Like most great things about New York, City Plants thrive at the margins. They occupy sidewalk cracks, scale fences, squat in sewer grates, and lay siege on empty lots. They are evidence of the fecundity in the overlooked. They are also a metaphor for our wonderful city of immigrants. Like most New Yorkers, most City Plants come from elsewhere. Common Purslane arrives by way of the Mediterranean and the Middle East; the Princess Tree originated in Central and Eastern China; Queen’s Anne’s Lace is from Northern Europe; and Shaggy Soldier marched its way up from Mexico. Yet they and many more are all here, making this city their home wherever there’s space and anyway they can.
This photographic and narrative record endeavors to witness the heroics of City Plants and their insistence that life, hardscrabble as it may be, can persevere, if not thrive anywhere.
Over her lifetime, Lorissa has found cheap apartments in six cities, gotten lost everywhere from Ramallah to Rosarito, and camped her way across the United States twice.
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