My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“The Ups and Downs of NYC”

Wake up Call

“Wake up Call”

Since growing up between two of the largest cities on the east coast, one being Philadelphia and the other New York, you would think I would be familiar or at the very least comfortable with them. Actually that is the furthest from the truth as I grew up in the pines of south jersey, so visiting anything with more than 2 stories was both illuminating and many times quite confusing. When traveling to the city of choice for this post, “NYC”, I relied on the calm but monotonous one and a half hour ride on a train which would deposit me at Penn Station in Manhattan. This put me right in the center of where my quest to document 4 visits to this urban oasis would be fulfilled.


Urban Reflection

Urban Reflection


My first trip took me to lower Manhattan’s financial district. The structures and how the light reflected on them truly fascinated me. Peering up and down the streets and trying to make a connection with my camera was a task that was made easier by one of my guides, meet-up planer/photographer Martin Joffe. He had made special arrangements to shoot inside the “Woolworth” building. When I stepped inside this place, I was immediately sent back in time, where money translated to some of the most opulent decor one could imagine. The juxtaposition of the old to more modern architecture, was eye-opening to say the least.




“A Selfie Moment”


The next visit to NYC was to shoot in Chinatown and my guide would be street/portrait photographer DC Fahsbender. Imagine the street noise and traffic of a big city combined with the unknown elements of a different country. The signs, language and most of the people being of a different culture, brought my lens to a place, both old and new. While I walked up and down the narrow streets of the many shops, I felt swept along by a current of people. By inviting the culture of this place in, I was able to slow down and click away.




“Capturing a Dream”


A little further over would take me to the East Village, with its mix of old and new, which was evident from its late 19th century architecture to the present. The hispanic flavor of this part of the city was apparent just by viewing the restaurants and hearing the rhythmic music that echoed down many of the small cross streets. My lens once again gravitated to the people, whether they were engaged in a pickup basketball game or played dominos on the sidewalk.




Caged View

“Caged View”


Last, but not least, would be my trip to the Williamsburg Bridge and its namesake on the other side. Walking across, while overlooking the traffic and parts of the city, was not a sight to be missed. The pace of the people riding bikes and driving over this bridge was perilous at times, unless you stayed on the right side of the yellow line. From the view up high, to the street art down below, this section of town had me using pan blurs and structural composition to express my take on a walk across a busy city bridge.

Upon looking back at my little adventures to the Big Apple, I would not have changed a thing. I met some wonderful people and had great knowledgeable guides to help point which way was uptown or downtown and… which way was home. Although I would not trade where I live, the experience of urban life certainly made my camera happy.

30 responses

  1. So many nice photos from New York.
    Interesting for me to see now, when I’m posting some of my photos from this great city!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    • So cool to be able to see what others do when they visit the same place… thanks Truels.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm

  2. Epic post Mike! Kudos to you for venturing out of your comfort zone. I have picked a few favorites and here they are; nychinat (the single group of clothes make it), nychaint-6 (love the look), nychinat-7 (love the shadows), nycwillb-4 (love the scale), nycwillb-9 (love the perspective).

    Liked by 1 person

    January 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    • Mucho thanks “D”… those visits last year really opened up my eyes and skill set.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm

  3. I admire your work, Mike; I think it’s profound. My favorites would be in the downtown series, particularly #7. I’m moved by your Chinatown and East Village people.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 7, 2016 at 11:17 am

    • Ralph … that downtown area was sure an eye opener… each street had it own little nuances.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:27 pm

  4. Sharon

    Mike… the quality of your work continues to astound me ….simply beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    January 7, 2016 at 9:57 am

    • Big thanks for staying in touch… each turn in my travels brings something new.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

  5. The world is a kinder, gentler space through your lens. We should all look around us with such admiration and joy. Lovely, Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    • So right Marie… shooting keeps me grounded and in a way …in touch with an area I normally would avoid.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

  6. Love your collection

    Liked by 1 person

    January 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    • Big thanks for looking in Doreen!!!!


      January 11, 2016 at 8:31 pm

  7. Hi Mike,

    Great collection of images, again! I was taken by the geometric designs that you found in the urban landscape. I found the Williamsburg Bridge images particularly striking.

    Thank you for posting both your poetry and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 5, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    • Thanks Pat… that bridge was a surprise. Having been across the Brooklyn Bridge and was not as blessed with comps from every angle!!!


      January 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm

  8. Wonderful series Mike! I have never been to NYC… Someday 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed the street portraits, the lines, and texture. Great work again!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    • Oh… those street peeps… can be deceiving. Like any big city one must travel in a crowd or at the very least have eyes in the back of your head.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

  9. Iwalani

    Nice work, as always, Mike. I love that you’re always exercising your vision by exploring new genres and cultural locales. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    • Big happy to you also… I still find it helps with my fav… landscapes!!! It’s weird but being exposed to different people and places really does improve ones skill set.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

  10. Very nice the club should do a field trip there?? Tony Bokeko

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    • Thanks Tony… just mention it to Pat!!!


      January 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm

  11. Len

    Hey Mike. Nice documentation of NYC both in words and images. Really nice job. It also reminds me that I need to get there more often as it is not that far for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 11:27 am

    • Hey Len… it was kinda like when you go with Jeff… my guides both helped point me and protect me so I could shoot without feeling like I was going to loose everything!!!! 🙂


      January 11, 2016 at 8:41 pm

  12. Wonderful collection of what looked like a very busy productive day. Your street photography is dramatic, subtle, comical and artistic. Probably doesn’t quite cover all the emotions I felt when viewing them. Thank you for sharing as I find great comfort in nature and venturing out to a city may not happen for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 11:20 am

    • Well Liz… this was actually months of shooting. I went there 4 different times. I feel the same when in ANY city!!! But I just push my self to get there.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:43 pm

  13. Okay, I’ll start with your architectural It shows the usual intimate and creative compositions that respects and honors what you are looking at. I would not expect anything less from you my friend. Next thing… What floored me and I’m having trouble getting back up from is your street photography. Yesterday I went to the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the photography exhibition of photographer Dave Heath’s street photography from the 1950’s and 60’s. He shot candid portraits and street scenes that expressed the deep emotions that he called “Multitude, Solitude”. His work floored me too (I’m starting to get tied of being knocked over) and now I see your photographs that look like you two were wandering around NYC together. Your street photography shows that depth of perception far out ways the ability to calculate depth of field. And, as usual, your thinking oddly coincides with mine. Beautiful, motivating and exceptional work!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 11:02 am

    • First I can’t thank you enough for your thoughts and observations. You are spot on when you observed how the street shots were taken. I keep saying get out of your comfort zone as it will improve all aspects of your own creative path. Shooting a rodeo, clowns and zombies helped set the stage for many of these candid shots… all timing and being invisible. I also feel we help each other by what we share… it can be a simple ‘hey’ at the club, to a more in depth conversation. Just remember you not in it alone… although I tend to shoot most of my venues that way… go figure 🙂


      January 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

  14. Great photos Mike. A wonderful set of street portraits in this series along with stunning lines represented in the architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

    • Thanks Dan as both just kept rolling in on my visits there.


      January 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm

  15. robertldoc

    You do such beautiful work. you inspire me! Have a great new year! Bob Robert Levy

    Photos: Email:


    Liked by 1 person

    January 3, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    • Thanks Bob… just trying to start the new year posting pics… glad you are keeping up with what I do.


      January 4, 2016 at 1:44 am

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