When I say alternative I really mean images that aren’t the typical scenic images from the Big Apple, although there are a few in here that are. It’s probably just an excuse for my bad photography but I wasn’t disposed to take my postcard shots of familiar sights. These are from a few years ago when my friend Lisa had a birthday and I decided to treat her to a trip to New York. Thus my main focus was not to take photos but to ensure that she had a great time (she did). These are here because I was looking for an image that someone wanted for a canvas and stumbled upon a few others that I thought would serve as filler content.
New York is, of course, a heaving, congested and sprawling metropolis where sunlight barely lances through the crowded monoliths of steel and concrete. People are in a hurry, and I mean in a hurry. Coffee in one hand, phone in the other, they shove en masse through the seemingly invisible tourists that clamber onto the sidewalks. (I’m not complaining; London is much the same). Traffic is one continuous arterial sclerosis, each grand avenue congealed with a writhing mass of honking taxis and screaming sirens.
Luckily, a friend in the NYPD picked us up from our hotel and managed to part the gridlock like Moses and the Red Sea. Amazing what a siren can do. He delivered us to the terminal from where an old, orange ferry laboured across the water to drop us at Liberty Island. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum was a worthy distraction, nestled in the shadow of an elegant lady inviting poor, tired and huddled masses.
Back in Manhattan, Madison Avenue was overtaken by an apparent parade celebrating Iranian culture. Beautiful women danced and twirled in the street to the accompaniment of the NYPD marching band. Entertaining and surprising in equal measure it was an unexpected treat, and not only for seeing a Manhattan avenue devoid of traffic.
We trundled through Central Park, enjoying what was left of the blossom while washing a cheap hot dog down our gullets. The Park is a vast open space teeming with lovers and joggers, students and skateboarders, all ages and all creeds.
Further on from the Park is the Metropolitan Museum, to where another native friend managed to secure us some VIP passes, giving us access to every exhibit. When Indiana Jones said it belongs in a museum he must have been talking about this place.
The same friend also got us a pass to the Bronx Zoo, whose impressively large spaces belie the fact that it is contained within a metropolitan area. Took us a while to navigate through it.
And if aquatic life is more your thing, you could do worse than the New York Aquarium at Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Like any city, there are no shortage of street artists and musicians, enticing passing tourists to bathe in the nostalgia of breakdancing and body-popping. How I miss the 80s.
For the sunset we ascended to the top of the Rockefeller building to enjoy the views across the skyline, awash in the glow of crepuscular light.
Later on, Time Square was darker than my preferred dusk blue but nevertheless it was hard not to be impressed with the frenzy of lights and entertainment. A street photographer’s paradise there’s plenty of activity to feast on.
Now, you wouldn’t expect Alpha Whiskey to visit a large city and not shoot its skyline. So, the following evening my friends took Lisa and I to Brooklyn to marvel at the view while I reeled off a few quick shots.
A great time with dear friends in a bustling city, hopefully this gives you slightly more intimate and alternative snapshot. These were processed to reflect the vibrancy of the city in a way that I wish to remember it. Former New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy said that “Some men see things as they are and ask why; I dream of things that never were and ask why not.” Thus I suppose I intend to reveal the potential of a place rather than simply capture what’s there. I realise that some prefer the latter to the former.
Well, I found the image I was looking for so I’m off to get this canvas made. Bye.