I had the honor of working with Deborah Karson to document a little slice of our neighborhood: Jamaica Plain, MA. JP is, by far, one of the most unique communities in Boston; it has its own heartbeat, energized by the characters and personalities of it's incredible residents. I got to meet members of the community that have lived in their homes for the past 40 years, and other neighbors that just moved in a few months ago. I met (through a window) one of JP's youngest residents, and photographed neighbors who have lived next to and known each other for decades.
I went out and walked the streets of JP to capture how our community is coping with quarantine, isolation, and social distancing. I also wanted to capture how some of the local hot spots have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic so drastically upended community habits. It was a beautiful 60 degree and sunny day, yet the Blue Bikes were sitting in their docks, unused. Had the quarantine not be in effect, this rack would be empty, and children and adults alike would be riding through the streets of JP. I walked by a playground with a warning sign, locked, children's toys left as if they had just run inside for lunch. The spring crocuses are out in bloom, but no one is out to enjoy them. Even the local bookstore, Papercuts, left books outside in an effort to keep its employees safe.
This evening, I went out to see the festivities on Hall Street: residents from the entire street come out (social distancing, of course) to say hello to one another and sing together. I sang and clapped along as parents, friends, and kids danced the Hokey Pokey for warm up, sang renditions of Row Row Row Your Boat, Let it Shine, and other songs from my childhood. Even parents with newborns (some of JP's youngest residents!) joined from inside their homes, swaying in their living rooms by the windows, spreading a little cheer by showing off their new additions.
Be kind, be friendly, stay 6 ft apart (Jeffrey Ferris will loan you his measuring stick if you need a refresher on how far that is), and donate some non-perishables every Wednesday to the food bank at the church on South St. & St. Joseph (1-2 PM drop off).
Here are just a few visual stories - I hope we'll look back on them in a few months, relieved we weathered the pandemic. These are some of the many photos I took - if you would like your photos emailed to you, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org .
These are just my photos - Deborah's photos (https://www.instagram.com/deborahjkarsonphotography/) will be up tomorrow - stay tuned!
Hokey Pokey, Row Row Row Your Boat, and more Hall St. festivities!
Stay Safe, JP.