There's so much pride in our local celebrities lately, it's heartwarming. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Teddy Geiger, and, of course, Dancing with Rochester's "Stars" [quotes added].
But here's a news flash. If he wins, Hoffman probably isn't going to let everyone in Rochester take his Oscar home for a night like a sixth-grade class hamster. And Geiger, though he seems like a nice enough young man, will most likely not be distributing his earnings at a kiosk in the Pittsford Wegmans. And the Rochester stars? Well, they're stuck here with you and me.
Isn't there more to Rochester to be proud of?
Tim Seymour and Joseph Moroz think there is. They started www.picturerochester.com, where they post a new local photo every day in an effort to "both share our photos, and promote the revitalization of the Rochester area." So, while everyone else is busy selling wads of Hoffman-chewed gum on eBay, these two are out there promoting things that actually belong to Rochester, things we can all share in, look at, and brag about. They take pictures of architecture, streetscapes, sculptures, clubs and bars, landscapes, that crazy Liberty Pole. And the photos are beautiful. They make Rochester look really good.
Yes, it's a sales pitch. Yes, it's playing Rochester to its best advantage, taking photos of parts that are nicer, cooler, and more sophisticated than its whole. But pictures of docking areas and trains and fallout shelter signs save the site from being just sugar-coating. And if local morale is so desperate for something to cling to (as evidenced by the furor over our famous people), why not focus on the things that have been there all along?
"We think there is a feeling that there is not much to see or do and that the city is in decline," Seymour and Moroz write via email. "Our goal is to show that there is plenty to see and do if you just take the time to look."
The pair is responsible for taking and posting photos of art, architecture, and people. While you've seen a lot of these images before, many of them look for the unexplored angle, the missed details, "all the little things." So the George Eastman House is seen through a gap in a hollow sculpture, the lighted Liberty Pole is seen from within the strands of lights, the St. Paul Quarter is seen as a collection of towering building façades.
Moroz and Seymour encourage feedback and they hope Rochesterians will visit the site often, interact with it, and feel good about it: "Most of all we hope this will re-instill a sense of pride in Rochester."
--- Erica Curtis