New York Times Portraits of Grief

Daniel H. Crisman

He came from the small town of South Montrose, Pa., but he was enchanted by the inexhaustible mysteries and wonders of New York. Daniel Crisman soaked in everything about the city.

Mr. Crisman, 25, felt he was on a roll. He had labored as a carpenter in New Jersey, but yearned for something more certain and less seasonal. He found a job as a temp at Marsh & McLennan. On Sept. 1, after a year of tentative status, he was made a permanent employee as a training coordinator.

When he learned the good news, he was ecstatic, flashing one of his trademark smiles. "He really felt like he had made it," said his girlfriend, Danielle Zazula. "He felt he had achieved a level of success in his life."

Art was another side of him. He met Ms. Zazula at a poetry workshop where both of them read some of their work. They shared so many interests, including admiration for Charles Bukowski. For two years, they lived together in Chelsea.

More recently, Mr. Crisman had set aside poetry and embraced photography, taking pictures of flowers and leaves. He also created collages, mixing his photographs with images he cut out of magazines and wrappers and bottle caps he found on the streets of the city that so inspired him.