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The Polaroid Project

Capturing one dream at a time.

The Polaroid Project takes an aim at children, elders, and their dreams. From kids that are just beginning to dream, to elders that already are - enjoy the comparison of these different mindsets. 

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Wilda

Meet Wilda - age 7, from Sweden.

*Dream: "To cook! I love food."

Wilda didn't hesitate for a second with her vision of becoming a chef. You go girl. 

*Dream: In progress.

Thank you, Wilda. 

Doris

Meet Doris - age 81, born and raised in New York.

*Dream: "Oh a lot of things.. I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a social worker, and I wanted to be a secretary, which is what I ended up doing.

I liked the work, you know, I was able to help people, make sure the files were put together, and answer the telephone. It gave me a chance to mingle, talk, and meet people - I worked in insurance, therefore I helped others as well. It helped me further on in life because whatever I do community wise, it gives me the ability to be able to function.

Right now I'm an advocate. I advocate for seniors, housing, youngsters, grandparents raising grandchildren, and health. All of there things I do in terms of helping people."

*Dream: completed.

Thank you, Doris.

Zoe

Meet Zoe, age 7 - born and raised in New York.

*Dream: "To have rainbows inside my house and magical emoji pillows everywhere."

Zoe wasn't sure what she wanted to be when she was older, but I told her that's totally okay and that rainbows are the best things she could dream of.

*Dream: in progress.

Thank you, Zoe.

Judy

Meet Judy - from Los Angeles, California.

*Dream: "When I was young, I really wanted to grow up. I wanted to smoke, which I did - but I quit, and I wanted to marry Roy Rogers - who was a big cowboy movie star back then. I didn't marry Roy, but I did marry Ric who was an amazing cinematographer.. Everything was fulfilled."

Judy told me to look up her husband Ric Waite; I ended up finding out he was an Emmy winning cinematographer known for his work on the original Footloose, Red Dawn, 48 Hours, and The Long Rider. Wow.

Judy continued, "I live in LA - everything I set out to do I did. I was always independent, I went to college, I worked, I paid my own way, and after college did modeling. I'm now 78 and I just want to be healthy." .

*Dream: completed.

Thank you, Judy.

Nicolas

Meat Nicolas - age 7, from São Paulo, Brazil.

*Dream: soccer player.

When I asked him what he loved about soccer, he said, "We can play soccer anywhere in the whole world.. on the grass and other places. I play with my friends on all the holidays - I want to be an attacker."  

Favorite player: Neymar.

*Dream: in progress.

Thank you, Nicolas  

Bobby

Meet Bobby

*Dream: "I do want to become an actor, I have no prior experience but I think I can do it. I'd start with commercials - being a person my age I could start with healthcare ones or maybe playing an immature man with salt and pepper hair. I did try in the past and I was discouraged, but I will keep trying.

When I was little I don't remember what I wanted to be. My parents weren't educated; they barely went to high school, so they didn't give me those type of dreams, you know what I mean?  On a sad note, I had a guidance counselor that told me I basically would never amount to anything, unless I joined the army. This was during the peak of the Vietnam War and I was just a kid. That was his advice - it was so bad that even at that young age I understood it was bad. As years went on I thought, how could this guy say this to me or anybody?

In high school I got lucky, my mechanical teacher liked me; he took me under his wing and helped me along. Today, school and teachers today are a lot different - they actually help kids and guide them. The whole world is different.

But listen, not everybody is going to be a doctor or lawyer, not everybody is going to be a young professional. I studied mechanical drawing in high school and architectural drawing in college, but I never perused it, I fell into something else. If you can't get a job doing what you want to do, you have to get a job doing something else. If you want to be a chef, but you can't get a job as a chef, you might wind up at H&M or somewhere you never planned on being - a job is a job.

It all worked out though, I'm currently a project manager in Information Technology which is fun."

*Dream: in progress

Thank you, Bobby.

Meng Tian

Meet Meng Tian - age 8, from China.

*Dream: "I want to be a police officer to help with guns. To stop them."

I definitely didn't have such a powerful dream at her age - this just goes to show how influenced kids are by what's going on in the world. I feel like sometimes we think they don't understand what's happening because of their age, but in reality they do; they see everything that's going on. 

When I asked her how long she and her parents were visiting New York for, she said one year - her mom then jumped in and said only for three weeks. 

*Dream: in progress.

Thank you, Meng Tian.  

Ray

Meet Ray - born and raised in New York.

*Dream: "I took law courses and was a DJ in college, but ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to do IT, Information Technology, just like my mother and brother did.

I love New York City - I like the diversity, the change in weather, and I love snow.. but really, I just like the change. It's kind of like IT, you can walk in, you can set something up today/tomorrow, but then you come in and someone else did something, and you gotta fix it. 

My dreams for future kids are for them to have great health, as much education as they can get, and a lot of opportunities.. options are good. And that's it, they can figure the rest of their way the best that they can."


*Dream: completed.  

Thank you, Ray.

Amy Snider

Meet Amy Snider – born and raised in New York

*Dream: "My dream certainly was never to become a teacher, when I was a kid in the 40s, that’s what boring people did. I believe teachers are like priests, they put up with eccentric people."

While walking and talking with Amy, we passed a library and I thought it would be just right if I captured her in her favorite place.

“For my grandchildren, I hope that the world is a much better place than it is now, and that the reliance on digital paraphernalia is gone. That people start reading books again and relating to each other. Conversation leads to empathy between people… sitting in a restaurant with two people both looking at their cellphones... it’s sad.”

*Dream: in the works.

Thank you, Amy.

Dottie

Meet Dottie, age 10 - born and raised in New York.

*Dream: "I want to be a game designer.. I want to create video games. Kid friendly ones."

*Dream: in progress.

Thank you, Dottie.

Edward

Meet Edward, age 9 - from Aspen, Colorado. 

*Dream: to become an investment banker. 

When I asked him what he hoped to see in his future, his answer was, "more Lamborghini's and rainbow zebras."

*Dream: in progress.

Thank you, Edward.

Jay Rick

Meet Jay - born and raised in New York. 

*Dream: to see the whole world. 

I got really lucky that Jay was the first person to be a part of this project - he has lived in New York for almost 90 years and witnessed the city grow right before his eyes.

"My father was born in Lithuania. I've never been to Lithuania. And the town he came from, one of my cousins, when WWII ended, was stationed in the Air Force in England. When he was elected to be discharged in London, he went from there to look up the town from which my father's family had come. It had been rolled over several times by the Russians and the Germans. There's nothing left as far as we were able to determine. Every relative we had from that area died in the concentration camps.

I have gotten to see a good part of the world.. more western Europe than anything else. But I liked Brazil. My wife grew up in Brazil, but she never liked it, she always wanted to come to America. 

She wasn't born in Brazil, she was born in a displaced person's camp in the Soviet Union. Her parents were from Warsaw and had fled ahead of the Germans when they invaded. They would never talk about what they did before the war ended, but she knew her mother had been in the concentration camp because she had numbers tattooed on her arm. Until her father's last year when he was suffering from dementia, he started talking about what he had done when he was in the Soviet Army. How he and his wife got together again, I have no idea. But they wound up in a camp for displaced persons, and that's where my wife was born. They moved to Paris when she was a year old, and to Brazil when she was three years old.. so she remembers nothing. 

I met her here in New York, she was visiting a close friend who was on a music scholarship at Julliard. She was recording with a friend of mine at a record company.. and that's where I was introduced to my wife. 

New York is full of people like her, and like me. There was a time where you could get around New York very easily if you spoke Yiddish - but I never spoke Yiddish."

*Dream: almost accomplished. 

Thank you, Jay.

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