Amy Collado Realizes her Tribute To NYC’s New Golden Era With #BornTooLate

I love New York City stories. I especially love those raw and gritty stories that are sometimes overlooked on a mass scale. It is especially meaningful to me when these stories are brought to light through the work of my peers and colleagues who also, happen to be New York City natives. #BornTooLate happens to be one of those stories.

Curated by Amy Collado, #BornTooLate is a collection of photographs, music, and jewelry installations that capture the essence of New York City’s new Golden Area, between the years of 1975 to 1985. The three-day exhibition was held earlier this month in a former bodega in Manhattan’s Alphabet City/East Village neighborhood.

Botánica NY installation

Upon entering the space, you felt immediately transformed into NYC of yesteryear. ’70s-inspired gold jewelry and eyewear from Botánica NY was showcased in the window, a playlist of everything from Hector Lavoe, to Donna Summer, to the Freestyle greats played in the background, and wine was served out of “We Are Happy To Serve You” disposable coffee cups.

The Brooklyn Four photo installation

The highlight of the exhibition was the photo installation of The Brooklyn Four, a crew based in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, which included some members of Amy’s family. It was interesting to see these photos in a grouping, as they embodied both the highs and lows of life in the inner-city during that time. Friendship, family, love, violence, and indecision were all showcased in this tight vignette. I found it to be particularly brave of Amy to showcase these photos as it is hard at times to get over the mistakes of our family members in the past.

Another highlight of the exhibition was the painting above by BK The Artist. We see the hand of an elder holding that of a child; a reminder to us to respect our elders, and uphold their legacy.

I really enjoyed the exhibition as I believe it totally embodied the spirit of the time in an honest way. I was also quite happy to see the project come to life after initially speaking about it with Amy. It’s always great to see your friends realize their goals.

I’ll toast to that.

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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