I finally got to give New York City justice with the Plaubel-Makina 670 last weekend during #NYCWLK, an event created and organized by Rebecca & Johnny Patience and Bijan Sabet. As you recall, the first time I took the camera into the city, things didn't turn out as expected. But I knew to use the camera properly this time around. So, here's my quick recap on how the weekend and event went!
I arrived in New York City on 9/11 for the weekend. I was meeting up with Elan from Richard Photo Lab that afternoon, so I had a few hours to kill and popped into Ray's Pizza for lunch. I wandered off into SoHo to just walk and enjoy the city. I made it over to the river to see Point Thank You which was crowded with NYPD and FDNY veterans. That spot is so full of energy and emotion that I just wanted to be there in the moment - didn't once take the camera out of my backpack.
I finally got to meet up with Elan that afternoon and we went for a mindless wander through the streets of SoHo, NoHo and into the East Village. We had a great time catching up and eventually had to part ways to get ready to meet Johnny for dinner. I had to check in to my AirBnb in Brooklyn (The Mayor's Mansion), so headed over the Manhattan Bridge. While framing a shot with my cell, wouldn't you know, I step in a small pothole and roll my ankle. Joy. It was good sprain, so knew I wanted to get to the Mansion to relax it before heading out. I hobbled the next 1.7 miles until I knew I was near the neighborhood and fired up my cell for the address and combo to the safe where the key was kept.
Frick, now what? No idea what the address is and no way to check. I poke my head in a deli and ask to charge the phone. No dice. I wander a few blocks and see this cute little Parisian bistro called Cafe Paulette. Peaking in the window, a small table in the corner with power outlets!! So, I ask the garçon if I could sit there and charge the phone (after giving the lengthy story). He graciously allows this and brings me a very nice glass of Cote du Py '11. Ah, this is how you charge a cell.
After a bit, I pay my bill, fire up the directions, and check into the Mayor's Mansion. Wow, absolute paradise at this place. By this time, I am 10 minutes late to dinner, so I grab an Uber car to Fornino on Pier 6 for dinner with Johnny and Elan. We dined while watching the New York City skyline go from dusk to dark and the city lights come to life. When the World Trade Center Memorial lights came up, it was another huge emotional scene. We went for a walk, then had a nightcap at June Wine Bar in Brooklyn.
I took an Uber back to my place, crawled into bed and let my ankle swell in pain.
I woke early to make my way back into Manhattan to meet with Michael, Cody, Riley and Thomas at Union Square for breakfast at The Grey Dog. After a quick bite of some awesome French Toast and an iced cappuccino, we parted ways so they could head off to Johnny's workshop. I made my way into the East Village to shoot a roll of 120 and to get an ankle brace.
While in East Village, I stopped for coffee at Ost Cafe and chatted with a couple gentleman about the Plaubel and medium format photography for about 30 minutes, then grabbed a table at the window to rest the ankle and people watch. After a bit, I made it up the block to my destination, Obscura. You know this place better as the antique shop from the TV show, Oddities on the Science Channel. The shop was as weird and as wonderful as you'd expect!
I got a message from Jon at that point, that he just arrived in NYC and wanted to go shoot. So, I asked him to meet me at Washington Square in an hour and limped my way over. We had a few hours to kill until the walk began, so we wandered SoHo until it was time. I had so many questions about his pinhole camera and techniques - and should know I have since picked one up - more on that later. I have to say, thank you Jon for opening me up to that world.
Finally, 3:00 came and we made our way to the Leica Store in SoHo and ran into about a million people I knew from Twitter and the #newlk in Portsmouth. It's quite overwhelming to see so many people you've talked to for years, but never met. Jason and I finally got to meet up, after planning a bunch of hangout time together over the past few months. I won't go through all the names here, as I am sure to leave one out then feel bad.
Once we were all gathered, we headed cross-town to Little Italy where a food festival was in progress. Never saw so many people in one spot in my life (the photo of the cops above was taken there). A few of us made our way down the edges of the streets, rather than trying to fight our way through the people. This portion of the walk took us into and through Chinatown, where I met a really cool dude who was huge into all our cameras. He let me take this portrait, quite possibly my favorite ever:
After fighting the crowds, we went over the Manhattan Bridge (which previously tried to kill me) and back into Brooklyn for dinner at 61 Local. Had a million great conversations late into the night and some nice food and drink. After talking to more people than I can remember, I grabbed an Uber with Jason and headed out. My ankle was quite happy to be relieved of it's tight wraps and I iced it until about 2:00am.
This morning came way too fast. Jason and I met up for breakfast at the Milk Bar then we headed out to the Roosevelt Island Tram to meet up with Cody and Thomas. We took the tram over and had a really nice time chatting and walking around the island. We took the tram back and wandered a bit through Manhattan until I had to head back to NH. It was really a fun time walking with these guys. If you have a chance to do a meet-up, I highly encourage it (hint: NEWLK).
Did I mention I only took 16 photos on the NYCWLK?
Photos taken with Plaubel-Makina 670 using Fuji Pro 400H with all development by Richard Photo Lab.