Travel Photography in New York City Day 1
My first stab at travel photography began in Cincinnati and ended in Boston, Mass. Not only was this my first foray into travel photography but it was also my first trip via train. The entire trip was from Cincinnati to DC to NYC then on to Boston. You can see the trip from Cincy to DC at this post.
I left DC on the Northeast Regional 84 to Penn Station in New York City in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday and arrived bright and early in NYC Sunday morning.
The sky was overcast and the sun was still hiding beneath the eastern horizon as I crept out from the subway exit of Penn Station. The city that never sleeps sure looked like it was sleeping in on that Sunday morning. I hung out on the corner looking for a cab with the four others that emerged from the depths of Penn Station. After letting the other four snag cabs so that I could take in the city for a few, I hopped into my cab and we made our way to Long Island City where I was to spend the next three nights.
I had booked my hotel on Priceline for a great steal, as I was trying to be the frugal one. Unbeknownst to me, I was in for a really exciting history lesson (if you are a fan of the East Coast OGs). I was staying not more than a quarter mile from the childhood haunts of Marley Maul, Nas, and of course the world famous Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest). So along with the history lesson, I also learned that price of hotels in NYC is directly related with their proximity to the nearest public housing project.
I dropped off my bags at the hotel and headed on down to Battery Park and the Financial District to begin my long trek back to Times Square. The sky had cleared and the sun was shining down on the city. I got off the subway at Fulton and Nassau. When I adjusted my eyes to the beaming morning sun, I looked down Fulton Street and saw this wonderful shot of Freedom Tower. I thought maybe I would go see ground zero, only to be shooed away because I did not register online to get a ticket. So I head on down to Battery Park.
Travel photography mixed with street photography allowed me to capture a nice sense of environment and the “New York City” experience. On the way down to Battery Park I stopped into Ladder 10 and the guys were nice enough to let me cross the tape and get some photos inside the station. It was really moving to know just how close they were to the towers and see their memorial to their fallen brothers from that day.
Battery Park was filled with all kinds of people. The tourists were flooding into Statue Tours, local skateboarders were shredding up a concrete barrier, and I think about every 5th person was a photographer, or at least had a better DSLR than me.
Down by the tour ferries, I happened upon a set of amazing street performers. In the photo, that guy is jumping over 6 people lined up shoulder to shoulder. The strength of these guys was amazing. They were flipping, dancing, and jumping from dead stops. They attracted quite a crowd right outside of the Statue Tours building. It was a great show and the crowd rewarded them accordingly.
After taking in the show and shooting some in Battery Park, I headed up towards City Hall Park.
From City Hall Park I ventured over through Tribeca up to towards the Village via the Hudson River Walk. Tribeca is always a great spot to get shots of color and maybe if you are lucky a celebrity or two. But that day I saw no one of any consequence.
I really wanted to try to get some shots of the great architecture like the neo-Renaissance White Buildings but my walk just ended up just taking me up to the Village. I did get some shots of flowers and a sock monkey beanie baby (I am slightly obsessed with sock monkeys).
So I meandered through the artsy neighborhood of Tribeca and headed further up towards Times Square through Greenwich Village.
The sky started to fill with fluffy clouds and a nice breeze rolled down the Hudson River. The day had finally started to come alive and the feel of “The City” had crept up and grabbed a hold of its visitors. There were joggers, dog walkers, tourists, business people, and the always whizzing sound of the bike messengers. Even out here on the river, the air was filled with abuzz of New York City.
Little did I know when I was walking along the beautiful path up the Hudson River, not more than a month later, the very walkway I was traversing would be the entry point of Superstorm Sandy into Lower Manhattan.
After losing myself in Tribeca, I headed up through the Village and headed out for Times Square. My wife is a huge Project Runway fan so I had to stop by Parsons for a quick shot. The sky had started to cloud up and it looked like rain was imminent so I tried to hurry up to Times Square and come back and try to shoot the village the next day.
As I trekked up 6th Avenue to Broadway, I figured I really had to just put my head down and try to get to Times Square before the rain. The biggest thing I learned about travel photography was, unless you are the big man upstairs, no one really knows what the weather is going to do (no matter what Al Roker says).
After busting hump up Broadway, I finally got to Times Square. The sky literally looked like it was going to open up at any moment so I tried to get as many shots as I could as quick as I could. As you would guess they didn’t turn out so well. Lesson learned, if the shots not there, don’t bother taking it. I got a few shots, seen below, but I know I would have to come back when the lights were on and the freaks had already come out to play. So as the heavens began to cry, I once again retreated into the caverns of the subway and headed back to Long Island City to rest up for day two and look over the images I captured that day.