Photos: There's A World Out There, by Maxwell Schiano
A word that gets thrown around a lot in city spaces is “community” but not a lot of people know what that truly means. To me that means the small things, the people that you interact with on a daily basis. The reason why I catch up with the door man to a building that’s not mine, why I wave every time I walk past the cleaners on my block even though I rarely get my clothes dry cleaned and the reason why I make friends with everyone that works at the drugstore on the corner. There’s a world outside our apartments that’s filled with other people and their stories, and it doesn’t revolve around us. That’s probably my favorite thing about this city, that it makes you feel small and that you’re part of something greater than yourself. As a photographer and filmmaker I always dreamt of using my skills to celebrate the city in whatever way that I could. Only recently have I found a way to translate that in a way that makes sense and that will create a direct impact. In 2020 I released the first in a series of publications that will serve as notebooks in my process to document, celebrate and preserve New York City culture through photographs. The idea behind the first edition was something that came up in a happenstance way. I was frustrated getting my computer fixed at the fifth Avenue Apple store at 3 in the morning and as I walked out I saw a hot dog cart standing there in a heavenly light — it was beautiful and I thought, this is New York. I posted it right away on Instagram with the caption, “the heart of this city sells hotdogs on the street at 3 in the morning.” and I think it sums up the beauty and realness I aspire to capture with my work. The success of that zine sold almost 300 copies and raised over $4k for the Street Vendor Project, providing direct assistance to vendors in a time of need. This showed me that there’s more stories to cover and that my work is far from done. I’ve taken the last couple months to regroup and plan upcoming ideas that I can’t wait to share. I’m putting all of my efforts into this project and my hope is to create a body of work that will serve as a time capsule for many generations to come. New York is the greatest city in the world and we have to continue celebrating it through its people and its culture. You can keep up with me and my work on Twitter and Instagram at @newyorkcityvibe and stay tuned for more projects to come. If you’d like to work together or be a part of this project in anyway feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, I’ll see you on the street.
Much love, Max.
Much love, Max.