downtownfrombehind (DFB) is a photographic series capturing subjects riding their bike from behind on some 200+ streets, avenues and lanes below 14th street in New York City.

The result is an environmental portrait for each street and subject with a goal to highlight a set of individuals, emerging and established, each uniquely contributing; culturally, socially and physically, to make this part of the city what it is today.

The project has been widely covered in the press, from New York Times, Huffington Post, Coolhunting, Vogue, Nylon Magazine and many blogs (thankyou).

Subjects photographed to date include industrial designers, architects, creative directors, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, artists and academics.


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ELIZABETH STREET, Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, Founders of Roman & Williams for Downtownfrombehind.

Sit with Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer of Roman & Williams for a minute and you feel like you might be meeting an important part of design history. Like meeting Charles and Ray Eames of our generation. If you live in New York or visiting, then you’ve most certainly drank, ate or slept in one of their iconic bars, restaurants or hotels. She grew up in New York, studied here and in Florence, curated art shows through Soho before being handpicked by Martin Scorsese to work as the visual consultant for several of his films, which led to her 15 year career designing films all around the world. He is a gifted designer, artist, painter, etcher and drawer who is devoted to the study of architecture and architectural rendering. He does all of his presentation drawings by hand; The New York Times recently compared his oils and etchings to photographs by Joseph Sudek. The pair met in the 1990’s while working in Hollywood and in 2002 they founded Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors. The secret to living and working together?  They go on to finish one another’s sentences “We like the same things, we talk through everything, every little detail. I think its important to be on a similar frequency”.  New York City quite literally cannot get enough of happily married Stephen and Robin.  We especially thank you for providing the unmistakably Roman & Williams signature Ace Hotelthe lobby an addictive alternative to park a laptop midweek, The Standard Hotel’s Boom Boom room (best on sunset when you can enjoy the view in peace) feels like a decadent warm hug and not forgetting new favorite, The Dutch in SoHo.

Special thanks for Landmark Vintage Bicycles, East Village for providing the wheels.


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