Tim and I only had a very short amount of time to spend in NYC when we visited in October. It was incredible that we were able to squeeze it in at all considering our ridiculous itinerary, but a sojourn to the city was essential. We stayed for two nights in an apartment in Brooklyn, walked across the amazing Brooklyn Bridge and spent our one full day in the city soaking it all in.
We didn’t visit a single museum or art gallery. We barely did any shopping. We just walked and walked (and photographed) and walked and occasionally I took some video on my Nikon D800.
I bought my first manual focus lens while I was in the US (the Rokinon 35mm f/1.4) and used it to shoot most of the video I took in NYC. I was shooting for practice mostly, but when I got home I realised I had a series of really cool clips that gave a sort of snapshot of the day we spent in the city. The end result isn’t a comprehensive picture of everything we did (sooo many things I didn’t think to shoot!) but it still captures the essence of our time there. And as long as you don’t mind a little bit of camera shake à la Blair Witch Project from my heavy camera rig you might like it too!
The video begins with a long scene shot just outside the Flatiron Building. It was very late at night (past midnight, I think?), we were tired and happy, and I was seeing the Flatiron for the first time in my life. All the accompanying photos in this post were shot from the point where I shot this opening footage.
Watch this in HD if you can.
(There were a lot of butts in that video, right? Sorry / You’re Welcome, whichever applies to you.)
A few of the clips from that video invoke memories for me that words could never completely explain. Like the dejected-looking Cookie Monster of Times Square, or the intimacy between the two men with the sneakers who were waiting for their slice of cheesecake at the deli. The rapper filming himself in the middle of the road, the student/teacher conversation at the bakery, and the interaction of The Naked Cowboy with the 14-year-old girls. Lip-readers might have fun with that clip.
And by stripping away some of the city noise from these clips I felt like I was left with a truer sense of the pace of the city, as I experienced it. Before my first trip to NYC I imagined it to be crazier, noisier, dirtier, scarier. I didn’t know how wide the streets and pavement would be, and that so many buildings weren’t skyscrapers. Instead the city felt welcoming to me and I instantly felt at ease there.
I know that so much has changed in the city in the past 10 years and that it wasn’t always as liveable or safe as it is right now. I understand that I’ve always stuck to the parts of the city where I am unlikely to run into trouble, and that it helps to have my Americano by my side.
I just don’t think I could ever, ever get tired of visiting this place and surrendering to its rhythm. I secretly hope we can live there someday, even for a year.
Want to see more posts about our stay in NYC? Here they are:
FAO Schwarz – Fifth Avenue NYC
Central Park, NYC
Strawberry Fields, Central Park NYC
Giant bubbles at Bethesda Fountain, Central Park NYC
The lights of Times Square, NYC
Streets of NYC
My next post will take you to Boston.