Posts Tagged ‘new york’

Reuniting (in the park again)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

It’s been an exciting and hectic week, punctuated by Catie’s arrival to NYC as well as major interviews at both Parsons and SVA. The tennis season at Trevor is in full swing (ha ha), and whenever I’m not coaching on court or doing conditioning runs around the Reservoir with my players, Cat and I have been trying to “do” as much New York as possible to get back into the rhythm of the city.

We’ve also been trying to reconnect with all of the friends we still have here, and we were able to hit a couple more of those proverbial birds with one stone yesterday by meeting both Tristan (whom Catie had not seen in quite a while) and Mitch (whom neither of us had seen in quite a while) in Manhattan and spending the afternoon wandering around Central Park. (Two Minnesotans + two Alaskans = a day in the park, invariably.)

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photo taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

My obsession with black and white photography carries on. I tried to switch my camera’s picture control settings to vivid color again, but I hated the look of my first captured image on the LCD screen, and quickly switched back. I’m addicted to the visual acuity and drama of high-contrast black and white, and color just seems to take away from that punch.

New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 12, 2011)

Photos taken in New York, NY on March 12, 2011.

The High Line

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Yesterday, the high for New York City was listed as 55°F, and when I looked at the reported temperature around noon, it said 59°F. (Please note this is the first week of March we’re talking about here.) It was an incredible day. Somewhat unfortunately, I spent the first half of it lounging in bed with my two new adopted cats. (They came with our sublet in Brooklyn.) Thankfully, Tristan called and inspired me to abandon my cuddly friends so that we could meet in Manhattan and go for a photo walk. I extended the invite on to Alex, and while brainstorming places to go, we discovered that none of us had ever been to the High Line, despite all having lived in NYC for a good while since they built it, and all having wanted to go!

So, off we went, from our respective corners of the city, and with our respective camera equipment. The day was indeed remarkably warm upon first setting out, although I was a bit apprehensive about the amount of wind (especially since I had been a bit cocky with my attire, wearing only a t-shirt and light jacket on top). I found Tristan in Manhattan soon after he bought some new film (yeah, he’s one of those), and we met Alex at the High Line.

New York, NY (Mar 5, 2011)

Photo taken in New York, NY on March 5, 2011.

Now, the High Line was cool – I don’t deny that. I love it in concept, and I do like it in practice… But, it didn’t quite meet all of my grand wild expectations. Maybe I just wasn’t in the greatest of moods because the wind picked up dramatically (and the temperature dropped accordingly) almost the moment we climbed up, but in my opinion, the “park” is kind of short (spanning only about 8 or 10 blocks) and laid out a bit too much like a track and not enough like a park. (I realize that is fitting, considering what they were building upon. EDIT: I just looked it up and it turns out “Section 2″ is opening up later this Spring, and it’s going to have a lot of cool features that would make me like the whole park a lot more – including a lawn!)

I don’t know. I just felt cold, and rather stressed. Then again, wind always stresses me out, and mobs of people don’t help either. (We weren’t the only ones who had the idea of walking the High Line on such a nice day, or what was one a few hours prior.) So, I didn’t feel very creative, and I certainly didn’t take very many photos, but it was great to have a chance to hang out with Tristan (who doesn’t often get away from med school in the Bronx) and Alex all the same.

New York, NY (Mar 5, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 5, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 5, 2011)
New York, NY (Mar 5, 2011)

Photos taken in New York, NY on March 5, 2011.

Back in “the” city

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Well, somehow I’ve made my way once again back to New York City. After France, I spent a mildly painful (but extremely productive and satisfying) two months shut up in my room in MN preparing my portfolio and applying to graduate schools (namely SVA Interaction Design, Parsons Design & Technology, NYU Tisch ITP, and RISD Digital + Media). I took a short trip out East to visit said schools, and then ran away to Alaska for almost a month to relax / visit Catie’s family / remember how to be a somewhat normal social human being again. Somewhere along the way, Catie and I decided that we would come back to the city early this Spring so that while I (we) waited to hear back about whether I got into school somewhere, I could coach tennis again, start working on iOS projects with other people (and perhaps do a few photography jobs again as well), and hopefully make a little bit of money. (Nothing I do will even remotely register against my forthcoming graduate-school-shaped abyss of debt, but I figure I should at least try to scramble above zero before I take the plunge.) We have a temporary two month sublet set up for March and April, after which (if my hopes and dreams aren’t completely dashed four for four) we will find a more permanent living arrangement.

It’s odd being back in this place all of a sudden, especially on a potentially long-term basis… But, I love it here. I feel comfortable. The rhythms of NYC have obviously lain dormant and persistent inside of me during my absence, as they sprung back into action instantly upon my return. I know when to cross the street, no matter what the traffic signals. I pride myself in expertly weaving through shifting crowds on the sidewalk. I bask in the periodic breaks from the action above while sitting on the subway, listening to audiobooks and people-watching to my heart’s content. It all just makes sense to me.

Of course, I still can’t help thinking about all the other places I’ve been lately, and everything I’m missing by being back here… That’s a stupid way to think, I know – especially when NYC has so much. I’m going to try to just make the most of this place while I’m here this time, and trust that Catie and I will invariably find ourselves out and about in the world once again, someday soon, and that we will make the most of those new places when we find them.

In line with that optimistic proactive note, I spent yesterday afternoon camera-walking around Central Park with my old college friend and talented graphic designer Alex Berger. He recently upgraded from my old D70 (that I sold him circa 2006) to a D7000 (an upgrade of 100x, if you’re counting!), so we took it out for a spin, and I brought along my D3 as well.

New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)

Photo taken in New York, NY on February 27, 2011.

Although not a great deal of it has made its way onto this blog (yet), I continue to shoot a lot of manual-exposure high contrast black and white straight-out-of-the-camera JPG images… My whole photographic style seems to be evolving. Not only am I exposing images differently, but I find myself forming compositions that I probably would have despised two years ago. Maybe my eye is maturing as I get older (my 26th birthday was just a couple weeks ago), or maybe I just keep getting bored with myself. Either way, I find the shift interesting.

New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)
New York, NY (Feb 27, 2011)

Photos taken in New York, NY on February 27, 2011.

SCOTCH and SODA Sweat, and other things

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Catie, Emma, and I all wanted to make the most of our time in Marseille, so we spent the majority of not only the days but also the evenings walking around the city. I’ve talked before about my affection for night photography, and the winding streets of Marseille offered plenty of good new content. I could ramble on for a little while now about some of the things we saw, or the pleasant taste of the nighttime sea air coming off the Mediterranean, but frankly I need to cut straight to the point of this post; while we were walking along some random street in a city in France, we glanced at a small clothing store display window and saw a BRONXVILLE sweatshirt for sale.

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)

Photo taken in Marseille, France on November 12, 2010.

Before we go any further, be sure to take a good close look at that picture. Everything about the display of that sweatshirt in a shop in the middle of Marseille is so incredibly bizarre, that I don’t even know where to begin. For anyone totally clueless, Bronxville is a very wealthy self-proclaimed ‘village’ with approximately 6500 residents about 15 miles north of Manhattan in New York State. (According to Wikipedia, it is actually one of the places in the country with the most affluent households and the highest average incomes.) Sarah Lawrence College (from which both Catie and I graduated) happens to be located in Bronxville. Actually, to be more precise, SLC sits mostly in the much less prestigious city of Yonkers, but the college is very careful about associating itself (including its postal code) instead with Bronxville as much as possible since it has such a nice (and did I mention wealthy?) high-class reputation.

OK, so the obvious general question is – how did a Bronxville sweatshirt end up in Marseille? Who knows. And why did someone put it there? Well, it does also say “NEW YORK” underneath, and it seems like no matter where you go in the world, there will always be people who want to associate themselves with New York. That’s fine! I’m not judging! New York is a great place. I love it there!

The next weirdest part of the display is the listed price of the sweatshirt. Over the course of my last three months living and squandering money in France, I have become intimately familiar with the exchange rate between the Euro and the American dollar. It has remained fairly consistently at a rate of at least $1.33 for every €1.00. (In other words, for whatever price you see in France, add on an extra third of that to get the true cost for us American suckers. After you do that, feel free to cry a little before paying the probably egregious sum.) That means that this Bronxville sweatshirt – which in my opinion is rather old and ratty-looking, not to mention just plain boring – is being sold in a French shop for almost $45. I don’t think even the swindlers who work at the Sarah Lawrence College bookstore would try to charge that much for such a sweatshirt. Who is buying this for $45? I honestly can’t imagine.

Finally, we get to what I think is easily the strangest part of this enigma. Why is it labeled as a “SCOTCH and SODA” sweatshirt? Is it because this is the type of article of clothing that you would only want to wear while lounging about, drinking scotch and soda? (For that matter, do people lounge about, drinking scotch and soda? I haven’t the foggiest.)

EDIT: I did some research, and I found out that Scotch & Soda is actually the name of an “Amsterdam Couture” fashion design house, specializing in very expensive clothes. I can’t actually find the Bronxville sweat anywhere on their website or store, but let us assume that it is indeed designed and distributed by this company. I have to say, I think this makes it even weirder! What is expensive and fashionable about a shabby blue Bronxville sweatshirt!? Who in Amsterdam decided this was a chic idea?! Have they been to Bronxville before? Were they trying to make a BRONX sweatshirt instead, and just got confused? (Not that I would consider a Bronx sweatshirt particularly “chic” by any regard, but it would at least be more imaginable than Bronxville!)

I am sure this mystery will never be solved. Maybe if I had stayed in France long enough, I would have started seeing fashionable young ladies wearing black tights, tall boots, and sweatshirts featuring the names of other somewhat obscure locales in Westchester County. Who’s to say, really…

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 12-13, 2010.