Streets and Avenues / New York City (XVII)

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Streets and Avenues / New York City (XVII)

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After college, and a year of vagabonding through Central and South America, I moved to the city forty-two years ago. I was drawn to New York, like many, by the energy and complexity of the city itself, and more specifically, the rich and endless theater found on its streets. While the array of cultural offerings has been a source of nourishment and pleasure, it is the streetlife that keeps me as excited as my first weeks here. What I love about New York is not what I know about the city, but how much I don't know. You cannot exhaust it as a subject, and from the start, I have made the city my primary interest and subject as a photographer. I always go out with a camera and am often mistaken as a tourist because of it. I take that as a compliment, given few can match the exalted state of excitement and awareness that a tourist experiences on a visit.

When the Coronavirus hit and the staggered shutdown of the city went from a talked about possibility to a reality, I found myself inside my apartment looking out at the street below. At first, I made short trips to get necessities, then later added walks through Central Park, and now through the streets of Manhattan. If you think of a photograph as a piece of theater, with a stage set, lighting, cast, and choreography, the new version of the streetlife of New York is an eerie and fascinating show. The set and lighting is much the same, but the cast and choreography have wildly changed. Wandering through Midtown is like walking through an amusement park in the off-season. You experience the present colored by what you know it to be in season.
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