In a one story brick home in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I grew up the only child of the only Jewish, over-educated, east-coast native parents in the entire school district.
My predominantly Scandinavian and German neighbors kept to themselves and meticulously groomed their homes. Often playing alone in the yard or going on rides to nowhere with my mother, it never occurred to me to watch the television or even make a phone call. The only thing that got the neighbors together would be the sound of an approaching fire engine. People would suddenly appear with folding lawn chairs, lining up on the sidewalk in an orderly fashion to watch the fire.
Such were my beginnings as an outsider. I now capture that glimpse into other people's inner worlds, like Diane Arbus on a good day or a midwestern Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Now living in California, I find it just amplifies the otherness of the Midwest in my photographs. It is no longer my home. I use the eyes of a now foreign traveler to help reveal what was hidden to me as a native.