She's there when I'm down, and I'll plough that experience into something creative rather than destructive, which is all cool..but every now and then she delivers the spectacular. I've been fortunate enough over the last couple of years to go to Hong Kong, Geneva, Budapest and Crewe - last month she outdid herself.
Through my work as a lecturer at UCLan I was fortunate enough to visit for a week with another tutor and a fabulous group of 7 creative students that all made the week there an absolute joy, the biggest character of the visit of course being the city itself. Much has been written about the place and this is a mere drop in that ocean, it left an incredible impression on me, and I know I'll be going back there. We got to shoot a couple of short films whist we were there, all on the streets of the biggest movie set in the world - what a backdrop. My vagabond shoes tip tapped their way through so many well known outside sets. Ghostbusters, Goodfella's, Manhattan, Saturday Night Fever, The Seven Year Itch, King Kong, The Day After Tomorrow, The King of New York, Taxi Driver, A Night at the Opera, Citizen Kane, On The Town, On The Waterfront, Breakfast at Tiffany's, West Side Story, Barefoot in the Park, Coogan's Bluff, Rosemary's Baby, Midnight Cowboy, The French Connection, The Godfather, Mean Streets, Serpico, Death Wish, The Taking of Pelham 123, Marathon Man, The Sentinel, Superman, All That Jazz, Kramer vs Kramer, The Warriors, Dressed to Kill, Raging Bull, Trading Places, The King of Comedy, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Sea of Love, Leon, Se7en, The Devil's Advocate, Godzilla, Spiderman, Elf, American Gangster, We Own The Night, Watchmen...all these, and probably hundreds more, will have a special resonance when I watch them again.
There's a constant buzz about the place, obvious from a city that never sleeps, and generally - wherever we went they talk. The city has a reputation in America for being ignorant, off hand, rude with little time for the outsider. We were lucky then, as it seems everywhere we went people were very friendly and open. The city has its problems of course and the NYPD are currently going through some serious controversy over the arrest rates and shootings of its black populace, the city echoing what is happening on a wider scale in the country. Grand Central Station see's several emotional demonstrations a day over this, each highlighting scary statistics. A couple of us as tourists (myself included) had bought NYPD T shirts or hoodies, and the cops went out of their way to comment 'Nice T Shirt' as we walked past - one even shouting 'Nice hoodie!' out of the open window as his patrol car went past with the blues and twos blaring.
The diners, the subways, the food, the constant sound, the bars and the people in them, Times Square and it's remarkable transformation from its Taxi Driver depiction, the views, the monuments, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Queensboro Bridge, Greenwich Village, China Town, Little Italy, The Rock, Grand Central Station, Wall Street, the street vendors, the cab drivers, the cops...they'll all stay with me. As a Humphrey Bogart fan it was great to shoot a scene outside the house he lived in as a child...one highlight from so many...anyway all photo's in this blog (apart from the ones I'm in) are mine. The city is a photographer's Heaven. Click on each image separately and it opens out to the full picture. These are a mix of images taken on a Canon 550 DLSR and a HTC1 phone camera.
Here's to those who made the trip a blast, Bill, Connor, Rebecca, Toby, Marina, Donna, Jonnie and Jess. Here's to UCLan - thanks for sending me on the trip. Here's to New York, and here's to returning there soon...