60-some years ago Asghar Ghahraman wanted to live in america but he couldn’t afford the trip – so he did what any other level-headed iranian would do: he joined the iranian navy, waited 9 years to dock in america, jumped ship, and swam to the land of liberty. the next few months took him far south, then far north. being homeless in nyc, he realized the american dream of building something out of nothing. at the time of this interview, mr. ray (he learned spanish to forge a drivers license/new identity as “raymond alvarez”) is 81 and has been running his candy store on avenue A. for 40 years without ever taking a vacation. i love this guy, i love his store, and i love his chocolate milkshakes. this is my tribute to the nicest guy in the east village.
i was walking through a park when i saw some mega-beefy guys getting awesome on some of the playground equipment. all kinds of crazy exercises were going down. pull-ups, push-up, diagonal-ups, handstand-ups, flip-ups, twist-ups… and apparently it works because those dudes are more ripped than my acid washed jeans in the 7th grade. they call their crew barstarzz. i chatted them up and a few weeks later came back with my camera and took some pictures.
logicprep is kinda like a brain hacking company. they take your existing mental hardware and re-code your software to make your brain do cool things. the hackers are a team of mega-smart genius-types disguised as young, fun people. in fact they were so cool it was actually pretty easy to forget that they were all einsteins, especially since the instructor who’s last name is actually einstein (no kiddin) ended up doing hand stands for my camera. they reached out to me (quite shocking since my brain still runs on copper coils and cathode ray tubes) to refresh their photos, so we spent two days shooting portraits of the staff and capturing the learning experience.
this is my face on a snickers bar. no biggie.
photo by my good friend, monte isom
i shot (and was the superstar) in this web commercial for scotts lawn care
his family records say he’s 99 – his military records say he’s 100. nobody really knows, so next year he’ll celebrate his 100th again just to be sure. you would NEVER KNOW he’s 99 (or maybe 100). his mind is sharp as a tack and his body is in better shape than most americans half his age. in fact the last time we visited abuelo, he was all stove up because he fell while riding his bicycle. all that and the guy plays a mean game of dominos. see you next year at your 100/101 year party, abuelo.