Seeing the Possibilities

by teresa, 51art


It was Saint Patrick’s Day, 2011.

After a long day of work, I popped into my friend Dermot’s Irish Restaurant before going home. It was time to enjoy a pint of beer and some good conversation.  And then it was time to take care of puppy-dog.

As Kodi and I stepped out the front door for our evening walk, I noticed some activity at the end of the street. We headed in that direction. The closer we got, the more interesting it became; there was construction going on. It was 11:00pm, not the usual time for this sort of activity. Nor did it seem right for work to be happening on a holiday…at least so I thought.

In my usual fashion I had two conversations going on in my head when torn on how to handle an unknown situation.
The first was: Do I go up to the men, say hello, find out what’s going on and then ask them who was in charge?
The second was: What are you thinking? Just keep walking and head home. The city already told you NO.

After pacing back and forth for a few moments, sorting this out in my head and making Kodi a bit crazier than usual, there was a moment of no return. A worker was right next me, I had to take the chance.

I quickly said my hello’s, inquired as to what was going on and then asked for the person in charge. Without issue, all went very well. He told me the person I was seeking out was Darrin, the Superintendent of the project. On this particular evening, the men were doing preliminary work for the upcoming demolition of the bridge-overnight was the best time for this to happen.

And this was the moment when all the stars aligned. Fate, Kismet, Karma. I began to feel excited about the possibilities.

Darrin was intrigued by my proposal. He gave me his business card and told me to contact him the next day. Here is the email I sent:

This is Teresa, the photographer that you were very kind to talk with last night.
I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to come down and see the site.
You and your team will be building something that people will enjoy for decades to come.
I’d like to document the progress of the build and quietly celebrate you through photography.  I’ll pop by Monday morning (8ish) and we can talk more about the details.

I’ve attached images of the road crew working the FDR around 2AM.  Drivers then weren’t too happy either…

Thanks again.  Have a great weekend!

This would be the beginning of my relationship with Ferreira Construction. And the beginning of the Bridge Project at East 78th Street.