I am nostalgic for the present, for images that are both grittier and more illuminating than are usually offered. In general, the media tends to sentimentalize public life, reducing all experience to horror stories or “human interest” pieces. In either case, ordinary people become so demonized or idealized that what made them – and us – ordinary in the first place is lost. I took these photographs at city pools in Los Angeles. A great urban institution, the public pool attracts people of all backgrounds and quite literally strips us of our social uniforms.