Our usual route through the city starts at World Trade Center. The stop is a short walk to Chinatown where we usually stop for Dim Sum and some bakery hopping. From there we usually make our way uptown making numerous stops on the way towards the Union Square area where we eventually catch a PATH train home. Making pit stops at Columbus Park (Chinatown) Washington Square Park (The Village) and Union Square (W. Village, Gramercy, Chelsea borders) always serve to nourish and refuel both body and spirit. A visit to any and all of the beautiful parks New York City and its outer boroughs have to offer is a guaranteed free entry to what is still one of the most vibrant and artful cities in the world. I’ve always said, “If you’re ever lacking motivation or inspiration in you work. Go for a walk in the city.” Try it. It might just do you some good.
As I passed the fountain in Washington Square Park. My attention turned to a Father playing with his daughters. While the young man’s tough, street wise look wouldn’t merit him as a poster boy for Fatherhood. His loving, protective manner with his girls was, to say the very least, moving. As he began to turn towards me. I began to notice the tattoo on his forearm. Being that I had just been complaining how, if I had known twenty years ago that tattoos would become so common and flat out random. I might have never gotten any. And while I still can’t fake any interest when a friend asks me “Want to see my new tat?” I can certainly appreciate a good one when I see it.
Wherever you go these days, make sure to your camera in tow. For the world is a stage and there is a long line to get on it. It seems that everyone and their uncle Sally are looking for the fifteen minutes of fame or moment in the spotlight. For better or worse, good, bad or ugly. It matters not the presentation. What matters is your documentation of such. Since my days in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen to my current Hoboken state of mind. I’ve always made a point of documenting my surroundings. It provides a sense of history and boatload of fun and frenzied images.
During a recent meeting with my consultant Louisa, she suggested I use my down time to do things that keep me inspired when I’m not actually working. Whether it be working on a show, book or a trip to the printer, remain in an artistic state. Well, for me personally, I get inspiration from the city and it’s many parks. No matter the time or place, there’s always something brewing and something worthy of training my lens and putting the world in focus. This past Thursday, with no sessions planned until the late afternoon I head to the city for some extra inspiration. As I made my way through Washington Square Park, I came across a group of poets assembling by the west end of the fountain. What began as a quick stop quickly turned into an extended stay as one passionate voice after another recited personal works. The group known as P.U.P. (Poets in Unexpected Places) were all the expression and inspiration I needed to get through the early part of my day. I often wish I was brave enough to raise my voice without fear. Maybe someday I’ll learn to speak with more than my camera. Until then.