City Flea, Manhattan


I’m heading to New York City next month. I’m so excited to catch up with friends and see how things have changed over the past three years since I was there last.

I lived in NYC for 13 years, from 1995 to 2008. I moved there to study architecture at The Cooper Union. Whenever I had a chance, I took elective courses in the art program. Photography was one of my favourite classes.

We developed and processed film by hand in the dark room. I loved the cool metallic smell of the chemicals and the haze of the dim red light. The maze of rooms that made up the photography department was separated by light-proof spinning doors that'd quietly hum to warn you when another student would enter the room.

Photography was slow back then. I remember savouring each step that punctuated the long wait between purchasing my roll of film to holding a finished print in my hands. It was before smartphones, so carrying around a camera was still novel and served as a conversation starter on the sidewalk. 'Are you a tourist?' they'd ask. 'No, just a student.' I'd reply.

These are a few shots from an assignment I did in the colour photography course I took, sometime around 1997. I wandered down to a flea market along Broadway in an empty parking lot in Soho.

 

CITY FLEA, MANHATTAN

Photo essay, 35mm Kodak film, 1997

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