NEW YORK RAMBLES (page 19)
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A Midtown ramble
New York will be a nice place to live if they ever finish building it. I guess there is a lot of truth to that old refrain and something bittersweet.
An 8 mile walk through the streets of Flushing
There is nothing like snow to make an old place new again. Oddities that may fade into the background of a cluttered yard take on new significance as the snow simplifies composition.
A ramble in Chinatown
It is hard not to think of my grandparents when walking these streets. The faces are new, the food different but in most ways little has changed. People struggle to hold on to something familiar in a new world. Both joy and trepidation are found in their eyes.
A walk from Snug Harbor to St. George
The interior of this old mill was way too dark to properly photograph without a tripod but it was way too compelling to pass by.
A loop between Soho and Chinatown
I made an effort to go to the Chinese New Year parade this year. The narrow streets and dense crowds kept me from getting near the procession for some time. Finally on East Broadway I hopped the barricades and began shooting from the street. I had been there awhile when I saw a cop headed my way. It did not look good until a large dragon swooped up behind him and caused enough commotion for me to make my getaway. I followed that dragon through the winding streets back to its lair in a Soho import shop.
A 5 mile loop between Soho and City Hall
Because of the grid that defines most of the City’s streets in is difficult to get lost here. It also limits the variations in which I can shoot. An unexpected bend is a prized find.
A 5 mile loop between Soho and Chinatown
The winter sun shines cold. It sits low in the sky as if that is the only way to remind me of its presence. Without the fruit piled high atop crates there would be no hope of summer.
A 12 mile walk from Snug Harbor to Bayonne and back to Mariners Harbor
The waters surrounding Shooters Island were glistening as tug boats sped through the channel leaving endless wakes behind them. I situated myself on the Bayonne Bridge waiting for the tugs to cross paths with the sun and hoped no one would call the police.
A walk between Soho and Chinatown
The day is crisp and the street venders are doing good business under a bright blue sky. There is fresh fruit from everywhere, some I have never seen before and some I cannot even pronounce.
A 6 mile walk from Port Richmond to St. George
From harbor to hills and back down again I wander without purpose yet find what I need.
An 8 mile walk along the Kill van Kull
Even though this was not my first trip here it surely seemed like it. Almost nothing was recognizable to me though it seemed that little had changed here in some time. Of course my last trip had been on a sweltering summer afternoon and today was Christmas Eve. As people left work early to spend time with their families I was left in peace to rummage in the muck.
A 5 mile walk from Park Slope to Brooklyn Heights
These residential neighborhoods that stretch across Brooklyn are so filled with trees that pure geometries are a noticeable aberration.
A ramble in New Brighton
Depending on the light the mountains of rock salt that await winter’s snow and ice can reflect an infinite number of hues. In the right conditions they can even be mistaken for volcanoes.
A walk from Union Square to Soho
Green markets seem a magnet for photographers. I can never pass though one without noticing pictures being taken. I come to Union Square often but shoot very little. Perhaps I’m more interested in the fresh produce.
A 6 mile loop between St. George and Snug Harbor
The yard was hideous the lighting was bad. I snapped the shot and hoped that I would never have to explain why.
A five mile walk from Central Park to Times Square
I doubt so few acres anywhere have been photographed by professional and tourist alike as the southeast corner of Central Park. But the variables of light and changing seasons insure that each passing hour will bring forth a landscape born anew.
A walk from Times Square to the Village on Halloween Night
I don’t know what I was doing trying to photograph a parade at night without using high speed film but there I was. As I couldn’t shoot anything to my satisfaction I gave up my spot to wander about the side streets. On or off the parade route the spirit in the air was joyous.
A Downtown ramble
There does not seem to be a spec of dust in the air today. The light is so sharp and clear that every reflective surface glows.
A 5 mile walk from Central Park to Union Square
The Chrysler Building has always been allusive for me. Other landmarks appear over and over again in my backgrounds but the Chrysler is not to be found. Even a day like today when I have made an effort to seek it out, compositions come hard as the light of day remains uncooperative.
A ramble in Flushing
Once the end of the line defined a difference between small town living and the goings on in the distant city. Now its just another train stop. There is an attempt by urban planners to spread out the City’s center into residential communities. What they overlook is that these place grew in the first place because the people here did not want to live in an urban environment, they are not deprived of urbanization.
A 7 mile walk from Hunters Point to Williamsburg.
There is often a strange beauty in the ugliest of things.
A Midtown ramble
There was a time when developers considered any lot with a building under four stories on it as vacant. Now whole skyscrapers come and go so fast that I just notice the empty space without being able to remember what once stood there. This is a city where immortals die.
A 5 mile walk from Hunters Point to Williamsburg
My ambitions for the day were sorely tested by the heat. I may have returned home earlier had I not been wandering about without a clear picture in my mind as to where I was.
A 6 mile walk from Sunnyside to Central Park
Construction work had temporarily eliminated a long stretch of fencing on the Queensboro Bridge. It was liberating to have an unobstructed view from a height. We have become a world of unfriendly fences.
A walk from Union to Times Square
While I can always logically decipher what I am looking at, there are always those parts of the City that take on the air of the unreal. Today I could be in Felinni’s Sytirican.
A short Downtown ramble
One of the arguments made against creating Central Park was that on an island such as Manhattan, ringed with beaches, parks just were not needed. Today with miles of bulkheads and seawalls separating us from the water, it is easy to forget that this island is not a man made entity. Thanks to the low tide today I was reminded of what an island truly is.
A loop between Coney Island and Brighton Beach
Coney Island is about a lot more than rides. There are the eats and the signs and the general slapped together look of it all.
A walk across Long Island City on the Fourth of July
Security was tight, I had to show identification to police before they would even let me walk down a public street to the waterfront. I had hoped to find a spot where the Manhattan skyline could be used as a backdrop but the crowds were so thick I could barely see over their heads. Any lesser known nook or cranny that I may have wandered off to was blocked and guarded. I did not accomplish anything that I set out to do but I was still more than impressed by the fireworks. Just fill in all the cliches and they were there.
A ramble about Coney Island
The Mermaid Parade this year was full of life. I had left the crowds on the street to experience it more intimately from the Boardwalk. It is as much festival as parade, which is no doubt why I like it as much as I do.
A Midtown ramble
I no longer recognize half of midtown’s skyscrapers or have any inkling to when they were built. A forty or fifty story tower has little consequence here.
Copyright 2009 Alan Petrulis All Rights Reserved