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Archive for the ‘New York (City)’ Category

Jeff was burrowing around last week and found three rolls of undeveloped 35mm film in a cookie tin. (There were several unexposed rolls in there as well.) So I took them to get developed. One is a Fuji roll he shot during our 2010 spring break trip to the Santa Fe region of New Mexico; another Fuji roll is from his Dec. 2009 visit to Houston.

The Ilford XP2 Super roll is from our Feb. 2012 trip to New York City — a trip whose digital pictures I never blogged, and whose film frames I never saw ’til now.

Along the lines of an earlier post about how I had a bad habit of wasting film, I was pretty disenchanted with the frames on that black-and-white roll: Too many frames where I shot something just for the sake of depressing that shutter button and advancing the film. Like I wrote before, I’m working now to make pictures, with film, that mean something to me, which typically means they need to be of people I care about. That roll from New York City is a good reminder of what I as a photographer should never do again.

But here’re two frames that I do like from that roll. Obviously, I shot one and Jeff shot the other. Can you tell who shot which?

© 2012. This was shot on 400 ASA Ilford XP2 Super, so you can imagine what the shutter speed was.

© 2012.

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This is the last of the New York City blog posts (from my three-day trip in July), and boy, it was a long time coming.

I’d shot Times Square at f/1.4, then switched back to a more functional aperture, then switched back to f/1.4 for a few more shots in Chinatown. Here they are.

© 2011.

© 2011.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I love a good Chinatown. Strangely, so does my mom. I guess it runs in the family.

My Uncle Doug is a living, breathing Urbanspoon, so we always refer to him when we want to know where we should eat for various types of cuisine in New York City. A few hours before I left New York, he led us through the crowded sidewalks of Manhattan’s Chinatown and to an excellent Chinese restaurant, where I was too hungry and greedy eager to bother taking food photos. Sorry, y’all.

© 2011. Departing Big Wing Wong restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown after eating lunch there. From left to right: my Uncle Doug, my brother, me and my Uncle Arthur.

I also may or may not have had my camera pressed up against my face as we walked off to find a Chinese bakery.

© 2011.

Just a couple of more New York City entries before I’m done blogging about this trip!

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I’m not sure why, but when we were in Times Square on Tuesday morning, I decided to open my lens up all the way. f/1.4, baby.

Unfortunately — and I did already know this — the Canon 50/1.4 lens is not sharp at f/1.4. I usually shoot it at f/2.8, at which the sharpness is usually great. But I guess that morning in Times Square, I didn’t give a damn and decided to try shooting at f/1.4. Sure enough, the photos aren’t quite sharp, but I don’t mind. The narrow depth of field and lack of absolute sharpness make Times Square seem almost dreamy.

© 2011. The pedestrian-friendliness of Times Square will never strike me as normal.

© 2011. Body art by Andy Golub.

I continued shooting at f/1.4 for most of the rest of that last day in the city. You’ll see a few of those shots soon.

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The night of Monday, July 25, was the best. I have wonderful friends.

© 2011. Control Room 1A during NBC's broadcast of "Nightly News with Brian Williams" in the Rockefeller Center. Dexter, a fellow 2010 Poynter College Fellow, gave us an extended tour.

© 2011. Veniero's Pasticceria and Caffé, where my mom, brother and I met Lisa - a 2011 Poynter College Fellow - for amazing dessert and amazing conversation.

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© 2011. July 25: My uncle's espresso at l laboratorio del gelato, on Houston Street, after our lunch at Katz's Delicatessen.

© 2011. July 25: My mom's bowl of ramen at Ramen Setagaya on St. Marks Place, for dinner.

© 2011. My dinner at Ramen Setagaya: A bowl of edamame.

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NYC (V): Red

New York can be very colorful.

© 2011. Doorway on E. 8th Street.

© 2011. The one and only Katz's Delicatessen.

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…it’s a helluva town.

© 2011. July 25: A storefront window on W. 14th Street.

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The week before we met in New York City, my mom said she wanted to see the High Line. I immediately became excited.

Here’s why: The last time I was in New York City, it was 2009, the High Line had just been opened and, at the Washington Post Digital office, I’d just edited a photo gallery about a woman who lived right next to the High Line and who sang cabaret from her balcony to the park visitors below. So when Jeff and I visited New York City that July, we wanted to see the cabaret. Since her website and Facebook page were still in development, I emailed her to find out when the next show was.

Turned out, we wouldn’t have been able to make it. We were slightly crestfallen.

This time around, I was again slightly crestfallen when my mom made the executive decision that we would walk the High Line on Monday morning. At 9 a.m. Certainly, as Jeff noted, we would not be hearing any cabaret.

As such, I will return to the High Line next time I’m in New York City. And I will go at night. But in the meantime, here’s a slew of photos from our 9 a.m. foray from W. 30th Street all the way down to Gansevoort.

© 2011. Grasslands!

© 2011.

© 2011. A canvas of urban art?

© 2011. My younger brother, being my younger brother.

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I’d never been to Coney Island until this recent trip to New York City.

© 2011. My younger brother, waiting for the sidewalk and my frame to clear before posing for a photo.

It was our first outing upon my arrival in the city — my mom and brother had arrived the day before — and it was a sweltering hot day. None of us had thought to bring swimsuits or towels, so our options were limited to Nathan’s and the boardwalk. I was fine with that: It was too hot to wait in line for the rides or to do anything but eat at Nathan’s, walk around and then eat mango-on-a-stick and Italian ice.

© 2011.

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Three of my four uncles live in New York City, and my mom, brother and other uncle (and his wife and daughter) came up to visit last weekend. So I took the train over there and joined them for a few days.

It was my first time taking the train — as in, a train that’s not public transportation — which freaked me out at first. But despite some delays on my return trip, I think I prefer rail over air. Much less hassle, and far more relaxing. The extra leg room is nice, too.

Some pictures from my train ride and one of the first subway rides we took over the weekend:

© 2011. Lancaster Amtrak station.

© 2011. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, between Lancaster and Philadelphia.

© 2011. Approaching 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

© 2011. Lexington Ave./63rd Street station.

© 2011. F train from Lexington Ave./63rd Street station to Coney Island.

More photos to come.

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Summer in the city

After Jeff and I ate at Grimaldi’s, we went to the waterfront off of Old Fulton Street to catch the fading light over the East River.

Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge at night.

Let me tell you: This was the first and only time I wished I’d had a tripod with me on the trip.

Brooklyn Bridge.

We left the waterfront, wandered to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, got a little lost in Brooklyn while looking for a bus stop and finally made it back to Manhattan via subway.

Then we took the midnight ride on the Staten Island Ferry.

Panoramic composite of several images.

Of course, we took the ferry right back to Manhattan, and then the M15 back up to my uncle’s apartment in the Lenox area of upper Manhattan.

And that was the end of our first full day in New York City.

Check out a few more photos I didn’t post here!

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Summer in the city

After Jeff and I took never-before-taken photos of our walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, we went to Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is part of the DUMBO (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) area.

My version of an oft-taken photo of the Manhattan Bridge.

My version of an oft-taken photo of the Manhattan Bridge.

We spent some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park, where we rested our feet near the East River and saw a photographer take photos of a wedding party. Then we left to get in line for a little pizza place called Grimaldi’s.

The Grimaldi's proprietor holds the door for an exiting customer. This is probably my favorite of all the photos I took on this trip. Actually, it's probably my favorite of all the photos I took last summer. I love the gritty graininess of the film, and the motion blur, and the tiled letters, and the brick, and the mood.

We waited at least an hour in line outside the restaurant before we were seated inside the cramped pizzeria. New York City has its fair share of tourist traps with long waiting lines, but quite a few of the customers willing to brave the line were locals. And the pizza, which is baked in a coal-fired brick oven, was completely worth it.

Check out a few more photos I didn’t post in this entry.

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90ish days of summer

A favorite inside joke Jeff and I had during our three-day stay in the Big Apple was: “Nobody’s ever taken this photo before!”

This was a particularly frequent utterance while we were walking the Brooklyn Bridge toward Brooklyn.

We were being completely sarcastic. These photos have been taken before, by thousands if not millions of other people who have visited the same places we did.

Manhattan skyline.

Check out some more photos I didn’t post in this entry.

Coming up next: DUMBO… also known as, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

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90ish days of summer

After our encounter with Edwardo Alvarado in the Times Square station, Jeff and I had a pretty chill time on our way to and at Columbia University.

The typical college kid thing -- you know, playing Frisbee in front of Butler Library.

Why leave lower Manhattan and make such a big detour to Columbia if our next stop was the Brooklyn Bridge? Well, we still had time to kill, and I remembered enjoying my time on campus when I was there for the Columbia for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association‘s Gold Circle Awards with five other staffers of my high school newspaper.

Low Library, back in March 2004 when my high school newspaper adviser took six of us staffers to New York City. This photo was taken with a really crappy disposable film camera.

That was a really great trip. I had joined the newspaper staff at the beginning of the schoolyear and loved it more than anything. It was also my first out-of-town trip without my parents, which was liberating and wonderful. It’s no exaggeration to say that I felt a lot better and more confident about myself after spending a week in New York City with some of my favorite people.

Now, of course, I’m a bit out of touch with them. A few months ago, I e-mailed everyone on the trip to see how they were doing, but no one has replied. I’m wondering, especially because each of us were particularly passionate and eventually became editors on the paper, if anyone else in the group is still pursuing journalism as I am.

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90ish days of summer

Our plan, after hitting up lower Manhattan and Wall Street, was to cross the Brooklyn Bridge by foot, eat dinner in that borough and return to Manhattan after dark.

Our plan had to change when we were done with Wall Street just after noon.

So we went to Little Italy.

Touching up Marilyn Monroe, in Little Italy.

We walked around, thought about having a second lunch (we’d bought food earlier from the vendor with the longest line on Wall Street), decided against it, had gelato instead and then — upon realizing we still had at least three hours to kill before going to Brooklyn — took the train uptown for a detour to Columbia University.

Pretty big detour.

As we were changing subway lines in Times Square station, we heard the strangest music.

Edwardo Alvarado.

It was a wizened man on a keyboard. Whatever he was playing sounded like something you’d hear while on an animatronics ride in Disney World — it was lively, fast-paced and not something anyone would put on the radio.

The man was Prof. Edwardo Alvarado, and Jeff and I looked him up after we returned from the Big Apple. We found a Village Voice article about Alvarado, complete with Alvarado’s background and how he became a sanctioned performer with Music Under New York. We also found a video story by the Associated Press:

(You should really check out the video — this music is not to be missed.)

Not bad for half a day in New York City… so far.

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90ish days of summer

I really love black-and-white film.

Cops on Broadway.

I’ve said it before: Black-and-white film just lends this beautiful quality to any modern situation. It’s almost something of a throwback effect. The motorcycle and NYPD car in the above photo give away the fact that the exposure was taken within the past few years, but the black-and-white impart almost a quality of romantic timelessness. It’s beautiful.

At least, I’d like to think so.

Jeff and I continued our walking tour of lower Manhattan by taking Broadway to Wall Street. Lower Manhattan is basically a series of canyon-like streets. I hope nobody has plants in their office windows — the buildings are so tall and close together that any window-side plants probably get no more than a few hours of even indirect sunlight.

Not quite the Great White Way... at least, not this part of Broadway.

After a quick stop at a Bank of America and a Borders bookstore on Broadway, we went down Wall Street. Be still my heart.

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90ish days of summer

It’s fairly ridiculous how long it’s taken me to resume posting photos from my weekend in New York City last summer, but hey — at least it’s getting done, right?

I considered just producing a slideshow of all the photos and posting it on my Web site, once I’ve revamped and launched that. I’ll probably do that anyway. But the weekend can’t be summarized by merely a series of photos, so because I want to publish commentary and not simply extended captions, here’s the second of a few more New York City photo blog posts.

After hitting up Central Park on Aug. 7, Jeff and I took the subway to lower Manhattan and the financial district. Having strayed into economics dorkdom for a few months last year, I couldn’t resist not visiting this part of the Big Apple.

The directory inside the World Financial Center.

We also took a peek at Ground Zero.

This photo was taken at the only gap in the construction barriers that allowed any visibility straight into the construction zone.

I had visited Ground Zero the last time I was in New York, in 2004. I don’t remember much, but not much had been done by that point anyway.

Taken with a disposable film camera, from the deck of a lower Manhattan apartment building.

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90ish days of summer

As I have previously mentioned, Jeff and I escaped the clutches of the greater D.C. area to spend three days in New York City in the beginning of August.

Strawberry Fields in Central Park on Friday, Aug. 7.

We spent those three days seeing the sights, mostly in Manhattan and mostly through our camera viewfinders. Jeff had his D700; I had my 30D and Olympus OM-1.

Here’s the conundrum: I shot on black-and-white film. Which means I have color photos (from my 30D) as well as black-and-white. The color photos are wonderfully vibrant, whereas the black-and-white photos lend a more old-fashioned look at the city. Because of the different moods they present, I’ll post the color photos separately from the black-and-white photos.

But today, I’m starting out with a bit of each.

Our bus from D.C. arrived two blocks from the New York Times building. So of course we stopped by the NYT before doing anything else.

We arrived via bus in Manhattan on Thursday evening. After swinging by the New York Times building — no longer in Times Square — we dropped off our luggage at my uncle’s apartment in the Upper East Side and ate dinner at a small, nearby diner. Where I had homemade ravioli for the first time ever. It was incredible.

By the way, here’s a photo of fellow Review staffers and me at the New York Times building in 2004, back when it was still in Times Square. Did you know Times Square was named after The New York Times?

From left to right: Andrew (future business manager), Armin (future sports editor and managing editor), Mrs. van der Pol (adviser), me (future features editor and EIC), Chanel (future news editor), Morgan (future scrivener, features editor and managing editor) and Anna. As staff of our high school newspaper, we spent spring break in the city for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association conference.

Jeff and I started out the next morning (Friday, Aug. 7) at Central Park, which was only a few blocks from my uncle’s apartment. We didn’t spend that much time there, though — lower Manhattan and Brooklyn were calling our name. But of course we took some photos.

Panoramic view from the north end of the lake in Central Park West.

This will probably be the only entry with both color and black-and-white photos. I’ll be posting more photos over the next week or so. Stay tuned!

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90ish days of summer

ARLINGTON, Va. — Later this afternoon, Jeff and I are taking the bus up to New York City for a three-day weekend extravaganza in the Big Apple.

As was the case with our spring break roadtrip with Esten, we have a lot we want to do and see, but only so much time for everything. As was not the case with our spring break roadtrip, we’ve meticulously planned out EVERYTHING that we’re doing in New York — even down to the subway/bus/walking routes we’re using to get to where we need to be.

I haven’t been in New York since 2004, when my high school newspaper adviser took six of us young eager journalists there for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association‘s Gold Circle Awards. We spent spring break there and, as well as I can remember, stayed in Manhattan.

Before that, my mother has taken me to New York twice — once when I was probably four or five, and then again in 2001, three months before two planes flew into the World Trade Center and made their indelible mark on history and foreign policy. Each of those trips lasted at least a week.

Now, Jeff and I have three days to explore Central Park, wander Lower Manhattan and the financial district, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, take the Staten Island Ferry, visit the United Nations complex, walk along 42nd Street, take evening photos from the Top of the Rock, stroll around High Line Park, people-watch in Times Square, eat at Katz’s Deli (what did Sally order, anyway?), tour the Eldridge Street Synagogue and take a gander around Chinatown.

Ambitious? Probably a bit much. But we’ll make it work, and we’ll have the photos to prove it.

(Disclaimer: No promises on when you’ll get to see those photos. I still have yet to edit shots of the Capitol Building, the Basilica of the National Shrine, Eastern Market and our trip to the beach.)

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