Takeesha again: Hunts Point, Bronx


It was around midnight when I ran into Takeesha, who was high. The police were out in force; Princess was arrested earlier in the day. Takeesha thanked me for the first picture and wanted to talk about her past:


She said her mother was a prostitute and an addict, whose pimp put Takeesha out on the streets at twelve. Takeesha had her first child at 13, the result of being raped. "I had a lot of bad experiences. I used to be with pimps. I got cigarette burns on my body. (They) beat me with hangers. They used to punish me, put me in closets with rats."


She came to Hunts Point in 1988, and that's when she started using heroin. She used to be on methadone, but she got kicked off Medicaid, the result of some missed paper work. When I asked her why she didn't walk to Mott Haven and fix it she said, with tears in her eyes "This place is so bad and evil. It's like so simple to walk across the bridge, but it's like you can't go across, you understand? This place is evil. It's possessed. It's evil. I been here a long time. There are bad spirits here...I have seen good people. I have seen people that have family, jobs, and they come here and they get dug in, and two weeks later they living in a cardboard box."


I post people's stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist. I don't try to verify, just listen.


More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction


  • 2. 3y

    your stream is definitly one of my favorite, all your portrait gain more en more power with their description, i admire your work and how your heart make you share life of your "model"

    sorry for my english...
  • Steve 3y

    great portrait. strong woman.
  • Sleepless Aquarius 3y

    I totally agree with what 2 said. Thanx.
  • Ang Wickham 3y

    " I am not a journalist. I don't try to verify, just listen. " i hope people haven't been giving you a hard time!!

    if so, perhaps it's by those who have trouble imagining this reality. let alone imagining living it. these stories need to be told, and to be true to the people in your images, using their words is best. you do great work Chris. don't let the ankle-tappers get you down.
  • sg410 3y

    beautifully done
  • Sangjun Chon 3y

    Great lighting.
    Very nice portrait.
  • Joni Sweetman 3y

    what's that saying: "the monster you know isn't as scary as the monster you don't know..?" that keeps us all with the familiar, even if it's no good for us. i wonder what her "dream situation" would be.
  • Bryan Leung 3y

    love your street portrait.
  • Chris Arnade 3y

    Thanks everyone. Takeesha is a real character. I have recorded a few conversations with her, hopefully I can edit and post sometime soon.
  • brittyboop 3y

    this gave me tears .so sad . i wish i could be their for them all like you chris. and give them food and someone to talk to .
  • KUHL 3y

    powerful stuff.
  • Alexis Russell 3y

    such a beautiful lady
  • Sandra Stephenson 1y

    Walk across the bridge...
  • neuraxiss 1y

    Love the Bokeh...
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Taken on January 27, 2012
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