Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Next Up!

Among whatever else I have going on in the studio, I also have a specific project in mind to work on: a book about Love Canal. It's a neighborhood in my city, Niagara Falls, NY, that was discovered to have been built on top of a toxic waste site and came to international attention in the 1970s thanks to a grass roots effort by a housewife named Lois Gibbs.

I have been fascinated by what remains on the site for many years now, and have seen it transform into an increasingly wild area spotted with the very occasional house still standing and occupied. I'm not sure exactly how I want to approach this. I'd likely let my photos speak for themselves, but considering that I do also enjoy writing, I'd also like to compose accompanying text.

I'm thinking about trying to interview the current occupants of the remaining houses. I'd really like to do that, in fact. I've been so curious about why they decided to stay all these years. Or maybe they are people who bought real estate dirt cheap and decided to risk contamination in exchange? One house I've noticed even keeps a large vegetable garden.

Incidentally, wildlife seems to be thriving there, at least the plants, trees, and birds I've seen.

Last weekend I drove around and took a few photos.


Elizabeth said...

Great idea Amy! That site is so creepy. Any attention you can focus on it is a good thing

Amy Greenan said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. It's creepy, but it's also many other things: beautiful, sad, hopeful (?), thought-provoking, etc. I feel a real affinity to that place for some reason.