Pulse | Home News Tribune Your Arts and Entertainment Guide May 3, 2004

Up Front: (Im)perfect as a picture

Published in the Home News Tribune 4/30/04
Pat Lambe has his eye on things.


Who: Pat Lambe, 37, Somerset

What: Photographer

Where: "Cruel But Fair" at www.patlambe.com

Lambe, an author, painter and photographer, is taking pictures of the construction taking place around the popular Court Tavern of New Brunswick and posting them on his Web site, www.patlambe.com, in the "Cruel But Fair" gallery. "Cruel But Fair" is the Court's unofficial motto. Or maybe it's "Home of the Stars." Whatever. There's also some great old shots on the site of the Court when it was located across the street from its present location.

City developer Omar Boraie is building a parking deck, office building and condominium tower on the lots surrounding the Court Tavern and Attilio's Pasta Kitchen, on the corner of Church and Spring streets. Many in town are wary of the construction and how it might affect the Court and the city. The Court is Lambe's bar of choice, and we chatted with Lambe there on a recent late Friday afternoon, just after he took some pictures.

Q: Pat, what made you decide to document the construction going on around the Court Tavern?

A: I used to work in the construction industry and I've always been fascinated how everything gets together and everything is built. I've been hanging out at this bar for 14, 15 years, so it's a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Q: What types of things do you see happening with this construction site?

A: It just seems that they're turning the whole city into one big parking lot. There's parking lots all over the place, and I'm not sure if I agree with that philosophy of building.
GEORGE OLIVAR/Special to Pulse
Somerset's Pat Lambe is documenting the whirl of construction that surrounds the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, and it's effect on one of the Hub City's last bastions of rock.

Q: Why not?

A: They're running a whole bunch of little businesses out. I remember Greasy Tony's and the Brunswick Pub. (both formerly on Somerset Street). They're tearing everything down.

Q: Greasy Tony's was indeed very greasy. I would go there after going to the Melody (Bar) or here.

A: Yeah, so would I. I remember eating many times there.

Q: There seems to be a conundrum, if that's what it is. This town needs parking but there's too much parking, it seems. What's the dynamic there and how do you feel it can be resolved?

A: I can't explain it. I always say I'm not for parking, but I always have trouble parking. During the weekend, it's not that bad. Maybe I should study city planning a little bit.

Q: I'm kind of getting the sense from our chat that New Brunswick is not a very friendly place to come into and park and have a good time. Is it becoming less and less friendly that way?

A: I agree with that, and there are less and less places to go. There's another bar up the road called Doll's Place (on French Street), and they're going to be tearing that down and moving that around (to Paterson Street).

Q: Tell me about the form the project is undertaking. How often do you shoot, how many locations do you shoot from, and will the form alter in the coming weeks, months and years?

A: I shoot the same three shots at the same locations. I try to do it three days a week. I try to get down here after work, about the same time, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., and I take random shots of the construction site.

Q: Do you see yourself exhibiting the actual pictures, hard copies, in a gallery scenario someday?

A: I would love to. I'm not quite sure how I would work that out. I didn't plan it that way. I just planned it for my Web site, but I would definitely be open to that.

-- Chris Jordan