What was supposed to be just a few weeks has turned into almost a year.
“Like most Americans, we sort of put our life on hold until things get straightened out,” Kramer told Fox News.
Kramer’s mother, Elaine, was supposed to be living in Florida, but she had some issues with housing. His ex-wife, Sophia Lansky, lives in California, but her apartment had “a plumbing problem,” Kramer said. While she sorted things out, she asked to stay with Kramer in Queens.
Neil Kramer (top right), has been living with his ex-wife Sophia Lansky (left) and his mother, Elaine (bottom right) in his Queens, New York, apartment for the last 10 months.
Then, the pandemic hit. Kramer, Lansky and Elaine were forced to quarantine in Kramer’s two-bedroom apartment, where they’ve been living together for the last 10 months.
“It was very hard in the beginning to make boundaries, but I think eventually, the human spirit adjusts and, you know, in a hard way, we’ve gotten to know each other in new ways,” Kramer said.
One of the things that has helped is photography.
One of the ways the trio has been coping with the challenges of the year has been through a series of photographs documenting their experiences.
Kramer is a freelance writer and photographer, but when the pandemic hit, he wasn’t out with his camera anymore. Instead, he decided to document his life with Elaine and Lansky in a hilarious photo series that he has posted on Instagram.
“The photos helped us,” he said. “Almost like therapy, to sort of take what was scary or frustrating and then sort of, you know, play around with it in a humorous way.”
In an early photo from March, Kramer and Lansky appear to be fighting on the floor, with Elaine sitting over them on the couch wearing referee stripes.
“March 24, Quarantine in Queens, Day 12. Tensions are already rising,” the photo is captioned.
The series is a way for Kramer, Lansky and Elaine to work through their frustrations and fear using humor, Kramer told Fox News.
Another photo from November shows the trio holding their own mini Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with animal balloons.
This photo shows the trio holding their own mini Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Kramer said their one rule for the project was that the photos had to be based on something that actually happened. One example happened when Kramer was taking a bath.
“People would start walking in on me,” he said. So they decided to make a photo to show it.
That photo, from April, shows Kramer sitting in the bathtub while Lansky is shaving her leg and Elaine is standing over the tub holding a phone.
Kramer posted this photo to Instagram in April to show how crowded his apartment is.
“A Facebook friend recommended a gentle bubble bath as a great way to relieve stress during a lockdown in my one bathroom apartment in Queens,” the caption said. “Not sure the plan worked.”
“I’ve got to give both of them credit,” Kramer said of his mom and ex-wife. “Every once in a while I have to bribe them with some Dunkin’ Donuts to make them do it, but they’re not getting anything out of this and when I tell them the crazy ideas, they pretty much always agree to do it with me.”
“In a way we’ll almost be sad at the end of all this,” he added.
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