In 1977 James Boorstein wanted to see if he could learn something about the art world and signed a two-year lease for a raw ground-floor space in Chelsea. Since then he has experienced being held at gunpoint, beaten by cops, witnessed arson, and observed many small acts of kindness. He has seen the Hudson river rise over its banks into the city’s grid, bid on rem buildings, biked nearly every street, and walked the entire edge of the island.
From growing vegetables, and showering with a hose for months in a neighbor’s backyard after they had gone to bed, James created a lot in the studio, learned to write, and even started his own business. He watched fancy restaurants move downtown while hardware stores, machine shops, and nearly all remaining industry, fold up.
James Boorstein has written and published pieces on New York’s landscape and his conservation work took him inside Manhattan’s most historic buildings, libraries and prestigious galleries. Written and photographic works include The Covid Entries and the June Pictures about the city and Boorstein’s long relationship with the place, that place.