Within of my favorite places, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, I recently discovered the reinvigorated Native Flora Garden. I found it to be an incredible escape from thejangle of life in New York City. Brookyn’s three million human inhabitants so often get the upper hand and it is easy to forget that we are not alone in the city. This garden is cool and quiet and ripe with life, the perfect respite on a busy summer day.
Over the past 15 years, I have been primarily interested in documenting city life both at home in New York and abroad. Parks and green spaces within urban areas have also been a frequent theme in my photography. However, last fall I began taking some photography classes that have encouraged me to expand my repertoire. These experiences have encouraged me to look up, down, and sideways for the unexpected within the city’s confines, for happy accidents that create interesting visual imagery.
Here are a few of my recent photographic experiments. I hope you enjoy them!
I tend to wax poetic in my posts about New York City. Today I will not cover art, music, dance or culture. I will simply share some photos taken with my Samsung Galaxy 7 camera while enduring an extra long wait for the bus in Brooklyn. Waiting, after all, is part of contemporary life, especially for urbanites.
A few of Vik Muniz’s “characters,” or people seen riding the subway, from actual photos
The dawn of a new year has brought considerable excitement to residents of Manhattan’s storied Upper East Side, to Q line subway riders (myself included), to transit enthusiasts, and to admirers of public and contemporary art (me again!).
Glass encased station entrance
Inside a sparking new station
The multi-billion Second Avenue Subway project, decades in the making, opened with a bang on New Years Day 2017, debuting a reconfigured 63rd and Lexington Avenue Station, and three bright and spacious new stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street and Second Avenue, all serviced by the Q train.
It’s not often that we New Yorkers feel good about our subway stations, but what I saw blew me away. I won’t go into great detail*, as much has already been written, but will share some images of the permanent art on display.
Over the last 20+ years, commissioned public art has become much more commonplace in the City’s transit hubs. The art is usually added to rehabilitated stations. This time, the art and the stations where designed with each other in mind and the result is stunning!
Sarah Sze’s monumental “Blueprint for a Landscape” at the 96th Street station
Some of the murals and mosaics can be viewed by simply entering the stations before one reaches the turnstiles, like this one, by Chuck Close.
To see all of the art work, one can pay only $2.75, ride up to 96th Street, and then visit each stop: 86th, 72nd and 63rd on the way back downtown. There’s no need to pay $25 to visit a local art museum!
The slideshow below features images by Chuck Close at the 86th Street Station
Kudos to all who worked to complete these stations. They are worth a visit!
A few unusual and colorful roads run parallel through Brooklyn’s diverse beach communities. Brooklyn’s beaches occupy a small jetty of land that runs three or four miles east to west, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Sheepshead Bay, Jamaica Bay and Coney Island Creek to the north east.
The pictures that follow were taken along Oriental Boulevard, Brighton Beach Avenue and Shore Parkway. I hope that they capture some of the great diversity of life in these communities.
A walk around New York’s Lower East Side and East Village never disappoints. Surprises abound. Perhaps the most surprising for me during a recent walk there is that in the midst of constant change, gentrification and “progress”, there are some locals clearly on a quest to remain the same. Old New York lives on through their businesses–this is no easy task in our city.
In addition the places shown below, my quest took me to a Polish butcher shop, two antiques stores and past an old Dairy Restaurant, so named for it’s adherence to Kosher provisions regarding serving dairy and meat products in the same area.
My trusty mobile phone has recorded some of my summer adventures to date this year. They are grouped by borough, first up are images from Manhattan, then Queens and Brooklyn. I hope that they begin to convey the diversity of activities that New York City has to offer in the warmer months.
Performers at the Rubin Museum’s Block Party
A New Mural on 6th Avenue
The Rubin Museum drew large crowds for its Block Party and open house
Dancing on a Pier in the West Village
And Now Dancing in Long Island City Queens
Dancers with Manhattan as a Backdrop
Sundown as seen from Long Island City
A Thunderstorm Looms Over Queens
The Rose Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Cooling Off at a Brooklyn Beach
Weekend Fireworks at Coney Island
Americana Glore at a Brooklyn Cyclones Game
Enjoying a Sea Lion Show at the New York Aquarium, Coney Island
The magic of the annual Dance Parade lies in its diversity and inclusiveness. Performers of dance traditions from around the world travel from all corners of the USA to troop their colors and celebrate their traditions with New Yorkers. A large swath of downtown yields to this colorful onslaught of energy and spirit.
In my humble opinion, the parade is a national treasure, the best free entertainment available and a means of opening the eyes of thousands to new cultures.
Here are some shots of children dancing down Union Square West in the Parade.
Demonstrating that men dance too, here are some powerful male performers.
Strong, beautiful women of all kinds shined as well.
Long live the New York City Dance Parade and Festival!