These next three days I 'sat' at the Soho Photo Gallery in Manhattan...of which I am a new and enthusiastic member.
It's really quite something to be the only one there, in charge and 'available' to all the visitors that come in during the afternoon. (Check it's hours of opening: http://sohophoto.com )
I didn't need to hang my second solo show until the weekend, so I was just enjoying each afternoon, chatting with the visitors as they came in and out of the gallery.
Each day I took the subway from Boerum Hill in Brooklyn to the Canal Street stop in Manhattan, and I tell you what...I felt the reality of the slog. Packed and bum-rushed on every subway home. Packed and barely awake on the way in...WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE! Loved it. Wore the 'slog' face and even felt the 'slog' spirit, but knew that I didn't have to...It's all an adventure for me. Something different and available for joy of the moment.
I do not have pictures of these three days. You'll have to take my word for it.
The smells, the vibe, the massive amount of humanity on a daily basis....and the joy in being part of it all. :-))))
Keep in mind it was the Christmas season, so I'd get off the subway in Brooklyn - opting to walk four more blocks rather than transfer once more and stay on the subway -- so I walked cheerily through the neighborhood (rather Moonstruck movie like) with lights everywhere and a cold sharpness in the air. I would intentionally play a Pandora Christmas jazz station on the way home - feeling unreasonably cozy and overjoyed to be 'out of work' (as thought sitting at the glorious gallery is really work, hahahaha...) and headed back to my cozy corner in Brooklyn, ready to rustle up dinner and cozy up until the next morning. EVERYONE buzzing around me was doing the same thing and I felt a unity somehow with the massive numbers. It was thrilling and lonely all at the same time.
Ok. No pictures for this post. Only story and feeling. Images next time!
I continue this story (It's been a HELL of a winter so far, non?)
Day 3 in Brooklyn. I stay 'close to home.' I walk around, do some errands and take a few
photos late at night and visit an around-the-corner bar.
The great thing about the apartment's window is that I looked right out at a Laundromat.
There is a lot of life that happens around a neighborhood's laundromat, especially in NYC area.
I wished, desperately, that I smoked so I could hang out the window and photograph people silently while I smoked and watched...and brooded of sorts.
I wished in the cold night air, that I lived in the Jazz Loft place that Gene Smith did. And could take pictures such as he did on 6th Avenue of all the strange poses and conglomerations of people and places that naturally took place. I imbibed his persona as I waited, photographed and observed. I felt engaged even though I never spoke to anyone this night. I felt needed in some vague way that no one could every explicitly state, but that was necessary and yet secretly known all at the same time.
Here is one of my favorites from hanging out the window that night.. I love the grain and the mysteriousness. I love the voyer-istic element. I love hanging out of windows at night in Brooklyn and silently catching stills.
Day 2 - I wake up. I'm excited and emotionally raw because I have so usual sensory overloads of, "You have to do this now. You have to do that." This day is all on my own and I know FIRST, I want to walk around the neighborhood and find the TraderJoe's supposedly close by!
I make sure I have me keys and remind myself (metally) that everyone's going to be moving at breakneck speed with no time for a tepid, shy little smile! So off I march to claim my sandwich makings that will keep me fed for a week! It's survival for god's sake!
Well, I really do, firstly, leisurely walk through the neighborhood. Kids are running to school with their mittens on. Christmas decorations are everywhere. Teachers and/or parents laughingly give chase as they're yelling at them not to run. All the brownstones and the small streets give such a neighborhoody feel. I find Trader Joe's and go right in. BUT.... it's different... (1) It's bigger than any Trader Joes I've been into (Wasn't Trader Joes only in Oregon?) and (2) there was a line of people waiting to get checked out, snaking all the way through the store. I quickly got my things. Went to get in line myself and go "handeled" by an employee that was there to "handle" the line. Whoa! There were two more such "handlers' along the way to the bank of checkers. And when I finally saw it -- THERE WERE 40 CHECKERS!! At a Trader Joe's? Crazy. When I get up to the guy that's checking me out, I mention I'm from Portland and that all the Portland checkers at Trader Joe's have to ring this little bell. He looks at me like I'm crazy. He says he'd quit, he wouldn't handle it. HA.
It's still early morning and I get back to the apartment and make some tea ad go sit to watch the people coming and going along Bergen Street. I feel lucky to have a fine place to sit and be calm and let my adrenaline come down. It's a lovely big window in front of the bed, in fact. And I set myself with a blanket in this little antique chair and sip and watch people and plan the rest of my day...
I realize it's a GORGEOUS sunny (cold) day out and I want to walk over to Prospect Park and see it--take some photos. It's supposed to be great, but I've never been there. So this is my plan. I wash up my tea things, pack a sandwich, my camera and film and head off. I walk a zig-zaggy way to the park to get a view of as many different neighborhood streets as possible. It'ls all straight out of a movie. Big brownstones. American Flags hang everywhere. Kids are of hollering, grandmas are out walking their dogs. It's lovely.
I get to the park and the first thing I'm struck by this huge, vast, open green field. It is glorious.I had to walk right out into the middle of it to get the delicious feel of green grass and spaciousness on all sides! I later learned this area is called The Long Meadow and that this 90-acre space is considered to be the largest meadow in any national park!!! I wanted to walk all the way to the lake too, but I was too tired. I ate my sandwich, snapped a few photos and lovingly walked the long walk home.
Once in awhile, well, BAM!