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Who I Am

Lindsey is an instructional technology fellow at City College. She is ABD at the CUNY Grad Center, completing a PhD in English and a doctoral certificate in American Studies. Her academic specialty is 20th-century American poetry, and her dissertation considers the development of American epic poetry during the Cold War period. When not thinking about poetry or technology, she walks New York City & takes pictures. She is a political junkie, a design geek, & a big fan of broccoli -- raw or cooked. You can sometimes find her in Montreal or Minnesota, visiting her dear ones. She has an extremely cute (if ornery) cat named Fay, and a kickass forearm tattoo.

Where I'm From

Freer-Low House, New Paltz NY
Freer-Low House, New Paltz NY
Minnesota, L'Etoile du Nord
Minnesota, L'Etoile du Nord

I'm a proud upper Midwesterner. (I can still pull out the Fargo accent, don'cha know?) I grew up in southeastern Minnesota--mostly in the college town of Northfield. My parents were both raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. My family has lived in the upper Midwest of the United States since the 1800s. My mother is the descendant of a servant to the James J. Hill family of Saint Paul, Minnesota. My father's ancestors were Huguenots--radical Protestants from France. ("Freer" more or less comes from frère, French for "brother.") They founded the town of New Paltz, NY, in the early 1700s. I am otherwise of mixed British, German, Danish and Central European descent.

My New York

The Hell Gate Bridge

My special piece of New York has changed since I first moved here a decade ago. When I was a student at Barnard College, I would periodically head south and sit at the Lincoln Center fountain--eating sorbet, enjoying the night air, and watching the people streaming in and out of the Metropolitan Opera. Then early on in my graduate school career, I started taking really long walks. The gym I'd made liberal use of in college was no longer available to me, and I decided to turn to the city itself to make up the difference. Now my favorite part of New York is probably its bridges. I like the irony of a permanent structure serving a transitional (i.e., impermanent) purpose. I particularly like crossing the East River on one bridge and looking up or down the river to see all of the other bridges bisecting the water.

As a graduate student I've lived in both Brooklyn and Queens, and have regularly walked the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queensboro/59th Street bridges. I currently cross the last of those on foot about three days a week. (I walked it on its centenary, in fact, and took a series of photographs.) But some of my favorite bridges to look at and think about are the ones I generally don't walk: the George Washington, the Triborough/RFK, and the Hell Gate bridge, which carries Amtrak trains. I took the photograph below in March of 2008. (Apparently the bridge was the inspirational motif for a fairly recent indie mobster movie.)

after walker evans
Hell Gate Bridge from Astoria Park, March 30, 2008. Photograph by L. M. Freer.