Saturday was a really gorgeous winter’s day in New York (it felt like a South African winter day) and since I have a friend staying with me, we headed out for an afternoon of shooting…starting out at Union Sq, making our way down through then East Village, then down to Chinatown, over the Brooklyn Bridge and then to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The whole Chinatown/Little Italy area downtown sometimes seems surreal – you walk down one street (Mott) and you feel like you’re in Asia; then step one street over to Mulberry and you’re surrounded by Italian restaurants. Anyway while we were there was a parade going on – with drummers, Santas, snowmen – and Chinese dragons. It was a lot of fun to watch especially since we had no idea it was going to be happening.
Having been in New York for just over two months I can safely say that you would really have to do something outrageous to be considered strange in this city. There is something for everyone here, I mean really. Take for instance this past weekend’s Halloween Dog Parade that took place just a few blocks from my house – sure it is held to raise funds for a good cause but it really is pretty bizarre.
Sometimes it was hard to tell whether the owner of the dog dressed to match their dog or if the do was just an excuse to spend all day dressed as Wonder Woman or the woman from 50 Shades of Grey. Also, some of the dogs looked downright uncomfortable and I felt really bad for them. There was a pug there dressed as Evita, inside this cardboard building structure and it looked like it couldn’t even move. There were also quite a few politically-themed dog outfits – “Mutt Romney” and a pair of Obama and Romney dogs together with their bodyguard owners.
It has been a couple of days since I’ve posted but that’s because I have started work and have been busy trying to make my little apartment look decent. This morning I spent a good hour on my hands and knees scrubbing every inch of the bathroom. Turns out the people who lived here before me were disgusting unhygenic pigs who never cleaned. Last night I also found out there is a mouse in my apartment – on one hand I am relieved it wasn’t a giant roach that was making the noise but I am also not prepared to share my little quarters with a rodent.
But that aside I wanted to share these pics of an old man from the Brooklyn West Indies festival which took place last week. During the time that we stood watching the parade he was by far the most interesting (apparently we left before the really good stuff). I am not sure he was actually a formal part of the parade, but from what I eavesdropped from the Brooklyn locals standing next to us, this is not the first time he has been part of it.
He struck me as something out of Waiting for Godot. This strange man, beared dyed green, dressed up in women’s clothes, with his parrot and dog in a pram. The dog looked so sad and tired.
Every day when I walk the streets here I see people whose stories I wish I knew.