I was taking pictures of The Crack Hotel, a derelict hotel with shared bathrooms, once inhabited by John Wayne Bobbitt himself. No shit. Also, Coletrane lived there. It was pretty much a total anything goes crackhouse up until just a couple year's ago. My studio is next door. More on that place later, as it's entering a new phase of it's existence - Renovation. Ugh.
Anyway, this guy Wallace, he favored the idea of renovation and took issue with my capturing it at its worst. The gist of it was: "Nobody wants to buy pictures of ugly shit. Take beautiful pictures of beautiful things and people will buy them from me. Do whatever I can to make as much money as I can so I can send my kids to college and live a good life." He's obviously speaking from experience and suffering in the purgatory of The Arts District that many washouts from society have washed up.
He's here by cincumstance. I'm here at great expense and of my own volition. He's out of society, I'm trying to shape it.
I explain some of the finer points of photography, such as capturing the exact moment of something. This building will be making a metamorphoses, I tell him. It will only be exactly in its current state for a moment longer. None of this matters to him. Money, he tells me. That matters.
So, I ask him if he's happy. "Hell NO! I'm not happy! I pissed all my money away. I earned and lost fortunes!." I ask him what he'd do with the money if he had it. "A Motorhome. A Boat! The good life."
Which tells me that he's never bothered to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. A person who cannot identify doodads from investments is a poor financial decision maker. And he goes on to give me advice about saving money, buying stocks and so forth. So, at least he's giving good advice, and I think his point is that life will eventually begin to draw into decline for me, and whenever it happens, it's sooner than later. So, make sure I'm not just out jerking off during the few (no matter how many of them there are) remaining productive years.
That's one of the things I really appreciate about this neighborhood: the wisdom. A retirement home for the graduates of the hard knocks school of life.