Sunday, August 10, 2008

Photos from Brooklyn

Last night I headed over to Greenpoint to see two great bands, Regina Hexaphone and Schooner. The show started at 8, and I got there at 7. So I tooled on over to the waterfront to see if I could get a few photos of Manhattan.

I drove up West Street, looking down each street to see whether it was fenced off or open to the water. After a couple of false starts, I drove down Java St. I heard some people congregated at the end, listening to music. There were some concrete blocks set up by the water, and two older guys were sitting there quietly, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

I pulled my tripod out and set up to take my photos. After the first batch, one of the quiet guys started talking to me in almost a whisper. "You want a better view, go down to Huron. You don't have any of this crap in the way. Huron is two blocks over." He pointed north.

I took a couple more photos, then thanked him for the tip. The second guy piped up. "You don't wanna go down to Huron," he said gruffly. "Huron's where the scumbags are."

Without missing a beat, he then turned back to the first guy and continued talking. "Who's this guy Brett Favre, anyway? My Giants beat him in the playoffs last year. He's got more gray hair than I do."

The two men started comparing stories about the relative arm strength of Chad Pennington versus Brett Favre, and I packed my gear away and headed up to Huron St.

Places like the end of Huron St. have that "feel unsafe to outsiders" thing going on. But at first glance you might see 12 "shady" New Yorkers, when it's really four or five different, unconnected groups hanging out.

Two Hispanic guys were sitting in their car listening to music and drinking beer. One Asian guy had brought his SUV there and was spending a lot of time washing its tires. A couple was sitting on a cement block, looking like they were discussing a college project. A woman was trying to catch a Canada goose that was swimming around. Three old Russian ladies were throwing hunks of stale bread through a fence, feeding some ducks on the other side. Scumbags.

I set up on Huron, and the view was great as well. The setting sun was tossing off golden highlights on the clouds, and made the city seem beautiful and tranquil. A woman was standing at the end of a concrete outcropping. I don't know who she was or what she was doing there, but she didn't move during my bracketing shots.

NYC photos here.

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