Posts Tagged ‘New York’

In Astoria, walking west in the 31st Avenue, you cross Vernon Boulevard to find yourself in front of the East River. It is a surprising spot in NY, kind of underrated, sort of hidden, with far less audience and visitors than it deserves.

spring NYThe other side is Roosevelt Island, and the skyline behind is Manhattan. If you turn right, you would find eventually in Astoria Park, which is a more visited and acknowledge spot, closer to restaurants and bars and the N,Q line. But if going left, then surprises pile.

spring NY (5)You can plan a BBQ on the Socrates Sculpture Park, a name more sumptuous than reality checks. There are a couple of statues, and cryptic installations, mixed with a welcome green-grass in a corner of Queens, where red brick rules.

spring NY (3)It´s a reserved spot for cyclist, picnic-style families, yoga practitioners and dog walkers.

If you keep walking the path, after a momentary step into the Vernon Blvd at Broadway, you are right again entering through a Costco gate, heading to a waterfront that is the Rainey Park.

spring NY (7)spring NY (8)The exit takes you to the 34 avenue… you can then decide to go back or keep walking a longer distance to Queensbridge Park. Or none of these and just take your walk back to the red brick heading to 21st Avenue, and again to Broadway, and 31st Street, in a green Astoria.

spring NY2

This week The Daily Post gives a very clear cut definition of its challenge: “Habit. The stuff of the everyday — places we go, things we do, people we see.”

Having thought about it, my take is about something we may not immediately render as stuff of everyday, but the ubiquity of it makes it worthy to point out. It is Photography.

In the XIX century, the individual photo or the family picture was a unique event, something a regular person would only have as a reminder of a very special occasion.  With technological development, the frequency increased, but I can remember when I was a child, my mom would only pay a photographer to take my pictures once a year for my birthday.

But today’s digital technology makes it cheap and easy for everyone of us to hold an amazing achive of images. That’s how I believe taking photographs have become part of our habits.

For instance, Asian people with cameras has become almost a stereotype and subject of friendly jokes.

(C) jennroig: Genzano di Roma, 2010

(C) jennroig: Genzano di Roma, 2010

But it’s not accurate. People from every ethnicity bring cameras when they visit other countries or relevant places, like the massive Vatican Museum.

A chamber in the Vatican Museum, Rome, 2010

A chamber in the Vatican Museum, Rome, 2010

We don’t take pictures only with cameras, but with our phones, tablet and plenty of other devices. Very often we don’t even need anyone to take our photo, and that’s how selfies have become habit.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, 2010

Trevi Fountain, Rome, 2010

By the way, selfies are not necessarily restricted to just one subject.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, 2010

Trevi Fountain, Rome, 2010

Still, I find it breathtaking and irresistible when I see one of those old, vintage, film cameras. I wonder who this guy is, what’s his story. Was he taking that shot of New York because of his job or just pure placer? I wish I know.

New Jersey shore, 2012

New Jersey shore, 2012