I was so happy when this Polaroid developed. It was boiling hot and we were checking out Chinatown, sweatily and slowly; I saw this little girl with her mother and paused for a moment, knowing I had one shot left in my camera. I don’t often take photos of strangers, let alone random people in the street, but there was something i knew i had to catch, and as they walked towards me i quickly pressed the shutter button, with my breath held, trying to not look like i was doing what i was doing. When i see people wielding cameras in the street i generally avoid their lenses; i don’t think the camera steals your soul, but i’d still rather not appear in their holiday snaps. As a rule you should always ask people if you can take their photograph, and that day i understood why street snappers use the zoom lenses they do – all the better to get those candid shots. It’s unlikely that this woman will ever know she is here on my blog, but her Polaroid is my favourite from the 100+ I shot; I wish i’d stopped and thanked her.
Later, we were in the West Village, buying cupcakes and geeking out over Carrie’s house*. Looking like a more chi-chi version of Notting Hill, the West Village seduced me in seconds; I almost embarrassed myself stalking these two women along Bleeker Street, and while i’d have never had the balls to ask to take their picture, this shot perfectly encapsulates that afternoon for me.
My week in New York City can be summed up in eight words: absolutely amazing and i want to live there. I know i come back from every new city wanting to live there, but this time it was different**. I can see why London and New York are so connected; it’s as if they’ve scooped out the juicy flesh of London, plonked it on an island and sprinkled it with razzmatazz. I LOVED it. The first two days i walked around on my own and was in my element – cameras, coffees, a bit of shopping, people watching, chats with strangers, cab hailing (i got it down to a fine art) and plenty of oohs and ahhs as I wandered happily, Polaroid in hand.
This is a love affair that’s only just started. New York, my new love, I’ll be back next year…
* tragic, i know. we tried to play it cool
** I probably say that too.