For as new as New York feels to me — new construction, new skyline additions, new restaurants, new faces, new styles, new definitions of what it means to be “cool” — I’m always pleasantly surprised by the amount of old souls I tend to find in this city. People with a story about that corner or that now shuttered shop just a few blocks up, people who remember versions of New York I may never experience, but at least get to witness through them. They’re the ones who live for the ephemera unique to this city, because when things are constantly changing, there needs to be stewards of what once was. Those with a bittersweet affinity for the joy and sorrow of things in ever changing flux.
And while I adore New York for her vanguard of newness, it’s the old souls who bring it meaning for me, who bring it gravitas, who bring it depth. Perhaps they find me. Perhaps I find them. I’m not sure. Either way, I know I’m so happy when I can add one to my orbit and Naeem is one such old soul. I hope you enjoy what we captured the other day together while walking around Little Italy with his Rolleiflex camera from 1966.