Photo of the Week: Eshete

Eshete: Cobble Hill Brooklyn

This week’s photos were taken Chris Arnade in Brooklyn. He writes:

I have known Eshete, the “cat man” of Columbia St. for over three years, walking by almost daily, and look forward to our chats. Despite having some serious issues, he has always been super sweet and nice to me. He is obsessed with his cats, riding his bike from upper Manhattan every day to spend afternoons with them.

I don’t know his full history, I am polite enough not to pry. I do know that he’s had a rough life. He was the only member of his family to survive the Ethiopian civil war and spent many years after as a refugee in Northern Sudan.

A geography nut, every one of his cats is named after a place: Congo, Damascus, Venice, Rico (Puerto that is), etc.

I went to the waterfront to see how Eshete was doing as [Hurricane Irene] approached. Not surprisingly, despite being in an evacuation zone, he was there taking care of the cats. I asked him if he needed anything, he said no, and then we chatted about cats.

“The cats are like lions, very intelligent. Mysterious creatures, the Pharaohs buried them. Independent, but if they need you they come. Cats are beautiful intelligent comedians.”

See more portraits of Eshete here.

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This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Tuesday August 30 2011at 11:08 pm , filed under United States and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Response to “Photo of the Week: Eshete”

  • C. Szabla says:

    I saw him yesterday, dismounting his bike in front of a Starbucks a few blocks inland from Columbia St. I wonder if his cats will only lap up foamy nonfat soy milk.

    It’s impressive if he actually commutes every day from northern Manhattan by bike — a distance of maybe at least 15 miles each way — covered by all those blankets even on sweltering late summer days.