I recently did a job in Brooklyn, NY. It was my first time in Brooklyn but not my first visit to New York; I always love visiting the city but only in infrequent bursts – I’m not a tourist anymore but never quite at home when I’m there. I think that’s a fine balance, as it keeps the intrigue alive but tramples away any unsaid fear of being in an unfamiliar location. New York *is *familiar to me, but not because I’ve visited enough or live only two hours away, but because of New York City itself.
There’s this intangible recognition whenever I think of NYC; be it because of cinema and how often you can find the Big Apple as the main locale – a character unto itself. Or because of how alive it always seems, or even perhaps the tragedies of 9/11 and the world-wide bond it solidified. Whatever your reason, mine is always the same: the experience.
Which is funny, because as a whole, I detest large metropolitans. You can definitely blame this completely justified attitude by my living in Philadelphia, PA for nearly thirty years, and having since left and gone suburban lifestyle, I honestly can say I *never *want to go back. I don’t mind visiting my family and friends, but living there for me is a thought I will no longer entertain. At least not for a long long time, if ever.
Anyway, my love for NYC is somewhat a surprise, given just how much I dislike cities; I have no problem, in fact I welcome wandering the busy, sometimes *insanely *busy, streets while I’m there. Street vendors, food carts – there’s so much to take and breathe in, and I revel in all of it. It’s easy to navigate, the subway system is damn near flawless and the FOOD. Don’t get me started on the food. Pizza is fine for me each and every time.
(Paused to take a shot of these Buddhist crystal necklaces, kind of sad I didn’t buy any. Especially that blue one!)
I had been to NYC/Manhattan plenty of times over the last fifteen years (my first visit was three months *after *9/11) but never Brooklyn. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but it simply never happened. But this weekend it finally did.
And I fell in love with it. The charm, the aesthetics, the toned-down hustle and bustle – it’s like a lighter version of Manhattan. Where you can barely cross the street in Times Square without being hit by ten cabs, or people, on the island, in Brooklyn this is not the case. There’s still that NYC vibe, that can’t-put-my-finger-on-it feeling where you just *know *you’re nearby to one of the greatest cities and yet, you’re happy to be where you are.
Of course I had to get THE shot while I was in Brooklyn, too. You know, the one that everyone takes, and I literally mean everyone. There were at least four dozen people with their cell phones or DSLRs set to snap, all trying to capture the same scene. And *yes, *I did, too. I’m not ashamed to admit there is a certain brilliance and beauty behind such a grandiose view – with the Empire State Building poised just below the bridge’s arch supports, it’s a damn fine sight.
I suggest everyone have a visit to the cross-section of Water and Washington streets – best to go around sunset, it’ll be packed with sightseers and tourists, but it’s a sight you won’t ever forget. Not long after that moment, the light began to fade, I finished my shoot, grabbed a slice with A and then we took the two hour drive home, sad to go but eager to get back sometime in the future.
It was a lovely, brief visit, like almost all of my times spent in NYC, but just like the others, a day I’m happy to have spent right where I was.
*Discussion: *Have you visited this modern engineering feat of a hotspot? If so, I’d love to see your photos!