Since my mentor, Mike, knew I was headed to NYC for the Krappy Kamera gala...
He assigned me a "Special Assignment" just for the trip.
821 Sixth Avenue
Look it up. Google: The Jazz Loft Project
Famous photographer Gene Smith lived there (4th floor).
Famous painter David X Young painted and lived (and made it habitable) there.
Famous jazz musicians gathered and played and felt comfortable and happy to jam there.
Right in the flower district.
My assignment was to check it out. Photograph around it. "Listen to see if you can hear the music." I did not necessarily have to go inside...
But I DID.
I saw a door up to the second floor retail space - which is what most of the building is now.
....And I just kept going up the stairs until I couldn't anymore. I got to the FIFTH floor. The top rooms are just storage for boxes. The fourth floor door (picture below) - was that Gene Smith's actual studio door???! Did that door never get changed in 50 years???! Did that very door lead to Gene Smith's darkroom and studio?!
The shop owners found me as I was coming down, at about the third floor. I was exuberant about the history of their building and I got NICELY chased away.
But I did it. I got in and had a blast.
It's true, walking around with a camera - being a photographer makes me feel like I have a license to investigate. To more openly observe and record. What a fun, enterprising, educational and inspirational assignment!
(*As an interesting sidenote, I ran out of film half way up the stairs and had to use my iPhone for the last most important shots. OY. That was fun admitting that to my film and darkroom mentor. ((Grins.))
I LOVE NEW YORK CITY! (I love Portland too!!)
Shoot on - Learning to See - Never Stop Searching
Two more photos to add to this assignment! Stairs going up as I walked in off the street. They continue up to a 2nd floor landing (more store space) and then up to the 3rd floor (still more store space). That's when I saw no locked doors or "no tresspassing" signs, so I continued up to the 4th and 5th floors.
Once in awhile, well, BAM!