Ben Gibberd is a journalist and author whose essays, profiles and news stories have appeared frequently in The New York Times, Time Out magazine, and other publications. His book about the men and women of New York’s waterfront, New York Waters: Profiles From the Edge, was published in 2007. He is currently working on two film projects, a documentary and a feature comedy, both set in New York City, where he has lived for the past 20 years since moving from London, England.
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Johnny Boy’s Excellent Adventure
“Toneeeey!” “Saaaaaal!” Smiling for the camera at the 12th annual incarnation of “Have a Drink With Johnny Boy.” Bensonhurst hasn’t been an Italian stronghold for decades, but once a year a 51-year-old from the neighborhood named John “Johnny Boy” Mazzoni, summons up his scattered buddies and brings that world back to life. “I found the Bay 16th Street Boys that used to beat us up,” says Johnny Boy. “I found the Bay 11th Street Boys that were older than us and didn’t talk to us. I found the Bay 10th Street Boys that were doing all their marijuana and stuff. I found them all. And once I found them, I said, ‘Have a drink with me,’ and it went down the line. We formed an alliance of love.”
Read the Cover Story From The New York Times’ City Section, Sunday January 20, 2008
Children of Darkness
“Urban Explorer” Miru Kim, naked amid the ruins of the Revere sugar refinery in Brooklyn. Urban explorers (most of whom explore fully clothed), are a group of young men and women obsessed with the city’s rotting and generally illicit infrastructure. What to most seems mere desolation takes on beauty in their eyes. “Don’t you just love this dump?” says Joe Anastasio, another urban explorer, of a filth-ridden tunnel 20 feet below the city’s streets. “About the only real thing left in NYC is the underground, the dirty, filthy underground.”
Read the cover story from the New York Times’ City section, Sunday July 29, 2007
“This self-styled ‘record of urban life’ offers delightful profiles of fishermen, tugboat captains, sailmakers, tour guides and other waterfront denizens…”
— Sam Roberts, The New York Times
Though it’s easy to spend a lifetime here and not realize it, New York City is an archipelago, surrounded by an astoundingly complex watery perimeter that twists and turns for 578 miles. Around this perimeter exists an entire culture of men and women for whom New York’s waters are the central aspect of their lives… Continue readingRead More…