Late last summer and early fall, we took a number of short trips: New York City, Rochester, Niagara, Corning, Rehoboth Beach, Bethlehem. Wherever I went, so did a few rolls of Portra 400 and either the Mamiya or Pentax. I’ve been sitting on these scans from Film Box Lab (which is now closed) for far too long now. Enjoy.
Archive for the ‘New York (City)’ Category
One does not simply cover a bowl game.
At least, not if you’re The York Daily Record.
In the weeks and days ahead of the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, I was involved in one formal planning meeting and at least a half-dozen informal others. The main points were these:
- It’s Penn State’s first bowl game in three seasons, following the NCAA’s lifting the sanctions enacted after the Sandusky scandal erupted, so this game is important for the players and the fans.
- It’s in New York City, which is weird because bowl games are usually played in nice, warm places, but New York is also iconic, so pictures of Penn Staters — who usually tailgate in the rolling hills of rural, central Pennsylvania — wandering or partying in the concrete jungle are paramount.
- It’s my first bowl game to cover for the paper, so it’s crucial I’m on my A-game.
To be fair, the third point was never actually uttered, but it stood.
So, the day after Christmas, writers Frank and Lizi and I boarded the Amtrak to Penn Station, and got to work immediately upon our arrival in Manhattan. The only chances we had for relaxation and/or exploration were in the late evenings after we finished work on Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday morning before we departed for home. We made the most of these limited opportunities, and had a nice Roman-Jewish dinner, a hoppin’ late-night Korean dinner and a hearty Sunday brunch.
(The Korean dinner was particularly memorable: Not only was it weird and delicious, it also followed an unintentional 12-hour fast during which I was so busy covering festivities, the game and the celebration that I didn’t have time to eat anything, including the provided meal for media.)
As for the actual festivities, game and celebration? Check out some pictures:
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?
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.
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.
I also may or may not have had my camera pressed up against my face as we walked off to find a Chinese bakery.
Just a couple of more New York City entries before I’m done blogging about this trip!
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.
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.
The night of Monday, July 25, was the best. I have wonderful friends.
New York can be very colorful.
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.
I’d never been to Coney Island until this recent trip to New York City.
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.
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:
More photos to come.
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.
Let me tell you: This was the first and only time I wished I’d had a tripod with me on the trip.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
90ish days of summer
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.
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.
90ish days of summer
Our plan had to change when we were done with Wall Street just after noon.
So we went to 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.
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.
90ish days of summer
I really love black-and-white film.
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.
After a quick stop at a Bank of America and a Borders bookstore on Broadway, we went down Wall Street. Be still my heart.