Photographed in black and white, these images bring the city and it’s splendor/grittiness/excitement to life. It’s fascinating to me, that while New York is a center of education, wealth, and thriving arts, it is also very much a decaying city. The state of the subway stations is atrocious; dust bunnies thrive, rats run rampant, paint peels, and trash prevails. The homeless, defeated, make their rounds through the cars, begging for money, food, something- they’ll take anything.
As New Yorkers we constantly flit between the dark under world that is the New York MTA, to the city above, that is generally clean and full of inspiration, hope, and the “American Dream”. In many ways this black/white, good/evil theory extends itself to city living and it’s philosophy. Darkness, can thrive anywhere in a city, and you don’t have to try hard to fine it. Just look at the greed and corruption in the financial markets and politicians, or (more personally damaging) get literally shoved out of the way as someone passes you on the sidewalk.
But don’t fret, because you’ll be sure to find “the light” at your closest Duane Read. Ok just kidding, but seriously now, most people stay living in this crazy city because of the beauty, energy and opportunities that surround them. Not to mention that deli worker who smiled and gave you a free cookie with your sandwich.. which leads me to NYC “in white”. An important lesson I had to learn as a New Yorker: there are good Samaritans here, you just have to smile back, and you’ll find them.
However, the bad days, the “darkness,” can and will get you down. In my own past city living, I’ve found that there will always be some negative thing surrounding you- whether it’s an awful coworker, getting lost in a neighborhood you thought you knew, or that huge puddle you accidently stepped into while dodging a taxi. Thankfully, the silver lining is simple; there is almost always something sunny in the city to conquer it’s (or your) negatives. Even though the Fulton Street subway stop looks like a scene out of a horror movie- hey, construction workers are hard at work building up ground zero, and Magnolia’s cupcakes have never tasted so fresh. People often say that the constant motion and change is what they like most about New York.. it’s the feeling that something is actually happening and things are getting accomplished.
Even on your darkest days, you can trust that the pedestrian crowd will pick you up, forcing you to walk at a quick pace, and you’ll see or experience something that will make you want to stay in the city, continuing to discover each positive detail it has to offer.