So the inspiration for this trip came mostly from David Hobby’s training course on www.Linda.com titled The Travelling Photographer: New York. It was in large part responsible for the places I chose to visit. Its a fantastic course that I highly recommend It really made me want to explore and experience Manhattan and well travel in general.
The first thing that strikes you about this place in just the scale of things. I leave my hotel on Atlantic avenue and head straight into the subway on Fullerton. After a crash course in subway navigation from my niece I was off to Columbus circle to see Central Park. The subway system itself takes a while to wrap your head around. This has nothing to do with the scale more but just the beauty of the system. It works and it works so well. But I digress. When you get to the Columbus Circle exit the first thing that you see as you come out of the subway is this enormous gold edifice that stretched up and up to what seemed to be an impossible height. A tall building in Trinidad is like 20 stories max. It takes a while to train my neck to adjust to that angle because frankly I never had to look up that high before. The building was a Trump tower and it could easily be the centerpiece of any other city in the world except this one of course. In Manhattan it’s just another building. One tower a midst a forest of glass and steel that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. everything here is bigger, taller, faster, more expensive and more intense. Its just larger than life. My 1st stop off like I said was Central park which i expected be similar to our Queens park Savannah that we have in Trinidad and sure enough it was was pretty much that but bigger, with more ponds, with more trees, more lawn, more people, you get the idea. but it was beautiful though. this sea of green nature juxtaposed against the sudden rise of the steel glass and concrete of the rest of the city.
In my naivety I thought that I could get through Central Park in one day. I mean after all how big can it be right? Well you live and you learn as the saying goes because I barely scratched the surface and I was exhausted from walking. I actually didn’t realize how little of Central Park I had seen until I returned to Trinidad and imputed the GPS information from My Canon EOS 6D into Adobe Lightroom. It was embarrassing to be honest but even thought there was a lot more to see I think I saw a lot.
I got to central park a little early so I managed to catch some of uptown Manhattan too. again the sense of scale amazed me. the streets just seem to go on and on and on. I can’t even tell you have far I walked. I’m sure i barely scratched the surface.
Of course being a photographer no trip to NYC would be complete without a trip to either Adoramma or B and H. I managed to make it to the later and I got to say that was something to behold. the store itself seems so unassuming from the outside once you get in though it was camera galore.
But i was not to be distracted. I had planned this trip to a T and I had list of places I had to see. I already got the to see Central Park (or at least part of it) next stop, grand central station.
I relied heavily on my smartphone for navigating the big city but a smart phone can take you so far and no further. Case in point finding Grand Central Station. Actually finding Grand Central Station was not hard finding the entrance to Grand Central station was a little difficult. I guess to native New Yorkers it was kinda obvious but I was looking for a big sign that says ‘ENTER’. No luck there. the entrance to the grand hall is actually quite unassuming considering what it opens out to. Transportation in a city like Manhattan is a wonder in its own right. You could get comprehensively lost in the all the underground chambers and levels under grand central station so I do like what most tourist would do and stay on the beaten path and in this case that meant the main hall. I would have loved to have gotten there at a time of day when i could have got the light streaming through the massive glass windows like in the iconic photographs but the time of day was not right. Never the less i did manage to get some great shots including the long exposure shot that you see here Grand central station was impressive and I guess you can say that about most of the thing in New York. but I came with a few must sees and number one on the must see list was the bridges. To be honest with you when you live in country like where I’m from a bridge is basically the way you get your car across the storm drain. Did i mention i was from a small country? Anyway western media did a number on me and was completely enamored by the mystique of the Brooklyn Bridge.
So on the second day I was there I put on my walking shoes to make the journey across on foot of this Brooklyn Bridge. Again using my phone as my guide I let google be my guide as it were. Strangely enough the entrance to get on the bridge by foot is a bit underwhelming to say the least, I mean after all this was The Brooklyn Bridge. In retrospect i think that way be due to repairs being done on the bridge.
By far the biggest shock for me was the climate. I have never cold like that. It boggled my Caribbean mind. How can there be sun shine, not a cloud in the sky and my teeth be chattering? I mean you see people on TV with coats and boots and stuff but there is nothing like feeling it for your self. Nothing like being there. It was late September and it was just the official end of summer and transition to Fall so there was no snow as yet but trust me if you are heading to New York in September you need to walk with a hoodie at the very least.
But back to the bridge. One of the most important scenes I wanted to capture was one of the New York at night. It was right at the top of my must see list. So the second night I was there I grabbed my Tripod headed down to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn bridge and set up shop. Again I got to give props to Mr. David Hooby for his wonderful course on New York travel photography. He gives you the whole run down on what you want to see, how to shoot it and how to do it on the cheap. He too spent a lot of time talking about photo opportunities in and around the brooklyn bridge. I wanted to capture the scene at night. To me nothing shows up the grandeur of this metropolis than view when its lit up. It surely is something to behold and for sure not something that i could have seen in Trinidad