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Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Pedestrian City

Trombone Player
Photo by myself at the subway station at 34th Street, Penn Station.

These gentlemen drew a small crowd with their enthusiastic jazz performance.


Saturday Mark and I drove to the city. We planned to do some errands in the East Village, then drive up to Hell's Kitchen for some grub.

We should have taken the subway.

Around 14th Street and 8th Avenue, traffic came to a stop. Gridlock.

Cars were trying to make a turn when the light changed, but cars were already stopped in the middle of the intersection. People were honking and there was no movement for several minutes.

The reason for the hold up? Another one of those street fairs. Several blocks of Eighth Avenue were blocked off for kiosks selling hot dogs, fajitas and hats. Apparently we'd encountered the 'Chelsea Visiting Neighbors Festival', whatever that is.

I'm not vehemently against street fairs. They're a symbol of summer and as a pedestrian, they can be nice. It seems like there are so many of them though, and they all look the same. Traffic is terrible as it is. Why intentionally make things worse?

A quick look at the NYC.gov calendar shows that every Saturday and Sunday, several neighborhoods will be shut down for fairs and parades.

My advice? Walk, don't drive!


Jilly said...

Great shot. Works so well in black and white.

Eva said...

I love street musicians. They are the tell tale sign that summer is (almost) here :-)

I agree with you and the street fairs. They are a pain in the behind when you are riding a car.

Kitty said...

Thanks Jilly
Yeah, most of the time there's just too much going on. Black and white makes photos more legible

Hi Eva
Street musicians bring joy and excitement to the mundane. This subway stop is more drab than most.

Anonymous said...

Great picture,I just love street musicians.

Mab said...

I just think the street musicians are great.I dont get to see many of them as I live out in the sticks in the countryside in england.

Fredrik said...

I agree with mab. We rarely get a chance to see or hear street musicians. They obviously boycott the countryside ;)
When I was in Paris last year, they were everywhere and I emptied my memory stick in a minute!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I love street musicians too. My children will just sit themselves down on the pavement, cross-legged if they see one - I'm sure they'd stay there for hours. I could probably pop off and do all my shopping whilst they sat there.

I tend to walk rather than drive if a journey is less than 3 miles - it is often quicker and certainly less stressful.

Jane Hards Photography said...

We have so few street musicians, island life. It's a lively shot, and a perfect subject for B&W, which are my favourite medium of yours.

Kitty said...

thanks anon!

Hi Mab
I guess I've lived here so long, I take these performers for granted. I'll be sure to get more shots. There are quite a few dancers out there too.

Hi Fredrik
They're fun to shoot, aren't they? It's great to take pictures of people who don't mind having their photos taken.

I suppose there's nothing better or educational for kids than to see artists. Some of the performers are kids themselves.

Thanks Babooshka!

Anonymous said...

Great picture of the musicians - I can almost hear them jamming!

Yikes, gridlock makes me grind my teeth! I can't stand all the honking when there's clearly nothing anybody can do, until the one linchpin-car rolls forward, unlocking everything. That's a beautiful moment!

Mom Knows Everything said...

I like street fairs as long as they don't interrupt my driving as well. ;o)

Kitty said...

lol, Spandrel. Yes, we eventually got out of the mess, but not without a lot of cursing.

Hi Tammy!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I'm not a fan of the street fairs, as a pedestrian or otherwise. They're all the same!!

Olivier said...

bravo pour la photo, j'adore les concerts dans le métro de NYC, j'ai toujours été impressionné par le niveau des musiciens

bravo for the photo, I love the concerts in the NYC subway, I have always been impressed by the level of musicians

Kitty said...

hey Fish
Not to be too bah humbug, but I agree with you. If the fairs were radically different, I wouldn't mind. So many of them are filled with crap!

Hi Olivier
These guys were especially enthusiastic, which was nice. I like it when the musicians at least look like they're enjoying themselves

Ming the Merciless said...

I try to get one of those heroes with spicy Italian sausage and caramelized onions at least once each summer.

Yummy yum yum!!

CassavaLeaf.com said...

I love the Alex Lo Dico Ensemble.
I posted about them on my blog with video and music!

uk theses said...

WOW!! thig guy's style of playing impressed a lot!! so cool, some old school jazzy drumz ;)