Monday, October 3, 2011

Tree - Tompkins Square Park - Alphabet City / New York (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Tree - Tompkins Square Park - Alphabet City / New York (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Stumbled across this blog - NY Through the Lens - New York City Photography (*) - recently and added it to me Google Reader.

It sparked my interest because of the photography content and the interesting stories about the 5 boroughs of New York, particularly the Lower East side of Manhattan which I spent a bit of time exploring on the recent trip to New York.

This story - Street corner and ode to Bob Arihood. Alphabet City. East Village, New York City. (*) - popped up today on my Reader. Its a story of the Lower East side area known as Alphabet City where the north to south running avenues of Manhattan are named by the letters of the alphabet, not the more well known numbered avenues a bit further to the west.

The post was sparked by the passing of a local identity and photographer by the name of Bob Arihood (*). I read the post with interest and it brought back some recent memories for me ...

During the recent trip to New York (*) I spent a couple of days exploring parts of New York I had not even heard of before. One place was Alphabet City on the Lower East. Decided I would explore these areas by wandering around at random after looking at my well used crumpled A4-size Map of Manhattan. Looking at the map I saw the area had a number of parks which I thought I would visit and sit in for a while to just observe what the locals were doing,

Started out at Washington Square Park (*) and then moved quickly onto Union Square Park (*). Both were full of local market stalls and I quickly passed them by as they were crowded with the tourists.

Thought I would try my luck at the next park, Stuyvesant Park (*), a bit further to the east and hopefully away from the tourist crowds. Found it easily and it was what I hoped it would be - a small park for the locals of the Lower East side. There were many seats and tables in the shade provided by the many leafy trees that filled the small and inviting Park.

As it was quite hot, I decided to sit for a while and just observe the going ons in the park. Indeed it was a park for the locals and time quickly passed and I nodded off for a while into a dreamy sleep.

When I woke I sat a while longer and then moved onto the next park - Tompkins Square Park (*). This park was bigger and busier, and there was an eclectic mix of people there. I can remember dog owners walking their little friends (actually one was probably the biggest dog I had ever seen), street people, joggers, people walking home after a days work and others just like me sitting in the park. I can still hear a small band singing religious pop songs on the edge of the park near the Flea Market Cafe (*).

As I look at Bob's (*) photos (*) (*) I can remember the time and I can sense and feel the place. His photo from 27 July 2011 (*) put a smile on my face, particularly when I read the comment - Joe gets photographed a lot these days (*).

For me, his photos give me a strong connection of place and being there, even if it was just for part of an afternoon. At the same time Bob's photos motivate me and give me a strong desire to return to New York for an extended period of time and just do what I did that day back Wed 17 Aug 2011 (*).

Bob seemed like great guy and his passing is no doubt moving time for those that knew him. He leaves a legacy which I (and many others) will no doubt explore further both online and hopefully in person when I next go to New York.

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