Today was about light + shadow. With the sun sweating 80+ degrees on the city, it was a warm scene blaring with a coat of sunshine.

I enjoy trying to capture the quiet of New York. I’ve found photographs to be an outlet, because I haven’t yet discovered a quiet place. A photograph can take the noisiest scene and make it calm through light, color or context.

These five photographs from today represent a progression in moments where I was able to block out everything and feel silence.

Week in Review: Geographic Familiarization + More

Greetings! I’ve officially wrapped up my first week in NYC and am heading into round two! Week one was a mix of terror and delight, but I must say the overall impression that New York City gives me is WOW!

How did I make it through my first week? For starters, I learned which neighborhoods you DON’T want to get on a subway to, and the general directions that most trains travel. A few things I’m trying to be proactive about:

  • Learning the subway system. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had quite the debacle during my first few days out. Last week I met up with a college friend (who coincidentally also was my hairdresser in Fargo…convenient much?) and being super cautious, left a half hour early to meet up with her in the event that I got lost. Well, guess what? I got lost. After stepping on the wrong train (on the wrong LINE, too) I was tugged into a carousel of subway dizziness. It was frustrating to say the least, and a great learning experience. I’m never going through that again! (Don’t quote me on this.) The rest of the week was smooth as far as subway rides go, and I’ve managed to let go of my “personal bubble” I always felt entitled to. “Personal bubbles” do not exist in the subway world. You grab on to that greasy, lubed-up pole, plant your feet and hold on for dear life. Accepting the fact that people are going to rub against you (and they may not be pretty, showered people) comes with experience.
  • Acquainting myself with the districts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • One of the greatest things about NYC (from what I’ve garnered in a week) is the DIVERSITY. It’s beautiful. One moment you’re in the bustle of business people, the next you’re walking next to a hippie through the East Village, there’s a person to your right speaking Chinese and one to your left with a British accent, and the next minute you’re walking past a row of Korean restaurants and listening to a Brooklyn girl have a baby-daddy argument on the phone. You never know. New York is a great way to culture yourself! 

I enjoy the puzzle-like geography of the Manhattan districts, and am currently trying to commit them to memory so when I look at my coordinates, I know what neighborhood I’m in. Little things make sense once you think about them: SoHo is South of Houston Street, while NoHo is north of Houston. Yesterday I ran a work errand on West 23rd — the heart of Chelsea! Can you guess where the Upper West Side and the Lower East Side are located!? Right where they should be! Thank you, common sense!

  • Seeking out great places to eat. I admittedly haven’t done a lot of eating out at this point, partly because my budget doesn’t allow for it, and also because I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been using Yelp to direct me toward a few places. Last week I had an awesome meal at a Brooklyn Tex-Mex joint right up the street called Gueros, and today I found a great pizza joint, Roma Pizzeria, in Park Slope. But I’m still seeking out good, cheap eats that won’t leave me sick.
  • Studying style.  Where you have a city of diverse people, you also have diverse style. One of my favorite things about walking the streets of NYC is seeing what people are wearing! I’ve noticed that New Yorkers always have on nice, practical shoes — it’s an investment. Not to mention the variation in hairstyles, colors, and the intricate layering of clothing items (simultaneously very coordinated and effortless). I hope I can take away something in the wardrobe department!
  • Getting out of my apartment. I didn’t come here to sit — I came to move, and to explore. When I was searching for a place to live, my requirements were: safety first, then a roof over my head and a place to sleep at night. I’m lucky to have found just that, and have a place to crash after a long day in the city. It’s best for me to just walk intuitively — to see a street and feel it’s a good one to walk down, feel the lefts and the rights and perhaps stumbling upon a gem. There is so much ground to cover here, I feel that sitting around is using up valuable time.

Speaking of things that get me out of my apartment…

I also began my internship this week with 20×200. I should first explain how I came across them, ended up in New York City, and now am living every day (or at least the past week!) like there’s no tomorrow!
My wonderful cousin Erin tipped me off about 20×200 back in November. I promptly applied for the position and received a quick response. After an intense Skype conference call interview in mid-November, I took a deep breath and hoped that all my years of thinking about how to sound professional might actually come to fruition.
A month passed, and my hands were still empty of an internship. My fellow classmates and I would bemoan the task of finding work, as we were all in the same, empty boat — something that made me feel better about my lack of success. I continued to apply coast to coast at anything or anywhere remotely viable, but always thought, “Gee, it’d be sweet to work with 20×200.” As Christmas approached, I was still empty-handed. I made plans to pack up my belongings in Moorhead and move to  my parents’ in Minot, half-expecting that I’d be there for a month at minimum. Finally, in mid-December, I received the good news. I quickly made plans to move to New York to work alongside the fine folks at 20×200.

If you aren’t familiar with them, 20×200 does a really wonderful thing for artists and collectors alike. They offer beautiful, originallimited edition archival prints at exceptional prices. What does that translate to? If you have $20 to spare — I know most people do — you can own a one-of-a-kind print that supports both the artist and the supporter of artists, 20×200! It’s (this phrase is my pet peeve, but I honestly believe it applies here) *the perfect gift* for practically everyone!

If you’ve never visited their site before, now is the chance to take in some fantastic art and think about which wall in your home each piece could and would look good on!

(End of shameless advertising.)

A few more things from this week:

Window display at Bergdorf Goodman on 58th and 5th…so creative, so inspiring, so incredible.
Designer clothing in the windows of Bergdorf Goodman. Fashion I could only dream of affording at this point!
Lighting up the sidewalks of East 57th Street

Paid a visit to Times Square at dusk to experience the lights come alive!
The Flatiron Building at Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and East 22nd Street, as seen during a morning errand.
Running in errand in Chelsea, I ran across the legendary Hotel Chelsea. 
This advertisement says it all!
From a quiet evening in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

This has been a week in review, live from Brooklyn, New York where I feel completely cozy and absolutely at home. Keep tuning in for more adventures!