Wednesday, 12 November 2014

No 12: Down in the park

I haven’t spent all my time marveling at the glass and steel capitalism porn and I wanted today's picture to reflect that. So I set out to see a different side of the city.

When I was a teenager I wanted to be the best rapper in the world. In actual fact I was convinced I already was, but due to a being born in the wrong part of the world I could only watch from afar... and learn.

Now obviously, back in the 80s there was no Internet. No easy way to see pictures and learn the history of the culture that I so desperately wanted to be part of. The only thing I had was the music - the lyrics of the rap songs I listened to non-stop - or what I saw in the movies. And, the New York of the 80s as depicted in the movies was definitely not a nice place. In reality it probably wasn’t either. I’ve always wondered which was more real - life or fiction?

So I spent this morning on the subway traversing New York and I visited the Bronx. For added atmosphere I made sure I was listening to the music of my youth. It looked - and felt - exactly like I imaged.

But I didn’t take any photos there. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t feel comfortable pulling out a $2000 camera while walking through one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. I guess the adult version of me is very far removed from the street-tough wannabe of my youth.

Later on in the afternoon, I returned to Manhattan and took a long walk through central park - another venue from the imagination of my youth. I was surprised by the tranquility of the park and its beauty.

Today’s picture is taken from the middle of the park near the central reservoir. I chose it because it’s in direct contrast to all the previous shots of the city I'd taken. Everything felt older, more worn, a little slower and more laid back. In fact the picture could have been taken any time in the last 50 years.

Central Park Reservoir & West Side, NY. Nov 12th 2014