Ex-Citi Trader: I Learned More In One Year Of Photographing Prostitutes Than In 20 Years Working On Wall Street

Chris Arnade

Photo: Twitter

Former Citigroup forex trader Chris Arnade has an incredibly moving and raw blog post about leaving his Wall Street career to pursue photography full-time in Hunts Point (Gawker has also posted it here).In the post, he talks about how he spent his spare time outside of the office learning the stories of dealers, addicts, prostitutes and pimps and taking their pictures.

He also writes about how he was being pulled between two very distinct worlds.

Here’s an excerpt from “Staring into the Abyss”

Soon I started going at nights, drawn by the stories and the frankness. It was jarring to leave my Wall Street job where the focus was luxury, golf, kids, and second homes, and then hear small talk about rape, murder, and jail.  It was equally jarring to come home to my wealthy neighbourhood. Once pulling into my parking space at 3:00 am I saw a large rolled-up rug in the alley trash: My Hunts Point eye saw it as a great sleeping place, how dare somebody throw it away. A second look revealed it had come from my apartment.

I was being tugged in two directions. My days were safe, practical, and obvious. My nights were dangerous, impractical, and not at all obvious. I started choosing the nights. My friends and family started to question my sanity. When asked why, the best I could explain was, “I have learned more from the last year than my prior 20 on Wall Street.”

Read Arnade’s full blog post here >

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