For Walter Backerman, seltzer is more than a drink. It is the embodiment of his family. As a third generation seltzer man, he follows parts of the same cobblestone route his grandfather began in 1920’s Manhattan. Walter maintains a collection of more than seven thousand antique bottles that he circulates to his customers. Many bear the family name, a tribute to his father and his grandfather before him. Now, after 90 years of the Backerman’s being in the business, Walter knows all too well that he may be the last of the family’s seltzer men.
Photographer. Frederic Menou was born in France and moved to the US when he was 19. He is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated cinematographer with 15 years of experience. His clients include National Geographic, PBS, BBC, CBS, NBC, France 2 and many others. He is passionate about storytelling and social justice.
I’m a multimedia journalist with a love for storytelling. I just finished shooting a long-term project about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I consider finishing the 2,181-mile-long trail to be one of my greatest personal accomplishments and I met some wonderful people along the way. Before all that, I was lucky to be with The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi shortly after its launch. I spent over two-and-a-half years as a photojournalist there getting to know a country, a region and a culture in a very unique way. I’m a Tar Heel, I love being outdoors, I try to stay active and am always interested in meeting new people.