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New York Photographer, George Hirose, sheds light on East Village’s community gardens

Dias Y Flores #1, (13th St. betwn Ave A & B), 2011. Click on image to enlarge.

Magic Gardens: Night-time Photographs from the East Village Community Gardens

By Sabina Mollot
Town & Village Blog
December 26, 2013
(Must See. Mike)


As for his own interest in the gardens, for Hirose, they were always a way to meet likeminded people, artists, musicians and other characters, along with the nightclubs in the Lower East Side in the 70s and 80s. They were also a way to enjoy a bit of nature close to home, allowing a brief escape from the crime-ridden streets and graffiti-covered buildings.

However, even as the neighborhood gentrified over the years since then, the volunteer-run gardens still remained a special place to Hirose. A couple of them even had play areas for kids, and he would take his daughter to the gardens when she was younger.

6th St. and Ave B Community Garden #2, 2011. Click on image to enlarge.

“Some of them don’t have much in them, some have a lot in them,” he said, adding that some are obviously run better than others. Naturally, he has more appreciation for those where volunteers have been willing to let him in at night when the gardens are normally closed so he can do his photography.

The photos Hirose takes are always at night, enhanced by additional light sources he’ll bring into the gardens, since he wants to capture the bright colors of the trees and plantings. He also uses long camera exposures of up to 20 minutes and digital enhancements.

La Plaza Cultural #8 (9th St and Ave C), 2013. Click on image to enlarge.

Read the complete article here.

See all the photos in the exhibit here.