for a book. i know you and i do books also, and that is fast. and it's wonderful, wonderful book. i love especially the way it combines pictures and words, and that to me is one of the reason why i love cartoons and while of graphic novels and also what ie this book so much because there isn't this wonderful -- it's not
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just images. there's like a story, whole stories here and it's not just separate images and thin descriptions of what you were seeing. it's the images that play alongside this narrative, very moving in a way. can you talk and a little bit t looking out your window? >> sure. i mean, the cover of the book shows eighth avenue which is right up there. i would turn the computer monitor if i could, completely empty. i think i took the photo april 1. this is a very, very spooky and unusual site. because what i was using qac eighth avenue clogged with traffic. in fact, i found a very beautiful. i would look out at let's at 6:00 nca eight avenue just a sea of red lights of brake lights in traffic lights, just hear from
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central park. the first photographs are window -- one of the first photographs is a eighth avenue december 2019. a few pages later is followed by eight avenue completely empty. the wrap the book there's this sort of before and after, photos and stories of new york before the pandemic and after, and so those two photos side-by-side really tell that story. i think photos that tell stories as well as books. >> absolutely do. that's why for me they appeal so much because they do tell stories. all of your photos tell stories. a lot of them tell stories of another thing you and i have them, which is our love of this amazing city, new york. there are people who i think are
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more, they move around and about the places they are in but they don't, they don't have that extreme love for a place. and for me new york is this sort of magical place. i moved out of the city when i had my second kid and we raised our family out in public schools and law and usual, and also the lack of the funds to bring up to kids in the city. but every time i came into the city can every time i cut into grand central it was like, thank god, you know, i can take off this hat. i can take off this little suburban hat and just be myself. you were there throughout this whole thing.
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another thing people talk a lot about anything to mention in your book was the sound, how quiet it was in march and april. >> i just talked about seeing eighth avenue completely emptied out at rush hour what would normally be rush hour. but just as theory but in a certain way kind of beautiful south quiet it became. so quiet i could hear birds singing. instead of traffic in horns honking and people. i could hear birds singing. i could hear a single voice on the street. i could hear some at the gas station kitty corner from me talking on a cell phone. so that was extraordinary. it's been a tragic and frightening time but there have been moments of real beauty and grace. that is also what i tried to capture in the book. >> you did.
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seen pictures of the city empty, seeing the city from outside his first couple of months where i didn't come in at all, but it was really very scary. your photos also of the subway. i mean, did you take the subway at all and when did you take it and what was that like? >> i remember so clearly the last time i took the subway which was before the lockdown, march 15, friday and had to go pick up some prints. i have my photos printed at a fine arts printer in long island city but it's a really nice scenery subway ride on the e train. but by that time things are getting spooky. i thought about taking a taxi or an uber and i thought it such a quick subway ride. but the mood inside the car was unlike any i've ever
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experienced. there was this tension, and keep in mind this is before people were wearing masks. but there was a sense that everyone wanted to keep away from one another. i remember feeling glad when i got back home. and then i i didn't take the subway again until, gosh, maybe late june or something. it was a while. but i did good debt into the subway stations and into trains just to take photos. that was probably one of the stooges things i've ever done because i went deliberately at rush hour when the subway stations would be, normally be so packed and trains would be so packed, and they were just empty. >> that's so scary. those with the images -- those were the images that got me so much when i would be watching on tv or whatever, pictures of the
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city in march and april, especially in april. it would be like this is the train at rush hour, and they would be like nobody on it. >> right. >> it was really creepy. >> in fact, do you want to look at some photos? >> yeah, i would love to. >> i'm going to play a little slide show. it's real quick. bear with me. ♪ at ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> there we go. >> yeah, those before and after pictures of eighth avenue, that's amazing. >> and there was one subway shop there in the book itself there's a shot into an l train, and as you know the l train especially a rush hour can be so packed. it goes from here to brooklyn and back. i think there might have been three people in the entire line of a train that was idling. i went in and it took a bunch of pictures really fast. i didn't really want to go on the ride, and ducked back out.
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i did the subway photos over a couple of weekends, and we spent -- hinges picked the very best ones for the book. >> well, they are wonderful. it's funny, i think the subway is probably pretty safe right now. >> we talk about that the other night. you and i had dinner on the upper west side, dinner outdoors and distanced. it's one of the very few upsides to the soul then pandemic is ts outdoor dining during the summer. summer. we both talked about how the subway feels very safe. i've been writing and it went this past and socially distanced and it has ever been cleaner. >> i do feel that the subway is not where i'm going to get sick.
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but i wonder about come what i've heard from people is that midtown is still pretty empty because people haven't got to work. >> right. >> do you have any feelings about, or any intuition about how this will play out? do you think people will come back to offices? >> you know, it's hard to know and things have changed so quickly. that question really depends upon in some ways depends upon treatment and a vaccine. and yet at the same time it has been amazing to see how new yorkers have adapted very quickly to this new normal, whether any book store or restaurant or a shop. >> have you seen any light things, like during, that it
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just inexplicably made you just we be? >> -- we be. sure. one thought that comes to mind is there was that moment, i write about in the book when there's a headline in the "new york times" that said something like that was the time to make your own facemask. because before that authorities were sort of hedging and saying no, only for from frontline workers, don't hoard them. don't wear a facemask. now they're saying what a facemask and there's all these videos about to make a facemask. i couldn't find a bandanna scarf or something like that. [laughing] so i improvised and first i tried a vacuum cleaner bag. [laughing]
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>> knew, i hope. >> yeah, clean, a new one. [laughing] it was so thick i couldn't breathe. and then i found this in a drawer this morning. this is like going into my time capsule but i made a facemask out of a cloth napkin with shoelaces. >> that has a very -- that is a lot of connotations to me. >> like what? like what? >> when i see that i think of, like, pioneer women and sanitary napkins. [laughing] it's just not good. it's just not good at all. >> it might have worked better with a cloth napkin. not a touching moment. >> like a weird -- touching or can be something that is inexplicably, like reached you. i'll tell you what happened to
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me. in march, must've been about the third week in march and i was already feeling very fragile about all of this. i started thinking about, this will sound insane, not papaya king, not mr. papaya. one of those like, it's a papaya king like place at the corner of 72nd -- grace papaya, that's it, grace papaya on 72nd and broadway. probably like once a year i buy a hot dog dare come if that. it's not like i always go to grace papaya. no. you know, but it has always been there. >> it's a new york institution. >> i new york institution. it was there in 1978 when he moved into my apartment, when i moved back part-time to the city come back to the upper west side. it was still there. it just made me happy for some
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reason to see it. i started to sort of imagine that is going to go out of business, and i got like hysterical weeping or collect thousands of people die from coronavirus, no. grace papaya disappearing? that's what made me cry. it was like hysterical crying. it was like for me it symbolized what new york was going to lose and what would not come back. i'm happy to say that grace papaya is doing very well. checked that one. i know, i know, i'm telling you, who knows? check that were off my list. >> i i think that something i tried to caption is this sort of before and after and what we have lost probably. some cases we have probably lost. hopefully aspects of new york will come back, but as you read the book that are recollections about subway rides or experiences in crowded bars or
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in restaurants. for a taxi ride, you know? >> yeah. all the things we did without really thinking, and it does seem like, i mean, do you think of it is like the before times kind of, like before corona, bc? >> i think so. i do think new york will come back. there is no place like new york and new yorkers, for sure, but it will be a different city but it will come back in a different way. >> yeah, yeah. i worry about some places that scene, and it's one of the things i love so much about new york which was going down some weird sidestreet in midtown and running into some shoe store
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that made orthopedic shoes, and like everything in the window was covered with dust but they still were operational and they had this would like polio shoes and stuff. i wonder, ical is that store going to come back? you know, it won't come it won't. one of the things that makes new york so special is this sort of layering. you have this super deluxe condo or very freshfaced store for some kind of cosmetic you've never heard of, next to the orthopedic shoe store that is been there since, i don't know what, and it's all mashed together and all different eras and a store that just sells doilies from the 1950s, doily
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supplies, whatever. it's almost time to take some q&a if you are ready. carl asks, what with a typical journal entry be? >> for me, a typical journal entry might be, well, a couple of things. it might be a story of an encounter i had on the street. in fact, there are a lot of those in the book. it's part of my practice just to, even before the pandemic, just to go for a walk, open myself up to chance really with all the green lights with no destination in mind. if the light is green i will go that way, or i could go that way with my camera and see what happens, see who i meet. so in the course of working on
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this book, for example, one day meeting three very young doctors from nyu who were sitting on the stoop. this was early in the pandemic, having dinner and drinks on their stoop. it was at a moment where no one else was doing something like that. so of course i do stop and say hey, guys, can i take your photo? they said sure. we started talking. it turned out all three of them had had coronavirus early in the pandemic, like in january and recovered quickly. and told me that almost everyone in the department at nyu had gotten sick, that it just blowing through their department. they did know at the time it was covid-19. they just thought it was a terrible flu. [laughing] >> that was the first time i heard. it was really good to hear a story about people recovered instead of about death, , and their experience of it, what it was like. i came home and i wrote down
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that story, that encounter including a dialogue ahead with these young men and i take a photo of them as well. other times a journal entry might just be some integral part i have sitting here in this apartment. i remember lying on the couch one day and just realizing how very, very, very quiet it was and that i could hear a bird singing. that just struck me and usually my journal entry start with jotting on a notepad, and then i go to the computer version of it. this new york journal which i started in 2009 must be something like, i don't know, 1500 pages at this point. so it came to writing this book, especially drawing on story from before the pandemic, there were stories and thoughts and images to draw from.
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these were all of course post "insomniac city." in some ways this to focus almost like a little sequel to "insomniac city" come ," and tor with my book of photography, have new york breaks your heart, makes kind of a a trilogy abouy life in new york. >> yeah, i mean, new york has such a sort of street life is like nowhere else in the world. in your book you also, and this is from before the pandemic utah, there's a conversation you have with two young people where you are waiting for the like to change and they are talking about an apartment house. it's like this really cool looking building and to talk about wanting to live there. didn't that the review -- could you describe it? it's such a charming, funny conversation. >> this is a kind of thing that happened all the time at the capital all the time to become just falling in a conversation with complete strangers come even as you cross the street and
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you encounter them with no more than one minute or 30 seconds, and you can connect with people, or you could, you could. that has changed since the pandemic. so the moral of the story of meeting the couple and having this charming fantasy about living in this beautiful brownstone is followed by a much more start and austere story about my walking around the empty streets and finding them just empty, and feeling a little spooked by it. this sort of gets back to what you asked me about a touching moment. this was when i was wearing my cloth or underwear mask. i couldn't find -- i couldn't find a mask, and i happened to come across an independent pharmacy at 14th street.
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there was no one on 14th st. which was usually so busy. there's a big site in the weight of the said something like two free disposable masks for anyone. just knock on the door or rang the bell. i rang the bell and his pharmacist came to the door and i said, may i have a mask? you know. he said yes, just one moment. he went back and he came back and he gave me two kind of surgical masks in a sanitary bag pick it was like this little gift. nothing was required. i didn't have to buy anything at the pharmacy. he was just being a kind fellow new yorker, and that really choked me up. >> yeah, yeah, i think that would choked me up. another question, okay, what do
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you think all that or was it made at this in this changed world? >> i am now living in what was his apartment, this is all of ours when hundred 30-year-old grand piano behind me. oliver, if you were alive, would be 87 today. he saw a lot in his life including treating survivors of the encephalitis pandemic in the earlier 20th century. what came to be known as his awakening stations. i think he would have drawn some parallels with other terrible pandemics in history. i think he would have -- i think all of our would have been absolutely horrified by -- oliver -- i president trump and his administration and the handling of this pandemic. i think he would've had --
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[inaudible] he would've worried about the many complications and unusual symptoms. we certainly saw that with this encephalitis occupation. we are seeing that somewhat with coronavirus, that it can manifest in many different ways. but i think about it a lot, especially living here in writing my book at the desk where oliver wrote so many of his books. >> this is a good question and it is what we've been talking about a lot, from raul rodriguez. raul and john here. what people think makes the hook so strong even in the face of a pandemic? >> you go first. >> okay. all right. i think new yorkers have a reputation in a lot of parts of
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the country for being mean or cold. >> right. >> i don't think that is it at all. yeah, you know, new yorkers can be abrupt, but i think partly it's because especially in manhattan it's so compressed. it's so densely populated that there's a little bit of a sense, like back in the past when the subway was so crowded, it's not like it's just like a dystopian future where everybody's living in their own world and you know, on the phone. no, instead it is so freaking crowded every freaking second that like give people the gift of letting them alone in the own world to have their own quiet thought. >> right. >> there's a sort of respect and
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an understanding that you might not want to be barged in on every second because you constantly, there's everything at you every single second. but in a crisis we know that we are too dependent on one another to pretend that we're all living a million miles from each other and everybody, , we're all out r themselves. we all live together or we die together. >> right. >> we are all interconnected and interdependent, and i think we know that on a non-intellectual level. we know that on a really basic every emotional intellectual, physical level, you know? and so i think there's a way new yorkers feel very connected, and loving of each other even if it's not show in the same way that it may be shown in other parts of the country, i don't know.
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>> i would say almost exactly the same thing. the fact it is so densely populated in a relatively small geographic area that we sort of have to look out for one another. i think it's one reason new york has ultimately done so well in this pandemic. >> has done amazingly well. >> back in april as i write in the book, and the book is really written to reveal time. so basically starts in mid-march and goes to mid-may, so about two months, and then i wrote a postscript which deals with the black lives matter marches and demonstrations following the murder of george floyd in the first week of june. so the book spans the first 100 days of the pandemic, but yeah, i'm with you. there's a way in which it new
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yorkers as brusque as they might be look out for one another. >> when we had dinner last week, that was my second trip to the city since this started, and i was almost moved to tears several times how ingenious and how hard everybody was working to make things okay, you know? those enclosures in the treat for the restaurant tables, thus not easy to do. the night before i had had dinner with somebody else in the place had strong these little lights on the enclosure, and it was beautiful. it went on at 8:00 at dusk and that almost made me cry. that was like people are really working hard, you know, to survive, to make it okay.
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and yeah, there's not really tourists here now, which is not something i feel that -- i mixed feelings about that, let's say. i don't want to sound like a mean person, but you know, and especially because the theater district and stuff. that's pretty empty because there's no theater. hold on one second. let me turn this -- >> sure. and i'll have a drink. cheers, everyone. thanks for joining us. >> sorry. i had to -- my husband put the fan on thinking that it was like a good thing, but it's so noisy that sounds like a jet engine and nope, nope, nope. >> i thought you going to go get one of your birds. >> oh, no. they are like busy doing bird things. let's see.
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nancy says what is your favorite photo in the book and why? before you answer that i do have a question for you about the photos. he told me he took something like 900 photos. [inaudible] how did you know them down? there's about 35 in the book? >> there are 35 photos in the book. i think during that time, let's say beginning of march through first of june, i don't really know but i would say i took at least a couple thousand photos. now, i take a lot of photos because one has to take a lot of photos in order to get good ones. i may come home and have taken 100 photos, let's see. maybe i make trips to a couple
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subway station and i shot some people on the street and took photos of all kinds of things, and then i sit down, computer and i only added ones that i feel are going to be good photos. whatever that means. good compositionally, good graphically, good emotionally. so the number is very large, and then the group that i chose from was maybe more like 500 or so. it was a very intuitive process, which photos to select. >> they seem very emblematic and really, really good. they say a lot. i liked that they are all different. they are not -- there are people, personal ones come once at the subway, but they still very much a scene like your
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photos. >> yeah. i have to say i have been asked several times like how did you do this? how did you write and photograph this book in two months? >> tell us that. >> well, , i guess i would say that all of my work today or my career to date prepared me for this moment. because i have been shooting photographs on the street since moving to new york in 2009, so for 11 years. and taught myself how to use the camera, taught myself how to do shoot in photography, made a ton of mistakes, learned from my mistakes come was comfortable approaching strangers to ask if i could take photos. so that when the senator mccain as i was going out usually in afternoon to take photos, it was not a new skill and a think i could do it efficiently and quickly.
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you know, some very, very basic lessons that i learned early on, like always have your camera on and the lens cap off. because if you don't you might lose a really good picture. i guess the question was what is one of your favorite pictures. one that came to mind is, i think it is called the kiss at the farmers market. i was at the farmers market at union square wandering around just looking for photos. not really finding things, and then i happened to catch this couple who had been working at the market, at the end of the day they were packing up the truck and they had a kiss. they were kissing. i happened to be standing there just as they were kissing and
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hugging. i caught the picture because i just happened to be there with my camera on and the lens cap off. it captures a really intimate, sweet moment. and then i chatted with him and i said is it okay, i took your picture and i showed it to them on my camera i still remember the names, darya and jacob. so dari and jacob, if you're out there, thank you for that photo. >> gene breyer says, your photos show an incredible ability to connect with a subject. how has that changed, if at all, during the pandemic? >> i think a lot. it was kind of, it was very striking at first going out when things were very scary, and just seeing the fear in people's faces and the fear that what was happening. if i approached, you know, the media reaction was to be afraid.
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so just having to be really chill and tell them what i'm doing and explain that come in those days i was sort of trying to capture what's happening in our city and usually people were really cool. one thing i i want to say about the photographs, as i i said i probably took a couple thousand during that time, but in those early days you remember it was only social distancing that we were practicing for a few weeks there. they were wearing masks pukes although i guess a really good, good portraits and great pictures and i was always at least six feet away, which is recommended, when i look at them now they don't necessarily convey that we were in the middle of the pandemic. i have to look for pictures that
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convey something about the situation we were in. a good example, there's a photo earlier in the book of a woman sitting alone on a park bench. >> yes, it's from march. >> yes come from march. she is very clearly a loan because the rest of the park bench on both sides were completely empty. it really conveyed that sense of social distancing, especially if you compare it to other photographs that i've taken the people on park benches. i could probably get an entire book of people on park benches where they are crowded with how hilarious juxtapositions of new yorkers. >> this is a very good question because i always wonder when you talk about street photography. well, i'll ask this question first and then i want to ask the question. >> i have to turn on the light. >> all right, go ahead. >> janice is asking, do you always ask your subjects
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permission before taking the photo, and then doesn't that ruin the spontaneity of the moment? that's very related to what i would ask you, i how does that work with, you know, your street photography is very different from certain kinds of street photography on the '60s, i don't know, dying artists or robert frank or, i don't know, i'm blanking out the names of photographing people without asking permission. could you talk about that? >> walking down the streets taking hundreds of photos here you know, i i just have never n comfortable with that. i just never been comfortable with that, so from the very beginning, even in 2009 when i first started out, i would approach people and ask me i take your picture? that's always been my practice.
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yes, to answer her question it does sometimes you lose the spontaneity or you may lose a picture, but it's worth it i think. i call called my pictures of pe on the street, street portraits, because they really are almost on the spot portraits of people, what is perhaps different about photos in this book is that there are fewer portraits of people and more empty streets, empty subway stations, empty cars, and those are contrasted with photos which are included in the book from before the pandemic. and very carefully with our great editor nancy miller selected a few photos from the flu pandemic in most of them taken last summer, to give a sense, a contrast of how much things have changed so quickly. there's a photo i love, for
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example, on the gay pride parade in 2019 in the west village clearly having a great time, just crowded onto a stupid and it's a very joyful picture, it's exactly the kind of picture that i could never capture this summer. >> well hopefully next summer. >> yeah. >> yeah, because this is been a strange -- i mean, we are doing the best we can, you know? i feel like that is what this sort of -- everybody, you know, it's very much, there's a little bit of a groundhog day feel, but also we are doing the best we can and having as much empathy from one another as possible because everybody is pretty much going through it, at least in
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new york in a sort of similar way. i mean, nobody is going to the theater or the gym, which doesn't bother me, but might bother other people. it's sort of the same, we are all wearing masks, hopefully, which is a strange kind of thing. do you ever, like you're out and everybody is wearing a mask and you just think, if this were last year at this time i which is think i was having some sort of really weird bad drug experience, like this which is not make any sense at all? >> yeah. >> looking at the buses where you get on in the back and into subway cars at rush hour and everybody with their mask.
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none of it would make any sense. >> no. and have just as a photographer who love to photograph people, it's been hard and kind of sad because i want to photograph faces. the masks cover up faces and smiles and expressions. i felt like like a certain responsibility with his book to document what life is like now, how we live now. there's a kind of progression of photographs. he talked about the photographs of the lonely woman on the park bench but by the end of the book people are wearing masks. >> but it's gotten, when i looked at the picture of the woman alone on the bench in march and i think about what things were like where i am in march, and then i contrast that to now, it's gotten better here once it got warmer it seemed
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like he was just easier to be outside and go to the park. i was there a few days ago and it was great. i never felt like oh, my god, there's 200 people. i heard that from a couple of people. i never felt that. i felt like he was very easy to maintain social distance, plus you are outside. it was just great to see so many people outside. i mean, so much better than it was in march where you didn't leave your house. >> plus, you know, and i live in one of the least sexiest neighbors in europe or even in the west village to work it refrigerated morgue trucks for the dead bodies. >> that's so horrible. >> at a time when there were 800, 1000 people a day time, so that has changed. let me throw a question back to you, roz. of what to ask, i feel like you in your own way had been
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documenting the pandemic through your cartoons for the new yorker. >> yes. that is my job and it is gotten darker and it is going to see if i can get a little more light here. that was my ukulele. [inaudible] >> that's kind of my job in a way and is also what i like to do is i think for me the cartoons are a way to process whatever i'm going through. certainly the experiences of going through this pandemic affects me in every way every day. from the beginning of just the kind of panic and staying inside really just not wanting to go to the store, to a few weeks ago i
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had a cartoon about, it was called refresher course and it was about going to what, what is store? store, buy things with money. what money? and then just explaining what, and the store itself, many do that. because it's not like the grocery store or like essential store, like like a store whereu buy a candle. >> one of my favorite cartoons is dr. fauci on your shoulder. >> algae on your shoulder, yes. you're not six feet. let's look more at the questions. not really a question, but i thought from the other side of the world. some of us wonder whether we'll
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ever get the new york city again. your books are one way we can be there. thank you. yeah, i agree. >> that's great to hear. hello, australia. wonderful to have everyone here. thank you all for being with us. it's amazing. >> it is. >> i hope my book does give you a glimpse of what it's been like, and also a little bit of light and hope, too. it's also a very romantic book because i am a total romantic, whether that's in new york or others. >> yeah, yeah. i think i'm romantic about new york, i don't know if i'm really a romantic. >> i think that's how we bonded. >> yes, it's true, it's true. >> i just finished writing "insomniac city." i just finished and you were at
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some stage, maybe in the middle of writing a book about new york. >> yes. i would feel remiss if i didn't mention eb white's book about new york called here is new york, one of the best books ever written about the city, and he talks about how new york this does the gift of loneliness for those who desire such dear prizes picky doesn't say solitude. he doesn't say aloneness. he uses loneliness, and it always stuck with me. i don't know, this is a really excellent book about new york and what it's like in the city, but you and i have gone over and we love so much and what to see
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you well and survive and come back in whatever form it comes back. >> i love your image of an ecological dig. did you ever think this is a whole new layer and we are in and it will be a new york and will be different. there will be elements of the new york we fell in love with, but it will be a new city. >> it will be a new city. >> are there more questions? i think we're coming around towards the end. >> i think we are -- is there one more here? wait a second, wait a second. nope. okay, here's one. you mentioned your book from william goldstein -- possibly "insomniac city" and also wrote a book called sleep demons.
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have you been sleeping in the pandemic? do you have pandemic dreams? >> i did have a dream like an anxiety dream about not having a mask. yeah. >> any people know of have that, too. or you have a mask budget in this crowded place and nobody else does. erie. >> theory, yes. i i think i've been sleeping abt the same. i think because of the quiet and just the change of the pace of my life i'm not going out to the gym. i'm not going out to dinner or lunch with my agent of friends. i spend a lot of time here, and certainly working on this book i was immersed in working on this book day and night for a hundred days. i did learn a a little bit howo
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nap during the day. >> project a a wonderful and ts is a wonderful book, wonderful project. i'm glad that you did this. it's a wonderful book for you but it's also a document of this time, and it's such a good one. i think it is now 8:00, and thank you, everybody. >> thank you, everybody. thanks for joining us. >> yes. >> yes, thank you to roz, thank you, bill. thank and going to ask questions. if you missed any of the event, we'll have it on youtube and, of course, by the book. we have the link at the event page and thank everybody for tuning in. >> thank you, chris. thank thank you, billy. love you. >> thank you, our house, for hosting good night. >> good night.
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>> tonight on booktv in prime time the manhattan institutes james copeland argues america is governed by unelected agency officials. democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut looks at the history of violence and firearms in the u.s. and the role they play in society today. .. >> host: mr. hastings is also the ceo of netflix. mr. hastings, what is netflix, and what do you do?


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