48 hours. New York Stories.
Its 10:15 AM when we land at Laguardia — wait… I shouldn’t start like that.
Hic et nunc, here and now; My french lit teacher used to hate this: too obvious, an “expected stratagem” he’d say. Good 'ole Monsieur Godart… He’d repeat it over and over, sometimes taking a shoe off and banging it on someone’s desk to make his point. Crazy mofo… Good crazy — the kind that makes an impression.
Still, it IS 10:15 AM.
The last time I was in New York the towers were standing. That’s a whole other reality right there, a whole other reality away from this one. Sometimes life isn’t linear. Sometimes it jumps sideways and we’re left struggling in its wake.
There’s a new theory out, something published and serious. According to this article our entire universe could be a holographic projection. Apparently it explains a whole big bunch of discrepancies in our understanding of the laws of physics at the quantum level. I guess Plato was right all along: we’re just the shadows projected by some far away world. Everything we know is a mirage. Makes you think doesn’t it? That science is now slowly proving the chemically induced fantasies of a million teenage kids, or every bad Hollywood ending ever shot — turns out it was allll aaaa dreeeaaammmm…
Damn. If this is the reflection, you have to wonder what the hell kind of insane reality is out there.
Meanwhile, out here in the shadows we’re headed to the Bronx, an entire day of discussions ahead with Fujifilm engineers. And David Hobby, Chris Weeks... Fuji US and Fuji Canada.
I feel extremely privileged.
The night wraps itself around this city like another disguise. Fresh makeup with shiny, shiny lipstick. Dinner is over and we’ve said our goodbyes. We drop our bags at the hotel and head out. I’m with fellow Canadian photographer Bryan Caporicci, talking up a storm and walking up 39th street. Times Square is unnavoidable, as absolute as an equation, gigantic and freakishly garrish.
I should've shaken the hands of Captain America…
I’m booked on the 13th floor. When did that happen? Wasn’t there a time when they'd skip it altogether? Maybe I can find a black cat somewhere; give that holographic projection a run for its money, just for kicks. I sleep alright, in spite of the sirens and the noise and the sirens. At some point it must’ve stopped because the morning is almost quiet, the sun like an arrow through the streets below. It’s all incredibly beautiful.
Fifth & CoLOUR
Bryan has an ealier flight so he leaves right after breakfast. I’m on my own. I’ve got a few hours to kill so I check out of the room and strap the camera around my neck — I’m travelling light so it’s no big deal. The air is chilly, but crisp and bright. I won’t stop walking until I need to, until the clocks scream Laguardia! Montreal! Now! Now! Now!
A guy tries to hand me a flyer somewhere along Fifth Avenue.. I keep walking and say: “Thanks but I’m flying back in a few hours!” “That’s too bad!” he replies with a smile. I slow my pace a little and smile back: “Yeah man, it is… It really, really is”.
I've sat beneath the crux of the empire, dwarfed by the giant and drowned in masses, overflowed. I've felt the dark pulsing of a backbeat on the subway, the Don Pardo-like voice of reason ringing in my ears, telling me to be safe; telling me to denounce the suspicious and the odd. Give me your tired, your poor...
I've felt the arms of Colossus and its almighty gaze. The hopes of the Old century —
and the doubts of the New.