Tag Archives: Greenwich Village

Aren’t you embarrassed by that little thing? A few words and a few photos.

So a couple things. Firstly, I likely got your attention enough to click this link by the silly heading. But more on that in a minute.

I was in NYC the last few days. Just a short get away. I always love the energy of that beautiful city. I shot nearly 200 photos in three days, and it could have been many more if I didn’t refrain myself.  

Anyhow, in an effort to travel light, or at least lighter, I recently purchased a small travel tripod for my camera. It is nice; it’s heavy duty but really easy to carry as I walked around all day. But the drawback is that it only extends to about 18 inches. So I tried to find something to set it on…a garbage can, mailbox, anything so long as it is steady. But if nothing was available I’d simply sit on the ground; this wasn’t the first nor the last time I’ve done that. Anyhow, I was doing just that when taking the photo of McSorley’s Ale House (below). After stopping in for a couple beers (they are always 2-for-one) I wanted a photo of the place but there was nothing to set my teeny tripod on. So I sat down on the curb. And as I was taking photos a women walked past. She stopped for a moment, looked as if she were going to keep walking, but then questioned, “Why are you sitting on the ground?” Motioning to the camera, I explained to her that I needed the camera steady for a night shot but my tripod was small and there was nothing to set it on directly opposite my subject. She sort of smirked a bit, and before continuing on her way, she replied, “But aren’t you embarrassed by that little thing?” I laughed out loud, sitting on the curb. So did she as she walked away.

And then a bit later, after walking over the Washington Square Park, I thought I’d take a picture of the arch (bottom photo). I did find a few things to set the tripod on but I wanted a shot off to the side. So I went over to the edge of the common area and sat on the ground. And now I started to feel a bit self-conscious…maybe I shouldn’t be sitting on the ground taking photos.

It was unseasonably warm, but because of the time of year it was dark even though it wasn’t very late, and the park was relatively crowded. And when I looked to my left there was a man in black tights and cowboy boots doing sun salutations. All I could do was smile and go back to my photo-taking. This was, after all, Greenwich Village…magnet to every eccentric on the planet. It was ok to be taking photos while I sat on the ground, and my teeny tripod was just fine. Click any photo for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Washington Square Park in the Rain

I was in NYC over the weekend when I shot these photos. I was walking back to my room after having a couple beers at the Back Fence. It was raining and I cut through the park…sometimes it feels so good to walk in the rain. Walking through places like this gives me such a sense of history…of all the people–famous and not–who have walked the very ground where my feet fell. For me it has a bit of personal history as well; albeit rather minor or brief. In my college days we–friends and I–would make nearly weekend pilgrimages to NYC and would most often end up in Washington Square Park…we were poor and it was much cheaper to pass a bottle in the park and people-watch than it was to go to a bar. I can’t remember if I shared this story or not on this blog, but on July 4th, 1986 we shared a bottle with a guy who claimed to be Jaco Pastorius. I remember the date specifically because it was the Fourth of July and also because this guy jumped up on a short wall (on which we were sitting) and played the Star Spangled Banner Jimi Hendrix Style, except it was on an electric bass. In person, the guy was drunk, likely high on drugs, and super-obnoxious (which sounds about right) but he played the bass lucidly and incredibly beautifully. But that’s not what I was remembering or thinking as I took a short-cut through the park on my way back to my room while the cold rain pelted me. As I walked I was taken by how timeless the park looked and felt at night and in the rain. If not for the passing cars and lights it could have just as easily have been 1912 as it was 2012. The only camera I had with me was my little Sony Cyber-Shot point-and-shoot, so that’s what I used. And that too–I think–helped capture the moment. Click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

A Few NYC Photos

I thought I’d share a few photos from my recent trip to NYC. The above and the bottom are two of my favorites. When I was a child and would run through the house my mom would sometimes yell, “Slow down…whad’ya think this is, Grand Central Station?” I never knew what she meant until I first visited it years later. That’s it pictured above. Those directly below are a collage of some street scenes. The one on the left was taken on 6th Avenue in Chelsea looking south towards Greenwich Village (dusk and dawn, I think, are the most magical times of the day…they also offer really interesting light for photos). The photo on the upper right (below) is of the Gem Spa in the East Village (it was a hangout of not only bands such as the New York Dolls (click here for a picture) and the Ramones, but also Allen Ginsberg and other Beatnicks (and later hippies). The photo on the lower right (of the collage) was just an image I thought looked interesting…the way the neon sign glowed in the night. The bottom image is one of my favorites not only because of its fame and beauty but also because of a personal connection. While I have never lived in NYC I have been there dozens of times, and in the mid-1980’s I went to school about an hour north and spent many drunken weekends there. Sunday afternoons were often spent drinking wine in Washington Square Park, whose entrance is pictured below. My personal brush with fame in that park took place on July 4, 1986, where we (friends and I) shared a bottle of wine with a drunken and crazed guy who claimed to have been Jaco Pastorius. I’m not sure if it was him or just a crazy guy, but at one point he jumped up on a wall and played Star Spangled BannerJimi Hendrix style–on an electric bass. Whether it was him or not needn’t matter (but I believe it was)…it’s a fond memory. Click any photo for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.