On a Sunday—the 10th—in the 10th month of 2010, 27 photographers fanned out around and literally over New Rochelle to document one day in the city's life.
The results of that project—One Day: Photos of Life in New Rochelle, the 10-10-10 Project—should soon be arriving at the homes and businesses of those who have already ordered it.
Karen Hessel, who organized the project, said it grew out of an idea she got while looking at a book of photographs called "A Day in the Life of China."
"We received over 4,000 photographs," Hessel said, adding 307 ended up in the book.
A committee—made up of Hessel, Jen Parente, Anna Piliero, Cristina Cerone, Charlene P. Goldberg and Valerie Gomez, who has since died—met in 10 sessions to pick the best of the photos that would end up in the 160-page book as well as photos for use in an online slideshow.
Hessel said there were moments in the process of selecting the photos that were contentious.
"Sometimes we would have to put up two photos that were the same subject and had to chose the best one," she said.
Lifelong New Rochelle resident Bill Mullen, who wrote the captions, said, of a few of his pictures, he found that someone else had the same ideas.
One of his that didn't make it into the book was of a collection of colorful kayaks. Another shot of the same thing was picked instead.
"My point is that different people saw the same objects and approached it differently," Mullen said.
His photograph of the restored Thomas Paine Cottage was chosen to appear in the book.
"(The book) is really a slice of New Rochelle," Mullen said. "It shows what it looks like. It's fun for us now, but it is also a historical document."
Goldberg said the amazing thing about the project for her was how easy Hessel seemed to make it all happen.
"She is very forward thinking," she said. "I'm more living for today."
Goldberg, who has worked in the past with professional news photographers, said some of the pictures in the book rival the best of the best.
"Most of the stuff that came in for this project, the quality was wonderful," she said. "I loved the opportunity to get involved in it."
Mayor Noam Bramson and City Historian Barbara Davis both wrote forewords for the book.
Bramson said the pictures taken during a single day show how New Rochelle is representative of America.
"May we take this unprecedented gift of self-portrait and self-reflection, and use it to better appreciate our blessing, more fully embrace our neighbors and more confidently shape the future we are destined to share," he said.
Hessel said the book can be purchased online and is currently selling for $29.95, but it will soon go up to $39.95. She need to reach 300 orders before the book will be printed.
Hessel will be at the Colonial Fair at the Thomas Paine Cottage from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday so people can see the photos and order a book.
Profits from the book will go to the Thomas Paine Cottage and New Rochelle Huguenot and Historical Society.
Besides the online photo gallery, some of the photos can be viewed at AJ's Burgers. Beginning Oct. 28, a larger collection of photos will be on display at the New Rochelle Public Library through Nov. 10.
Most of the photos submitted will be housed in the New Rochelle Public Library's photograph collection as resource for the whole community, Hessel said.