Friday, November 13, 2015

Photographing Manhattan

I first visited Manhattan during my high school senior trip in the late 90's.  I can remember two things- I was elated I wasn't mugged, and I walked for what seemed like hours going around and around the city.  Fast forward ten years to when I met Megan.  Her grandparents lived in Manhattan. Upper west side, around 110 and Broadway.  Just a block or so south of Tom's Restaurant of Seinfeld fame.

Manhattan is such a different living experience.  I've always thought I'd like to try it, just to see if I wouldn't go crazy.  There are ways that people cope, by finding refuge in the cracks or corners. There's no unused space on that island.  Every spot of land is marked out and taken.  There's very little wild there, even though there are seemingly wild places. 

Megan and I had just been married a few months when unfortunate circumstances brought us again to the city.  During this trip was when I was really diving into photography.  My images that I'll show to start this series are rightfully dark, but still remain in my memory as some of the most powerful photographs I have taken.  We were staying in dormitories at the Riverside Church seminary.  Our room looked out into a beautiful sheltered courtyard where the daffodils were blooming in the cold, misty rain of mid January. Yes, January.

We'll bringing the whole family to Manhattan just before Christmas to meet Megan's far lost relatives from the island Lifou, part of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean.  A long lost cousin left New York long ago, sometime in the mid 19th century, and settled on the other side of the world making a name for himself on a tiny tropical coral island.  His descendants haven't been back since.  That will change come December, when we'll meet them in the city.  I hope the boys remember this reunion forever, as they're going to have quite the story to tell when they get older.  Who knows- maybe they will travel to Lifou?


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