Another regular subject for me is bicycles and public transportation. Here are four more bicycle photos seen around town.
A couple walking home together. He’s using a Bikeshare bike, which is a pretty positive commentary on their adoption by more than just tourists.
A pair of interesting old bikes locked up on the rack outside the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum.
I’m on the fence about how much I really like this image, but it’s bikes, so I’m including it for now. Let me know what you think – does the composition work well? Placement of depth-of-field?
Finally, the bike in the Hermes window. While it’s not in use for its intended purpose, it’s a nice looking bike, and it’s in the Hermes store window, very cleverly employed in the window design. I forget if it was red or dark blue (I think red), but it was a splash of color that popped out against the white backdrop of the window, pulling your eye around the display.
A couple quick snapshots from a street ramble after work.
I happened upon this scene on my walk home from work the other day. I’ve developed a thing for photographing bikes and other means of transport, thanks to seeing the bikeshare stations all over and watching people riding them. I like the multiple layers happening in the scene with the contents of the gallery merging with the scene behind. The bike is still the main emphasis, but you have the cars, the pedestrian, the interior volume of the gallery with art on the walls, and then the fractional self-portrait of me on the right side (mostly just camera bag in the reflection, but I’m still in the picture).
These two were just practice shots, really, trying to get better at people photography on the street. They’re part of the mood of 14th Street, though- emblematic of the energy of the place.
Here are two portraits I took of my friend Wanchuk, who is co-owner with Sam Huang (photo posted previously) of Mad Momos Restaurant & Beer Deck. I’ve known Wanchuk for nearly a decade. He’s from Sikkim, which is now a province of India in the Himalayas between Nepal and Bhutan, but used to be an independent kingdom with close ties to Bhutan.
We met through a common love of photography – at the time he was still in post-college bum-around-the-world mode, and wanted advice on how to take better pictures in the places he was going. Now he’s running a restaurant and giving me a show of my photos. The exhibit will open on August 2nd and run through the end of October. Details about the opening reception will be posted separately.
I took those photos of him after we finished a meeting about the exhibit, then went for a 15 minute walkabout in the neighborhood around the restaurant to see what I could find. There’s an old bar/club across the street called “The Pinch” – I so want to photograph the front door because it has cool architectural detailing and some nifty graffiti, but from the looks of the folks hanging out by the front door, I may have to come back and shoot that early in the morning when they’re closed -their patrons may not take too kindly to being photographed.
Here’s their logo on the wall facing the side street – it has a very 70’s look to it, but the paint seems very recent.
Pivoting to the left of the Pinch logo, I saw this lovely vanishing-point perspective of the building walls, dappled in evening sunlight. As I was composing the shot, this man hauling a gigantic cardboard box over his shoulder walked into the frame. Taking advantage of the serendipitous perspective-giving presence of the man, I waited until he was about 2/3 of the way in the frame before shooting.
I took a quick jaunt up to New York for Memorial Day. This time, I ran around in Brooklyn a lot more, as I’ve spent plenty of time in Manhattan and am well familiar with the sights and sounds, pleasures and distractions it has to offer. I stayed near Times Square, and took in a play at the Lyceum Theater (how can you go to New York and NOT see something at the theater??).
The play I went to is “The Nance”, starring Nathan Lane. It’s about a burlesque theater company in New York in 1937, and Nathan Lane plays the part of Chauncey Miles, the “nance”, who performs comic relief bits between the striptease acts. The Nance was a common trope in burlesque theater, a sissy whose lines and mannerisms were full of double-entendres and sexual suggestiveness. They also often ran afoul of the morality police for “promoting indecency”, although their routines were fully clothed, and even the dialog was never sexually explicit. Nathan Lane is brilliant as Chauncey, (not that I would have expected anything less from him), and I was riveted throughout the performance. I wish I could have photographed the theater interior, not just the lobby, because it was itself something out of another era, and a unique experience. I had balcony seats, and even though they were in the third row of the balcony, and had an excellent view of the stage, the balcony is five flights up, and is pitched at a vertiginous slant, with very little walking space between the seats and the backs of the row in front, with no guard rail until the front row. Fortunately they did see fit to squeeze in bathrooms on the balcony so you didn’t have to hike up and down five flights.
The Brooklyn Bridge is so iconic. I didn’t get to walk across it this time (next trip), but I saw it from the Brooklyn side and got my photo with the skyline of Manhattan framing it. Looking at it here and now it’s hard to imagine what this view would have looked like when it was first built in 1883, with the bridge being as big as many of the buildings behind it. Now of course, Freedom Tower behind it is actually taller (with the spire) than the Brooklyn Bridge is long (1776 feet vs 1596 feet).
On the East River, at least, bridges are a defining feature of New York. Here is the view from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, the new name for the neighborhood between the bridges, for those unfamiliar with the term) of the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge to the north.
Amazing, isn’t it? There are green spaces in New York, besides Central Park. This is my friend Tomo, sitting on the lawn at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park itself is fairly new, and runs south and west from the Manhattan Bridge, under the Brooklyn Bridge, and on down the East River, reclaiming a number of old piers that no longer support shipping.
What trip to New York would be complete without a ride on the subway? Here’s a staircase to the platform, I want to say at the 57th Street F train station.
My friend Tomo, waiting for the train to Brooklyn with me.
This shot would have been better in color, I know, but black-and-white was what I had loaded in the Rolleiflex at the time. Pedro’s is a Mexican restaurant in the heart of DUMBO, just a block or so down the hill from the York Street subway stop. Didn’t try it, so no comment one way or another on the food, but it sure looks like it would be fun. I’ll give it a try on my next trip, unless any of you have warnings for me!