My second visit to New York was far different than the first. There was no snow, no rain, no inclement weather at all. Rain threatened on my arrival, but it proved only to be a threat. During my first trip, I was nearly trapped in New York by a snowstorm. On the day of my departure, my airline canceled my flight, and I was moved to an earlier one. I fell asleep almost immediately upon boarding the plane and awoke an hour later to find us still on the tarmac, waiting to take off, which we did after the plane's wings were de-iced. I believe that we were the last to leave JFK before the airport was shut down.
As a traveler, I may not enjoy bad weather, but as a photographer, I love the moody lighting it creates and was dismayed by how clear the forecast mostly was this second trip. As before, I visited the museums with a friend, who did a fabulous job of showing me the city. One place we visited was the Whitney, where we saw the paintings of Jasper Johns, amongst others. As we moved from artwork to artwork some travelers asked me to photograph them standing next to a piece of art about women’s' empowerment, each of them standing on a different side; arms flexed above their shoulders as if they were Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was the perfect #metoo moment.
While at the museum we lunched in their cafe. Sitting by the windows, we looked out upon the terrace, watching the other museum-goers enjoying the sun. The hostess forbade us from eating outside, so we waited until after finishing before walking out onto the patio.
To say that the New York skyline is exhilarating is an obvious understatement. The buildings, some old, some contemporary, are things that I grew up seeing in photographs, and to see them in person was a delight. I spent a good deal of my visit looking upward, with an ant’s eye view, taking in the architecture of the city, and now I was able to look downward. It is as if I were looking at a jigsaw puzzle, seeing the buildings thrown onto the ground like dice. These weren’t structures that were likely to make the travel logs, and I loved them. They had personality and history. The artist’s job is to piece together the puzzle in a way that inspires the eye.
On this trip, I was breaking in my Hasselblad. I walked from terrace to terrace taking photographs while my friend patiently waited. A few clouds were in the sky, but not many. Across the river, I could see Jersey.
As I composed, a woman stepped out onto the floor below me. I included her in the composition, adding a human element to the abstract-expressionist feel of the scene.
I photographed from all three terraces, exploring all the hidden corners for a better perspective. It was a great trip.