Monday, November 20, 2006

To Live, Hope, Survive, and Breath in New York City

A Corner of Williamsburg 004
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

To Live, Hope, Survive, and Breath in New York City

Although I love taking photos for many-many reasons, the one thing I lament about this medium is that there are a million sensations that we miss that are vital to the experience that is otherwise only visually-captured by each photo.

This is especially true in New York City, where you are often overwhelmed by the clamor, the putrescence, and the grit of city life. As a result, you tend to shut yourself off from all this in order to endure.

Unfortunately, as quintessential as plugging in your iPod may be to survival in the great Cosmos, many great and wonderful things are missed as a result of tuning out. Because if you can tolerate the hustle and bustle, the noise and the general chagrin of every stranger that glares at you, the experience can be quite magical.

This morning for instance, while riding the train to work, I experienced the following attack to my senses:

·The suffocating overdose of Old Spice wafting in waves from the big guy in front of me;

·The instant-reeling, that not-so-pleasant vertigo feeling, that overcame me when 2-hour old coffee breath rolled over my shoulder like the eerie fog from a horror movie.

·The trickle of sweat sliding down my back due to disparity between the MTA’s attempt at temperature control and Mother Nature’s control over the Earth—for although I was smiling while I zipped in the plush liner into my winter coat this morning and I broke out those new leather gloves because the weather-guy blurted “It’s colllld out there!,” the Metropolitan Transit Authority apparently wasn’t listening. And so I ended up going from a cozy bundled-up 40 degrees to a crowded 80 degrees and-getting-hotter on the rush-hour train;

·And most titillating, was the flutter of endorphins triggered by long lashes, light eyes and a seductively-shy smile from across the car.

This small-small sample of what we miss when we merely look at the photos is why I love writing as often as possible about what I hear, smell, touch and feel when taking photos on the streets of New York; writing allows me to fill in the important details, the sine-qua-non of the true metropolitan experience. And this is why I have tried to make it an essential element of my particular brand of photography.

Thus, I am grateful to all those who take the extra time to read these complementary little musings of mine. And I hope that from the little that I offer that you can divine a part of what it is like to live, hope, survive, and breath in New York City.

Some day I hope to return to my beloved California, so that I may document much as I have done here. For it is a wholly different experience to live, breath, shine and languor in the Sunshine State.

“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.” ~ Mary Schmich, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

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