As an aspiring journalist, writing on urban lifestyles, a good city to start this blog with, is the mother of all cities, yes, you guessed right, New York City.
"Chapter one. He adored New York City. " "To him, it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. " "The same lack of integrity to cause so many people to take the easy way out... ... was rapidly turning the town of his dreams..."
Even before making it physically to the place, I had grown idolising the New York of Paul Auster and that of Woody Allen, Manhattan being one of my favourite films and The New York Trilogy one of my favourite reads. I would day dream in the streets where Auster's characters would get lost or the young ladies of Allen's black and white films would go debate on contemporary art and national politics, 57th and 3rd, Amsterdam Av in the upper west side, 10th street and 151st Av...
Early this year, I gave it no more thought, got myself a ticket and three weeks time to get lost in between cafes and bookshops, urban decay, foods, smells and accents of every corner of the world all packed in one island. And I finally decided to give in and get lost in the perfect urban labyrinth, those of which you wish you would never find your way out. It was sometime early in May when I let go and became one with this modern urban madness, and madness it was, that kind of urban speed and craziness that you either love or hate. And even though I would normally despise such levels of 24/7 city insanity, there was some kind of energy behing this which I found fascinating. Somehow being taken away by this whirl of continuant metropolitan wackiness felt it itself quite refreshing if not calming.
Maybe I had just found my place, being myself a bit of a wacko more often than not and yet, my best images, are the ones that portray calm and not so much of that typical chaos one imagines from NYC. You know... skyscrapers and yellow city cabs all over the place, i didn't only want to show the slower New York, but I wanted to find it and photograph the hell out of it.
I enjoyed moments of solitude and tranquility midst the caos, as I found my way through 'empty' streets, imaging being Sophie Calle and pondering about whether I could be part of such a place. I loved getting lost and leaving myself behind, giving myself up to the movement of the city streets, to the sound of a thousand and one cultures and the smell of civilisations all coming together. I was one with New York's city's motion and I loved it.
Oddly enough, my favourite places in New York, were either unknown by the regular tourist such as Charlie Parker's House on east village or once known but forgotten by the zillion other must see trendy places like Café Lalo, the café from that famous scene with Tom Hanks in You've got Mail. where you can have the best Raspberry tart of the city and yes, also at 3:30 a.m!
I must give credit to a few 'New Yokas', truly from there, who made of my big apple experience, something less of a 'Sex and The City' and more of a 'Mother of Cities'. I should also mention that for me, NYC was not only Manhattan, but getting amazing greek food in Astoria, Colombian smoothies in Williamsburg and an indian brunch in Coney Island.
He felt as though he were leaving himself behind, and by giving himself up to the movement of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to think.... The world was outside of him, around him, before him, and the speed with which it kept changing made it impossible for him to dwell on any one thing for very long. Motion was of the essence. Paul Auster- City of Glass.