As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Monthly Archives: May 2012
We’ve all heard it. New Yorkers are rude. New Yorkers have an attitude…they don’t care. Rude? Well yes, that can happen. Don’t care? Not in a second.
Just within the past 24 hours two incidents confirmed New Yorkers do care, a lot.
Heading up Broadway on just an ordinary day in the city…People not moving fast enough, high humidity, irritability at an all time high, you get the picture. Suddenly an elderly woman stops in the middle of the crosswalk. And in slow motion she starts to collapse and several of us jump in to hold her up. She was heavy and I mean really heavy. Not obese, just heavy from not having the capability to stand on her own. Let me tell you…within seconds we probably had ten people assisting us. People running out of their stores to help, bringing a chair for her to sit down, a person calling 911, a young man purchasing a bottle of cold water from a street vendor. Within minutes paramedics arrived and took over. I’ve never witnessed anything like it. People stopped. People of all ages and walks of life wanted to help. People cared.
Walking in the Hell’s Kitchen area after attending a photography seminar, there was a sense that someone was walking my pace. I can’t really explain it other than I’m always aware of my surroundings and this time I could sense something unusual. Within a split second this guy moves in front of me, holds up his iPhone and begins to take photos of me about a foot in front of my face. We’d progress forward and he would stay at my pace making sure he stopped at the crosswalk just to keep a few feet in front of me. At that point I’d purposely slowed, making sure he didn’t get behind me. This went on for a few blocks until we met up again. Once again he turned quickly to see if I was there and our eyes locked. Within a second I held up my camera and tried to photograph him, but it all happened too fast and the end result…well this is what I got.
While waiting for the “don’t walk” sign to change, a man standing beside me looked over and in a very genuine way asked me if I was feeling uncomfortable because of this guy, as he had seen the camera phone episode as well. Not uncomfortable, not scared, just a creepy feeling. We chatted for a second and he walked beside me for the next couple of blocks. We both watched as this guy made his way down the steps heading to the subway. The nice man looked at me and said, “have a nice day” and continued walking. This man cared. (And to the weirdo…I hope you enjoy your photos dude.)
So just for the record, don’t believe what people say – New Yorkers do care! Now rudeness, that’s a different story and one for another time!
Week six of Bella’s 52 photo projects, looking for light…
Captured on a walk along the Hudson River at sunset…
makes you wonder where these objects came from…
where they’ve been…
just floating along in life…
Embarrassing to admit…but in all the previous years, yours truly has been a major contributor to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day. But that changed a few days ago after meeting another kindred spirit who loves NYC and photography. She’s attended and captured the celebration at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial for the past three years. “Would love to have you join me if you can.” Well that only took a second for me to say, YES!
Hoping to wake up to an overcast day, well…it wasn’t meant to be. Full sun, no breeze and let me tell you…hot as hell even in the early morning. You know the kind of heat with high humidity that makes your make-up run down your face, your clothes stick between your crack, your camera lens fog up…yep, that kind of heat.
So let’s start with location. A short walk from my apartment building is the Memorial. One of thousands of reasons why this city is so incredible is its history. Not a history buff at all, but boy do I love to look and experience it. In 1900 the monument was built to pay homage to those who served and gave their lives in the Civil War.
The service was attended by all ages…all walks of life…many dressed for the occasion.
(Many in wool and flannel!)
My heart went out to those in uniform. Did I mention it was hot as hell?
This year’s observance focused on “The Return” by recognizing the immense sacrifices of the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to signify our support for them and their families in the adjustment to civilian life. Two of the many speakers really captured my attention. Captain Justine Cabulong, an Afghan veteran and Commander Laura Bender, Chaplain for the Wounded Warrior Regiment. Both spoke about the return to civilian life and the struggles involved.
Lots of music…the Scottish pipes, playing of the taps, and a beautiful voice singing America the Beautiful…each stirred the emotions in me…
Yes, it was hot…but I wouldn’t have traded the morning service for anything…a day for remembering and honoring those who served our country.
Before closing, a few days ago I shared this photo from my visit to the 9/11 Memorial.
Time was found during the weekend to research Ann Marie Riccoboni. Whether it’s a park bench memorial plaque or a memorial such as this, it’s important to me to learn about the person captured in my photography, if I can. A summary from an article found on the web:
Ann Marie Riccoboni, 58, of Astoria was a billings supervisor at Ohrenstein & Brown on the 85th floor of the north tower. Her remains were recovered within six months.
Sept. 11 was her birthday, and her family tried to talk her into skipping work that day. But she wouldn’t hear of it. “She loved her job,” said her daughter and “She loved working in the Twin Towers.” After she returned to work shortly after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, people would ask her if she was worried, but she would tell them, “I stop every day at the church and say a prayer. Whatever happens, happens.”
Oh how my heart goes out to all of these families who have lost their love ones…may we honor the memory of each and everyone of them.
For those of you who know me, I mean really know me…you know that I don’t cook. Which makes this post even more hysterical! You see, it’s scary when I turn on the stove and I have no clue about the microwave, except thank God there’s a popcorn button.
So the world needs to know that I made kale chips which involved a stove (!!) AND (wait there’s more!) I invented a new h’ordeuvre that is delightful and so easy! No photos yet on that little creation, but maybe soon. I hate taking photos of food, but felt since this was such a monstrous occasion it deserved at least one capture just to document it! I’m also making jambalaya this week too. I know, I know! CRAZY!!!
P.S. There are way too many “I” this and “I” that in this post, but you’ll just have to deal with it!
P.S.S. I’m sure there will be Jambalya stories so stay tuned!
P.S.S.S. To be totally honest it took two tries for the kale chips. The first one had too much olive oil. Stupid recipe.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
Life Seeking Life
(This is a series of posts on Jan Phillips’ book, God is at Eye Level, Photography as a Healing Art.
For an intro check out the first post here.)
It’s been a whirlwind these last couple of weeks with girlfriends visiting and a road trip to Vermont! Time to get back on track with a chapter review from Jan Phillips’ book. If you’re new to this series, see below to catch up!
Directly under the chapter title Life Seeking Life is the first quote by Gretel Erlich… To see and know a place is a contemplative act. It means emptying our minds and letting what is there in all its multiplicity and endless variety come in. Wow, my mind immediately went to last week’s visit to the 9-11 memorial. This was my second visit and was just as emotional as the first. How can one not think about the sheer horror of that day as you approach the waterfalls and reflection pools where the towers once stood. The surrounding atmosphere was quiet, serene, orderly and mindful. This was exactly what Erlich and Phillips talks about in this chapter…letting what is there in, at that very moment. Feeling the moment, not just seeing. And as a photographer it made me realize this is exactly what my goal should be each and every time my finger pushes the shutter release of my camera. It all came together for me.
As I headed to the far corner of the memorial to get an overall view of the area, a comment from a photography class instructor came to mind. Show me something I haven’t seen before… While I appreciate what he meant, it was while reading this chapter that I was reminded once again why I’m taking photos. She writes about listening to those voices who say they are authorities, who say it must be done this way or that way. And if we aren’t careful, we’ll start to believe them. So I needed this smack upside the head to remind me as Jan so well articulates…The real thing about photography is that it brings you home to yourself, connects you to those things that fulfill your deepest longings. When we come to photography fully alive, and in the act of photographing, connect with the life force of what is before us, our images contain some of that vitality. Even reading and typing these words makes me have goose bumps when my thoughts return to the memorial. Yes, these photos are just like so many others that you will see of the 9-11 memorial, but they are mine and they reflect what I felt at that moment. Thanks Jan for that reminder, and this chapter couldn’t have come at a better time.
Next up: Chapter Ten – God is at Eye Level
Joining in for the very first time? Catch up on the previous chapters!
Chapter One – Through the Eyes of a Child
This is why I love NYC so much!
This is week five of Bella’s 52 photo projects.
We were instructed to look for pink and she said “anything goes!”
Who doesn’t love a man in uniform? Well NYC will be filled with them this week as it celebrates another year of Fleet Week to honor the sailors and marines who serve our country. Seems this year is even more special as it celebrates the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812! But in all honesty, what always captures my attention is the water show compliments of FDNY!
Last year, without realizing there was such an annual event, I just happened to stumble across the warships as they made their way up the Hudson River towards the George Washington Bridge. (See post here.) This year I was able to witness the parade of tall ships which was just as exciting! Now that I’ve researched further, next year a cruise to witness the entire event up close and personal along side the ships will be on the must-do list!
So much to see and do, so little time!
Walking the streets in an area of Brooklyn called DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Underpass…I always find myself drawn towards a particular block filled with street graffiti!
Just can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked around Union Square in NYC and wondered what the heck this smoking thing was all about. So curiosity got the best of me and I finally looked it up. Good ol’ google to the rescue!
Looks like we have a couple of incredible artists Kristin Jones and Andew Ginzel working together since 1985 on many private and public commissioned projects. After reading more about their works, it seems they’re all over NYC, the United States and the world! Who knew?
Now what I also didn’t know was that at noon and midnight the hole erupts with a huge plume of steam that is accompanied by an explosion of sound like a noonday whistle or a public clock that marks the time. Cool! I guess I’d never been in the area at those exact times to hear it. Every component from the brick, the gold leaf, the massive piece of bedrock, the thin long cone, the hand sticking out…they all have meaning and a reference to time. You can read more about this particular project called the Metronome here. The burning bunghole is just a portion of the exhibit. So fun!
P.S. I didn’t come up with “burning bunghole.” Just happened to come across the term and thought how fitting! No pun intended. <smile!>