Johnny Five: “Life in Transition” and “Johnny’s Cave” on NYTimes video

by Yule Heibel on June 15, 2007

It’s only 9 minutes long (not counting the 15 second commercial that comes first), but Life in Transition, a video produced by the New York Times about Johnny Five, a homeless man also known as The Mayor of Ogden Avenue (in the Bronx), who probably has schizophrenia as well a drug addiction, is one of the most compelling, informative, and illuminating documentaries on chronic homelessness I’ve ever seen. If you watch this video, another will follow immediately afterward: Johnny’s Cave (~7 1/2 minutes long).

Do watch both.

(via Archinect News.)

If we lived in medieval times, Johnny Five would count as a holy fool, both clairvoyant and blind. He’s quite exceptional, and seems to know what he’s talking about when he describes himself as a newborn babe. It would be easy to romanticize him because he’s so unique (yet simultaneously “everyman“). It’s less easy to make sure he has a decent roof over his head, though, as the film makes obvious.

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