I have wanted to return to the US ever since road tripping across the Southern States a few years back. So when the opportunity to do a flying visit to Boston and New York came up, I leapt at the opportunity.
Like most, my knowledge of these two iconic cities was based on various films and TV programmes set in the cities. When I arrived at the Motel in Boston (spitting distance from Charleston) it conjured images from films like Martin Scorsese's The Departed and Ben Affleck's The Town. With that in mind I avoided the banking district and headed for the Freedom trail. I’d heard it was a good way to see the centre of Boston in a short space of time. I used it as a rough guide, leaving the trail and then picking it up at a different point when I’d finished exploring whatever market, building or district I’d wandered into.
Street photography is my favourite genre of photography and a busy market day provided lots of great opportunities to capture some insights into the people of Boston. The colourful market places were further enhanced by the various dance and street entertainers working any tourists who stopped to watch them, adding to the vibrant, bustling atmosphere. I gradually made my way from the centre to the docks, which turned out to be my favourite area of the city. The smell of fresh seafood, the sound of the sea and a welcome breeze along with the awesome views of the Boston high rises provided a great parting shot of a memorable city. Also, a shout out to the 99s near my motel - the craft bear and steak pizza were great and I appreciated their attempts to improve my baseball knowledge even though I think they were fighting a loosing battle on that front.
There have been countless travel and photography blogs written about New York City and it's easy to see why. It’s an overwhelming place of epic scale, iconic sights and interesting people.
I was staying in Brooklyn but apart from a couple of early morning runs and some late night burritos I didn’t explore as much as of it as I would have liked. Most of my time was spent wandering the streets of Manhattan, camera in hand. It was mid-summer and the city was buzzing, providing lots of insightful and interesting scenes for my camera to focus on. When describing New York, artist and author Djuna Barnes observed; “New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American”. Whilst walking the streets of the city, photographing various New Yorkers going about their daily routine I found this statement to be true. I was struck by the vast array of different cultures and people, as well as their relationships with the city in which they lived.
A trip to New York wouldn’t have been complete without taking in the views from atop the Empire State Building. By the time I reached the summit of the tower the sun was just disappearing over the horizon. This allowed me to take in some amazing sights of the city bathed in late evening light as well as some dramatic night views.
Whether lit by the setting sun or numerous twinkling neon lights, the city was an awe inspiring sight and one which will stay with me for a long time.