Darragh Dandurand

Photojournalist + Birthday Girl


On this occasion of my 26th birthday, I’ve decided to share 26 lessons and realizations Bushwick has shared with me, alongside personal photos that capture our little, concrete hamlet.

1. Sometimes the best adventures are found down an alley, through a side door, and in a warehouse with no signage whatsoever.

2. Any space can become a gallery if you want it to.

3. There is nothing like summertime in Bushwick.

4. If you cover it (ie. anything) in neon and make the invitation especially vague, they will come…

5. Few rooftops through New York City can beat the skyline view from Bushwick.

6. In what other neighborhood can you eat handmade tacos, drink kava cocktails, hop multiple breweries, dine on fine French cuisine and delight in authentic Ethiopian all in a few blocks of each other?

7. Bushwick is a magnet for beautiful people who simply want to make beautiful things (or beautiful people who want to evoke some emotion via performance art).

8. Bushwick Open Studios is basically a sport.

9. Never judge a seemingly unpronounceable combo health shot menu option by its non-fair trade wheat grass (if everything else is fair trade, that counts, right?).

10. Some of the best people you’ll ever meet are currently sitting next to you on the L train late for work or in a café quietly panicking in only the way a freelancer could as they try to hide their fear behind a third chai tea latte.

11. It’s so easy to be breezy and beautiful and gay in Bushwick!

12. I’m secretly in love with everyone who works at Champ’s Diner.

13. Ain’t no party like a Bushwick block party.

14. There is always so much more than meets the eye. (See #1.)

15. No one cares if there is a celebrity sighting in Bushwick…but if a bakery is giving away donuts, well that’s a different story…

16. Bushwick has made me forget that being vegan/vegetarian isn’t always a socially acceptable thing everywhere else.

17. Never underestimate a good thrift store, especially one under the M train tracks where drag queens definitely drop off their old costumes.

18. Bushwick is actually just a series of endless bodegas with hipster dwellings built in-between.

19. It is crucial to learn the history about wherever you move to and the people that are already there or were living in the same space long before you.

20. It’s never, ever too late to learn some Spanish (or French Creole or Arabic or Tagalog or Korean or Hindi, etc.)!

21. In Bushwick there is always someone to collaborate with (or tell you to stop collaborating when the uncomplicated two-hour photoshoot you planned with one model turns into an all-day, spontaneous street style effort between you and seven strangers all wanting in on the excitement and then nobody can park in that space where you have them posed).

22. New York City definitely never sleeps, and Bushwick is the neighborhood that seems to know no chill or understanding of circadian rhythms.

23. There is always someone newer than you are to this strange city — be nice to them.

24. Reassuring my mother that I’m safe in Bushwick has become a hobby.

25. It’s ostensibly fine to be any age, chasing your art-world dreams, and living with 12 other people in the same loft.

26. The beauty of potential exists in every sidewalk crack, broken brownstone, abandoned lot, and person just trying to fit on the subway before the doors close.