Archive for the ‘New York (City)’ Category

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.

© 2015. Jeff (and a bird) outside the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Catherine and me, at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Foliage on the High Line in New York City. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. View from the High Line in New York City. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Jeff, and Dewey Beach. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Jeff and his beloved Thrasher’s French Fries, at Dewey Beach. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Corning Museum of Glass. Pentax 6×7.

© 2015. Corning Museum of Glass. Photo by Jeff. Pentax 6×7.

© 2015. George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y. Pentax 6×7.

© 2015. Niagara Falls, N.Y. Pentax 6×7.

© 2015. Flora. Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pentax 6×7.

© 2015. Mom ran a 5k, 10k and half-marathon in two days for a “hat trick” in the Runner’s Half Marathon and Festival in Bethlehem. Mamiya C220.

© 2015. Mom and me with farm-fresh vegetables from Goldfinch Farm’s CSA. Mamiya C220.

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© 2015. Jeff and Vera, after a quick breakfast from Russ & Daughters on East Houston Street in New York City.

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© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State players enter the field from the first-base dugout for warmups before the New Era Pinstripe Bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, at Yankee Stadium.

One does not simply cover a bowl game.

At least, not if you’re The York Daily Record.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State head football coach James Franklin tours the field at Yankee Stadium ahead of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

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.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State head football coach James Franklin and Boston College coach Steve Addazio listen to a question at a coaches’ press conference at Yankee Stadium on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. Penn State plays Boston College tomorrow in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl Bowl in Yankee Stadium.

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:

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State alumni Kayla Nakonechni of Scranton and John Tecce of Downington, center, stand in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree for a photo on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, in New York City. Tecce graduated in 2012, while Nakonechni just graduated in a December commencement ceremony.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State fans Scott Yorty of Bloomsburg, left, and Zach Stike of Suffolk, Va., center, walk into Johnny Utah’s for a happy hour hosted by the Nittany Lion Club and the Penn State Alumni Association on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, in New York City.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Peggy Rehill of State College is the first person to ride the mechanical bull at a happy hour hosted by the Nittany Lion Club and the Penn State Alumni Association at Johnny Utah’s in New York City on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. From left, Penn State fans Beth Bevan of Tunkhannock, Pa., Nathan Cartwright of Los Angeles, Calif., Bevan’s husband Bill Berholtz and Berholtz’s daughter Sarah, 15, shout the “We are” chant at their tailgate in a Bronx parking lot nearby Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State fan Dave Hennon of Pittsburgh checks his phone outside Stan’s Sports Bar on River Avenue toward Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Boston College cheerleaders walk down River Avenue toward Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday news. A portrait of New York Yankee legends Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hangs on a wall behind Penn State cheerleaders as they rally up a crowd inside Yankee Stadium before the team’s arrival on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State head football coach James Franklin tours the field at Yankee Stadium ahead of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014.

© 2014 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin escapes a tackle by Boston College’s Manuel Asprilla in the first half of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl game on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, at Yankee Stadium.


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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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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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