Kudos to Lehman Weichselbaum and The Jewish Week for the article about Clayton Patterson (“Lower Insider,” Feb. 6). We have known each other for more than 30 years and I’ve always considered him an honorary Jew. Your article reminds me that I wanted to buy two more sets of his three-volume anthology of “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.” Before I could finish the 1,349 page opus, my brother-in-law borrowed the three tomes from me and it is now slowly making the rounds in my family. I had also promised the rabbi of my neighborhood synagogue that I was going to donate a set to the Adereth El library. Thanks for the reminder.
Coincidentally, I am just putting the final polish on a 17-page feature (in two languages) on Clayton Patterson for a glossy Polish (you heard right) quarterly magazine. Here is a portion of the introduction to the interview, written by Alan Kaufman, author of “Jew Boy,” “Drunken Angel” and “Matches”:
“A photographer and videographer, Patterson’s personal documentation of New York’s Lower East Side constitutes an unprecedented portrait of Manhattan’s most culturally important neighborhood, yet this very same archive now sits ignored in Clayton’s Outlaw Art Museum, and not a single American institution has stepped forward to house this extraordinary treasure.”