Once again, I headed to New York City for the 2nd NYCWLK hosted by Johnny and Rebecca Patience. This year I opted to take a train out of Boston with fellow film nuts, Carla and Mike, to the utter annoyance of a woman trying to sleep a few rows behind us. Needless to say, we were accidentally seated on the "no talking" car, so we quickly remedied that where we could be rowdy and ourselves. The ride down with these two was completely wicked and I hope all my trips to the city from now on will go this way.
Arriving at Penn Station, the three of us hit the hell-hot and muggy streets and made a bee-line to the obnoxiously overcrowded armpit-sweat-induced malodorous B&H Photo and Video store with about an hour to spare before they shut down for the weekend. Of the dozen or so times I've tried to get into B&H, I have never hit them while open. After 10 minutes poking around, trying to get a glimpse of the used gear behind a mass of people, we gave up and hit the Skylight Diner across the road for much needed refueling.
Above: Ilford HP5+ with Pentax 67 / 90mm
Carla went to check-in to her Manhattan hotel and... get this... exercise so Mike and I took the train into Brooklyn to find our AirBnB's. We arrived at my place first, a 5th floor walkup in Brooklyn Heights. You don't know uncomfortably hot until you hike up 5 floors of stale air on one of the hottest and most muggy days of the year. Luckily, my host had my bedroom AC set to "arctic" and the blast of cold air was quite refreshing. Andy would be coming later that night, so I was happy at least the bedroom was pleasant, even if the bathroom was like a sauna set on 11.
Above: FujiPro 400H shot with Pentax 67 / 105mm
Later on, we checked Mike into his place, then met up with Cody and Thomas for coffee at the Swallow Cafe to escape the heat for a bit. We moved on to the Henry Public for a proper dinner. Much later that night, Andy arrived and we chatted into the early morning hours.
Saturday September 10
The next morning, Andy and I met with Cody, Thomas, German Michael (we renamed him) and Elan for breakfast in a great little shop in the Heights called the Key & Cup. After our fill of coffee and food, a handful of us parted ways and made our way out to the Bushwick Community Darkroom for an amazing workshop with Johnny. He'll have a post about one of our major talking points on shooting B&W, so I won't take away any steam from that here.
Above: Kodak Portra 400 shot with Pentax 67 / 90mm
After our workshop, we headed to the Brooklyn Roasting Company to talk shop with all the NYCWLK participants. This was a brilliant idea on Johnny's part - I loved hanging out with all these folks, catching up, talking about gear and so on. Far too many people to list here that I talked with - but each and every conversation was special to me.
Above: FujiPro 400H shot with Pentax 67 / 90mm
The walk took us along the waterfront in the Dumbo neighborhood beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and down to Pier 6, then up to a small pub in downtown Brooklyn. Dumbo was so alive with people. Here, I began shooting Ilford HP5+ then switched to Kodak Tri-X (which was going to be developed that night by the darkroom folks) for 10 shots. After that, I had my absolute fill of B&W and switched to FujjPro 400H for the remainder of the trip.
The walk concluded at 61 Local where we all rehydrated and enjoyed hours of amazing conversation.
Sunday September 11
Andy and I got up fairly early, so we decided to tour the amazing Brooklyn Height neighborhood where we were staying. This is really a high class and amazing neighborhood. As we sat down at an outdoor cafe, Happy Days, we began talking with a local that lived his entire life here, someone that was a witness to 9/11. He spoke in teary eyes of his heart-wrenching experience that day and then described how the neighborhood has changed due to gentrification over the years. The brownstones that once couldn't be sold were now going for $10 million and up. The private elementary schools for the area kids was in the ballpark of $100,000 a year, per child!
Above: FujiPro 400H shot with Pentax 67 / 105mm
After a bite to eat, we made our way out towards the darkroom, walking along the way on Fulton St. and Lafayette Ave. which seemed more reminiscent of the Brooklyn you see in movies. We met up for second breakfast (why not?) with Cody, Thomas, Mike and Jakob at Aita.
After being thoroughly overstuffed, Jakob surprised us all and covered the check (thank you again) and we made our way back to the darkroom for a day of printing.
The darkroom experience is always exciting, and having so many people new to it in the room made it even more so. We all got to experience the joys and pains of the darkroom and most of us ended up with a print we adored. I made one of Olya and gave her a copy (above).
After Sam, Andy and German Michael parted ways, I headed down to Fornino at Pier 6 for brick oven pizza with Johnny, Rebecca, Elan, Cody and Thomas to watch the annual 9/11 Tribute in Lights rise through the Manhattan skyline.
Monday September 12
This was pretty much a non-eventful day as I overslept, had a light breakfast, and headed back to Penn Station to catch the train home. My trips to NYC always go way too fast. Even though I added a day this year, it still wasn't enough. Maybe next year I do a week.
All color film and Ilford HP5+ developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab. Tri-X was developed by Bushwick Community Darkroom and scanned by me on my Epson V700.