As I wait for my Canon R6 Mark II to arrive and attempt to combat a cold I have unintentionally passed on to my wife. I am stuck with no camera and a whole lot of down time. I am filling some of that big empty by attempting to organize and delete many of my old files. As I scroll through endless amount of digital images. I am finding some keepers. Marking the stand outs with the handle “G.O.A.T.” Looking back, I’ve always had a healthy relationship with New York City’s east village Washington Square Park. From working at a nearby record store in my teens, to filling in my down time by finding inspirational scenery and fascinating people to photograph. All of this backtracking reminds me that, despite fighting a full on cold while the temperatures outside dance below and above freezing. The calendar shows that Spring and Summer are still on the horizon. For the time being, images like this one, will hopefully keep me warm.
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.
Washington Square Park has always been a place with so much energy and inspiration. Be it be musicians, the colorful characters, the fountain, arch or maybe even the drug dealers. There’s something for everyone. If you enter on the West side of the park you’ll surely find inspiration from the chess tables. There you’ll see people from of all walks of life gathering for one reason….. The Game. Last week as I entered the park an older gentleman asked if I’d like to play. I smiled and in passing replied “I’m sorry, I never learned.” to which he smiled and replied “I’ll teach you.” If not for my being in a rush I would have taken him up on his offer. The exchange took place in a matter of seconds but it stuck with me. So when I walked into the park today I looked for that gentleman to perhaps take him up on his offer. Almost immediately I spotted him. There he was smiling and teaching this young kid the game. He leaned forward and in a sweet and deliberate voice explained each move to the child. It made me smile and think how we all have it in us to teach and make a difference in people’s lives.It can just take a moment. Whether it be a loved one or a complete stranger. It’s in all of us.