Seeing the old neighborhood with new eyes


Eian Kantor never expected to return to Riverdale.

A New York City native, Kantor, 28, spent his childhood in Riverdale until he was 11 years old. He graduated from P.S. 24, ate at the Blue Bay Diner, and played in Seton Park.

Once life whisked him away to New City, New York and beyond, Riverdale seemed like a closed chapter of his life.

That is until Summer 2017, when he began taking pictures for The Riverdale Press, covering topics ranging from politics and the environment, to sports and education. An avid photographer, Kantor finds joy in the oft-overlooked details of life, and it was after a year of assignments that he decided to spend more time getting to know the neighborhood of his youth.

“It was even more of a new light after shooting a bunch of news stories,” Kantor said over breakfast at a diner in Park Slope, where he has lived since returning to New York City in 2014.

Working in a journalistic capacity gave Kantor greater context for understanding what life is like now in the place where he spent his youth. A body of work, “Riverdale Through a New Lens,” took shape as he went on long walks both up the hill and down the hill to old haunts like Seton Park, and new favorites like the Kingsbridge Donut Shop.

Each time, Kantor followed the light and his intuition, like any good photographer. And in this particular case, he followed his childhood memories, too. His parents joined him on some of his jaunts through the “nabe.”

“It was a walk down memory lane,” he said.

Eian Kantor, New York City, Blue Bay Diner, P.S. 24, Seton Park, Park Slope, Julius Constantine Motal