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