Friday evening brought a brief squall to lower Manhattan just in time for the evening commute. Luckily, I was already home since my office was closed early for the long weekend. I decided to break out the 200mm and take some snaps of commuters with their umbrellas. Here are a few of my faves.
There is something to be said for the vibe that summer nights embody. As near as I can tell, the unique summer night aura is a universal thing that exists in every place where the summer season is a thing. I remember feeling it when I was a youngster staying up late skateboarding with my friends. School was out, so no need to get up early. The nights were still warm enough to wear minimal clothing, yet a nice reprieve from the oppressive daylight heat. None of the problems in the world seemed to matter at all, those nights. Even though the sensory elements are very different in NYC than where I grew up, the same essence of summer night energy is present.
I brought along my range finder Friday night. I feel like the on-camera flash preserves the gritty feel of the thick wet NYC summer night air. We started out in NoLIta and hopped our way over to the East Village for some late night Crif Dogs. Capped off the night taking the pooch for a stroll to chase some rats.
Being photographed is tough. Some people are so good at it. They look so natural and comfortable, effortlessly cool, etc.. I look basically the opposite of all of those things in just about every photo ever taken of me. I have always felt more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. The above image is a perfect example of why. I am super awkward in photos, and have accordingly disliked being photographed for most of my life. In recent years I have thankfully come to embrace the awkwardness, and I have my little sister partially to thank for this. If there is one person who ranks on my levels of unnaturaltude when the camera is pointed in their direction, it is her. I should also mention that she is a woman who struggles with autism. Perhaps I too have some sort of social disability which causes me to lose my sense of “normalcy” when I find myself staring into the business end of a lens.
At any rate, I have her to thank for my decision to embrace my shortcomings as a subject in photos. A few years ago, I noticed that she had adopted sort of a signature pose for photos. She would hold up two fingers, peace-frogs-style and pop her hip out to the side. By doing so, she spun her discomfort of being photographed into her own brand of sassy protest (“okay go ahead and take my photo, but you are going to get this pose”). Amazed at how well this seemed to work, I took a page from her book and started throwing deuces in photos every chance I had. When possible, I will even incorporate double deuces. As ironic as it may sound, I have hated photos of me much less since adopting her approach. While the photos are ostensibly “worse” and certainly more contrived than before the advent of the deuce pose (not to be confused with the other deuce pose), at least I can laugh at them now, as opposed to just cringing. So while I will most likely never be able to look cool, natural or at ease in photos, I can thank my sis for helping me embrace a signature awkward pose.
The weather here has been a bit bananas. It rained for about 10 days straight and didn’t break 60 degrees. Then Sunday happened. The forecast all week was heavy rain for Sunday. Instead we got sunshine and breeze. I normally don’t care for the breeze. But America’s Cup happened this weekend. I generally try to avoid gatherings of 30k or more humans in public spaces. But when sailboat racing happens in my neighborhood, it is kind of hard not to step out and take a gander. Also, B used to race sailboats. So I had a front row seat at one of the world’s premier sailboat racing events and expert commentary from a sexy woman. It was actually pretty awesome. Here are some snaps–
Welp, B is in China. I’m going a little nuts w/o her here. Have tried very hard to keep myself busy. Weekend is not even over yet. Put together this little gem tho. I slapped a gopro onto the underside of Trixie’s handlebars for a Saturday ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. Apologies for my fat face starting into the lens in the beginning. It gets “good” if you can make it past the elevator. If you have 5 spare mins, enjoy.
I had a very event filled weekend, spent with close friends and family. During the course of it all, we paid a visit to the new One World Observatory at the top of 1 WTC. The experience did not disappoint. I generally avoid tourist traps, because I don’t have the patience to wait in lines. But for a few extra $$ you can skip the line and go straight to the top. So, we went that route. I want to go back again when I am not on such a tight schedule, so that I can spend more time up there. It was a pretty clear day with great visibility. I would highly recommend the experience.
It was Armory week in NYC. I didn’t actually go to the Armory show this year. Nor did I go to Scope or Pulse, which I have really liked in past years. I did, however, go to Art of Paper for the first time ever. Mostly I went because it was at Pier 36, which is walkable from our apt. There was some decent work. Nothing blew me away. I have included images of a few of my favorites.
The light was very nice when we left. Here are some snaps from the walk home along the East River.
Lastly, I borrowed this old 35mm beaut (below) from my amigo over the weekend. I bought a bunch of film on Amazon today. Should be loaded up ready to snap by the end of the week. Very excited about it.
Sunday was one of those few days that I was able to talk B into a quick portrait session. The weather was super warm for February, and the afternoon light was awesome. We were shooting with the 50mm f/1.2L, wide open. I love the way that it naturally vignettes. Buttery.
We hit a little Soiree Friday night at the Super store on Howard. The event was for the launch of custom model of sunnies designed by skateboarding legend Mark Gonzales. He was there autographing copies of a ‘zine that he published in connection with the event. A bunch of our friends were also in attendance. I brought along the range finder and got a few snaps. Made for quite an enjoyable evening.
A pretty funny story (possibly only funny to me) about my first encounter with the Gonz: Tenish years ago, I used to frequent the skate park in Riverside Park. It was the only public park on the island with a (barely) vert ramp. One Saturday morning I arrived at the park right as it had opened. The only thing required for admission was to have a helmet with you, and sign your name on a piece of paper. An NYC Parks worker was the gatekeeper. I picked up the pen to sign in, and noticed that I would be number 2 on the list, right below “Mark Gonzales.” Assuming that some punk kid had signed in as the Gonz, I snickered to myself and for a split moment considered signing “Tony Hawk” or something instead of writing my real name. When I walked up the stairs onto the deck of the halfpipe, Gonz was up there. I remember him wearing bright green corduroy pants and no pads. We skated together for like 2 hours. It is probably my most memorable session that I ever had on that ramp.
Probably my favorite shot of the night (below).
And one flick from Saturday: