From Amy Touchette’s article for BagNews:
The people of New York are what drew me to photography. The medium itself only played a supportive role. When I moved to New York City in 1997, my favorite thing to do was ride the subway. Each subway car seemed to hold a distillation of the world’s diversity, and that was an unusual setting for me. I was raised in a suburb of Syracuse, New York, in a homogenous school district, and although I had lived in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco before I moved to New York, I wasn’t used to being so engaged by humanity.
People watching became a daily hobby as I went about my life as a New Yorker. I didn’t question why. I just knew it stirred an energy in me that was positive. Four years later, when September 11th happened, I had a desperate urge to feel that energy as much as possible, as often as possible. I was living on Bleecker Street in Manhattan in an area that was blocked off to cars for a week or so after the attack. Outside my door was a scene out of an apocalyptic Hollywood movie: streets, eerily empty of cars, riddled with posters of dead people and their family’s despondent pleas to find them, and an indescribable stench of death and destruction constantly wafting in the air, the memory of which still haunts me.