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Tell me about Werner the Cat.
Lauren: Werner is a 10-month-old Bengal cat who weighs 11 pounds. He’s a fancy cat, and we won’t tell you how much he cost. Yes, we bought our cat. Aside from his pedigree and beautiful Lynx-like pelt, he’s a large muscle-y monster: he enjoys terrorizing our tuxedo cat, Anna, who I rescued as a kitten. Currently, we’re teaching him how to play fetch and Jozeph is good at being the alpha of the house, pinning Werner to the ground and carrying him by the scruff to be locked in the bathroom for a time out.
Lauren, what's your favorite photo you've recently taken and what are favorite pieces of art in the house?
I’m working on a series of firework collages from this past 4th of July. I mocked them up rather small and have to remake them larger so I can print them up 30x40. I was up in the 601 building on 26th Street and had a great view of the New York City fireworks display, which made for some pretty great images. My favorite piece of art is an image given to me by my old mentor, Quentin Bacon, of a ballerina shot on large format Polaroid transfer for a Breast Cancer fundraiser. It’s dark and blurry and beautiful and encapsulates my love of both dance and photography.
If you could take one Brooklyn neighborhood, lift it out of New York and plant it in some other city, which hood would you take and where would you put it?
Jozeph: The difficult thing about that question is that moving any part of Brooklyn out of New York City would cause it to lose it’s inherent qualities, the unique piece it plays in an ever-changing, dynamic city. Can we just move a certain neighborhood to it’s seven-to-ten-years-ago self?
Could you tell me a little about some of your favorite pieces of art or design in your apartment? (Did you ever build that wall-of-windows?)
Jozeph: We didn’t build the wall of windows, though one of our neighbors did. My favorite piece of art is a series of three prints by a folk artist from Arizona named Ted Degrazia. My grandmother bought them from him at his studio in Tucson shortly before he died and had him sign them. They are slightly atypical from his more famous work, but they hold a very sentimental place in my collection. He supposedly hid hundreds of paintings in the Arizona desert after he learned the IRS would tax any income made on the paintings after his death. A map exists, somewhere, and I’d like to get my hands on it. I also wouldn’t give up any of Lauren’s photographs, even if she refuses to hang most of them in the apartment.
What's your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
Lauren: We live on a predominantly Hasidic block in South Williamsburg/Bed-Stuy, across from the Marcy Projects. We are never at a loss for interesting family interactions, rituals, and cultural events. For its lack of nightlife it remains a relatively dynamic and lively neighborhood.