Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New York State of Mind

I've been to NYC a total of two times and I consider myself a savvy traveler.  Booking anything through an agency or travel agent is against my "travel beliefs" and I prefer doing a lot of research and planning the entire trip myself.  With NYC, it's a little bit different.  My sister-in-law has lived in Manhattan for about five years, so visiting is like having your own personal tour guide to the city - a new yorker showing you "their" city.  I'm very grateful for this, as I'm sure I've experienced things that a tourist traveling to NYC would never think to do. 

With that being said, I can say that my second visit was dramatically different than the first.  The first visit to NYC was in 2008.  As soon as I stepped out of the apartment building on our first morning, I was in utter awe and was out of sorts.  The city is so massive and it's very tough to get your bearings.  I'm not used to that - usually I just start going and work my way around the city and I feel very comfortable.  It took me a good day and a half to get adjusted.  I was shooting with my Sony Cybershot camera on that trip and I was taking shots of everything.  That was my first shoot, so I like to think I've become more picky about the things I shoot. 

As I said, the second visit was much different than the first.  I was there for a few days at the end of May.  My wife (then fiance) was picking up her wedding dress and I had the pleasure of accompanying her on the trip (though I didn't see her dress until the wedding day).  I felt more at ease with the city and I was able to slow down; if that makes since.  I feel like I got a better picture, no pun intended, of how the city really is.  I created images much different from my first trip, I hit a creative sweet spot on the third day, and I had a really nice time.

The first day was filled with exploring the High Line, which is an elevated subway line that has been converted to a park.  When it's completely finished, it will be a mile and a half elevated park that will run through West Side districts like the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.  The park is very serene and is an elevated Oasis above the craziness that is the city.  Definitely worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.  The second day I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and explored Brooklyn a bit.  Brooklyn has become a very trendy borough; we walked around an area that had a ton of one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants.  The third day, a very creative day, was spent at Grand Central Terminal, Central Park and Washington Square Park.  I took a ton of images and I hit a creative high by the time we arrived at Washington Square Park. The final day was spent at the Guggenheim Museum, where we saw the "Haunted" exhibit.  I've said it before, but Frank Lloyd Wright was well ahead of his time and still is.  The Guggenheim is such an amazing structure; it's worth the price of admission just to see the building.  It was a short trip, but one that included a mix of touristy and non-touristy activities. 

This was the third time I was out with my Canon EOS 50D and I really began to use some of the features on the camera. I came away happy with the images I created and I look forward to my next visit to the city.  I will post images as usual in the upcoming blogposts.

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