Margot Kelley (cambridge, ma)

N 43 ° 34.841 W 073 ° 34.666, 2002, C-print mounted on aluminum, 16 x 20 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Seven of us reconvened at Lake George, in upstate New York, driving from South Carolina, Montreal, Massachusetts, New York City, Richmond—to celebrate and renew friendships born in Maine two years before. A few folks couldn’t be there (one so recently married he was still moving worldly possessions from Florida to Seattle, another in the eighth month of her pregnancy, another having started college a few weeks before). We’d chosen the lake partly for convenience, mostly for the beauty that Alfred Stieglitz photographed so many years before and the fun of walking in his footsteps.

The second day we looked for his house, carrying picture books to compare vistas, trees, porches—trying to erase renovations from facades, add decades to tree heights and girths. Only later did we find out the house had been razed, that it was not a common site for pilgrims after all.

This dock is in Bolton Landing, where we’d been told we’d find some of Stieglitz’s favorite views of the lake. It’s also the recommended launch site for getting to a cache called “Almost Paradise”—and as close to the cache as I got, having neglected to bring a boat. Standing at the shore, knowing it was too far to swim, I heard Laurie Anderson singing in my head, reminding me that “paradise is exactly like where you are right now—only much, much better.” In this moment, I feel sure she’s right.

Copyright © 2002, Photographic Resource Center, Inc.