Work last week had me back in New York City for the fourth time since November – that's a personal record for those keeping tabs. The first time I was in NY was summer 2002 while on tour with a music group from college and both work and personal travel have kept me going back over the years. I swear I’m slowing getting more and more familiar with the city.
Days one and four of this most recent trip were travel days. Days two and three were spent wearing dress blacks and shooting b-roll of a corporate event in downtown Brooklyn. Crazy thanks to Rik & Heather at Rusty Dog Films for having me out again. They run a Chicago based production house and I’ve shot for them several times over the last couple years.
The now beardless David Bizzaro and I met up once I got in town and dropped off my luggage (Side note: go check out his short "The Pits" finally out on Vimeo). We hung out and got coffee near his office space in Dumbo and ended up watching a couple guys choreographing a sword fight with plastic light sabers.
Afterwards he left for home and I trekked into Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge walkway, dodging selfie taking tourists, runners, and bicyclists along the way. David and I met up again with along with his wife in Washington Square Park and then went for dinner at a German spot in the West Village. That night had me falling for this part of the city and spending most of my free time there chasing food and non-tourist traps the rest of the four day trip.
The morning before my flight home got me re-connected with Ed Gungor. He was a pastor, mentor, and boss of mine while I was in Tulsa for undergrad and grad school. He and his wife Gail now live in NYC to be close to their kids/grandkids in the city as well as finish up his Ph.D.
As an outsider who's spending more and more time in New York City, it feels like a place that's absolutely fine with different ideas. There's the smoosh of all kinds of people getting on and off the subway. There's the huge metal and concrete skyscrapers within walking distance to nice parks with grass and trees. I saw a homeless guy take a full-on piss facing the curb not far from the open air restaurant full of trust fund kids. That neighborhood sex shop was just as accepting as the children's bookstore and fresh squeezed juice place it sat between. The more I'm there, the more it feels like the kind of place I'd want to be part of.