Chasing Sanitation

Falling in Love with New York's Strongest

Who’s Making This Possible?

For the 2011 THIS IS NEW YORK’s STRONGEST Exhibition …


Local 831 Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association
Duggal Visual Solutions
DSNY Columbia Association
Todd Strier
Mister Wright Fine Wines & Spirits


Michelle Friedman
Elena Sapora
Barbara Caldwell
Benjamin Chaparro
Jenny Ward
Eleni Sakellis
Natalie Benelli
Mary Robinson
Jim and Martha Robinson
Matthew Weinberg
Nhu Vu
Matt Powell
Ashley Horne
Peter and Alexandra Saghir
Pam Tryon
Tonia Capuana
Richard Soressi
Stacey Brownstein
Patrick and Jeanette Gurczynski
Maria Hall
Kristy Rebele
Lolly Taps Luncheonette
Lennlee Keep
Lily Bayrock
Beth Roehrig
Vito A. Turso
Susan Whitlock
Bryan Smith
Drew Foster
Kristin Corapi
Max Liboiron
McLean McGown
Bill Walsh
Vicki Horne
Betty Kim
Emily Taeler
Wilson Yuen
Nicholas Watson
Christopher Seely
Kate Loyd
Allison Orr
Sandra & Charles Mullins
John Hong
Roberto Cruz
Simon and Dina
Nick Steidel
Tom Schutyser
Matt Boehm
Brian Hedden
Andrew Aspromonte
Toni Plummer
Krista Currie
Mary Arwen
Andy Sapora
Kim Avila
Jen Kaminsky
Nick Lewis
Tara S. Goulet
Amy Meadows-Martella
Tallu Schuyler
Frank Palmieri
Thomas Negovan
Jenny Sargent
Daniel Zibulsky
AnneMarie Lowell
Madeline Sayet
Heather Booth
Gigi Hodo Walker
Lester Ditto
Rhianna Basore
Noah Vaughn
Peter Berman
John Robinson
Maggie Wray
Brandon Plunkett
Marcy Bur
Mauricio Lomelin
Alli Ownby
Rebecca Sherman
Lee Dale
Sharon McGauley
Patricia Campos
Hunter Sandlin
Susan Cykman
Dagmar Weaver-Madsen
Alton Christensen
Samuel Rivera
Yaffa Phillips
Jeff Brewer
Joshua Bright
Ben Emmel
Stephen Bent
Kim S.
Salvatore Pagano
Keith Sterner
Paul Sargent
Cory Bandera
Daniela Ikawa
Anh Nguyen
Angela Franceschi
Nicole Matthiesen
Roberto Rivera
Katie Ayoub
Katrin Geenen
Andy Anderton
Stardust Atkeson
Viktoria Unterreiner
Mike Brandon
Amber Ford
Melissa Rick
Jason de la Cruz
Joshua Custor
Tabitha Roberts
Amber Hook
Donna Bivona-Petrauskas


DSNY – all the supervisors, chiefs and all the sanitation workers who trusted me and Liz on the ground, giving us their time and thoughts,

Vito Turso, Deputy Commissioner, Public Information & Community Affairs, Department of Sanitation of New York.

Keith “one-bag-at-a-time” Mellis, Executive Officer, Vito’s Gatekeeper.

Harry Nespoli, President, Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831, “Heart of Gold, Heart of Steel.”

Jimmy Parker, Harry’s Gatekeeper, Local 831, who always takes my calls with such friendliness.

Martin Chestnut, Director of the DSNY Employee Assistance Unit, and his staff Brian Coakley and Jennifer Herbst.

Ronny Cohen, President of the DSNY Columbia Association

Superintendent Patrick Hickey from Bronx 8: not a man to mince yours or his words. A third generation officer, he gave us the skinny on the Gar-bahhhge industry. He calls ‘em like you see ‘em and you’re sort of grateful.

Chief Valletta: Yin to Hickey’s yang. He’s the type of guy that spends his vacation on a motorcycle in the middle of Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains.

Domenic, who was filling in at Sunset Park’s garage one sweaty August morning, who looked the other way when two curly-haired girls showed up on his garage doorstep and saw that we meant no harm and that we just wanted to be the DSNY’s biggest fans.

Joseph Cocozza of BK12 in Park Slope who’s by-the-book protocol prompted the first meeting with Deputy Commissioner Vito Turso and Executive Officer Keith Mellis and got the ball to rolling.

Sanitation Worker Hal DellaTorre of Sunset Park who recognized me from the neighborhood and helped make our first shoot so successful. Without him and Domenic and all the guys we shot that day, I don’t know if this project would’ve gotten off the ground.

SanMan John Doz of BK Borough Park for always taking my phonecalls and answering all the insane questions about his job for over a year.

Lynn Saville for her advice, Night / Shift.

Seth Kushner and Anthony DeSala of THE BROOKLNITES.

Lorna Thomas and Ryan Dismukes of Engel Entertainment for a little fellowship in Talkin’ Trash

Authors Guild

Sue Drury and the Dramatists Guild Fund

Katrina C. Caso and Mark Litwak of Mark Litwak & Associates, Los Angeles

Tea Lounge on Union Street in Park Slope

Brooke Ganz, for her enthusiastic and authoritative hand in launching the website.

Marina Feleo Gonzalez, New York Foundation for the Arts

Toni Margarita Plummer, St. Martins Press

Gregg Sullivan, Sullivan & Partners LLC

Anthony DeVito

Marcela Landres

Nadine Rambeau, California Institute of the Arts, Development

Kristin Graham

Elena and Andy Sapora

Screamers Lake’s Consultants: Morgan Nichols, Ciji Guerin, Chris and Jen Velazquez.

Erik Ehn, Head of the Playwrighting Program, Brown University

Dr. Anjeanette K. Hall

Emily Cornelius

All the prayers and laughs of Lester and Leah Ditto, Larry and Arlene Misuraca & John Ditto.

All my friends and colleagues that sat at the other side of countless cell phone and diner conversations listening me go on and on about the DSNY.

All the former employers that laid me off abruptly and made me feel like garbage. Thanks for giving me the time and space to chase the DSNY all over the city and to write luxuriously about these beautiful folks. And thanks to the U.S. government for helping me not slide off the edge of Life and for all the unemployment benefits. This is your money well spent.

No thanks goes to the supervisors who gave me countless of tickets when I got too distracted with their collection trucks’ routes to realize I was parking on the wrong side of the street during photo shoots or got caught up in an interview when some SWs took a break. Thanks, guys, for ALLLLLL THE PARKING TICKETS. This book better sell or else I’m going to jail and will be doing the next book on New York’s Boldest (Correction Officers).

Claudio Papapietro, for all he’s given to this project, and, mostly, for taking care of Liz.

 And from Lisa to Liz: Thanks always for being my #1 Partner in Grime.

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