New York City is glamorous and sophisticated, crowded yet friendly, soulful then soulless; Indifferent and dirty, pulsing with a life sometimes lonely and then welcoming, perplexing and then straight forward; Wall Street, museums, benches and stairs, art, desperation, hunger and peace in the noise and smells, always flowing and pulling at the inhabitants and it’s visitors.
Can New York City be defined? New York City is a shape shifter delighting in defying definition. If decay is yin, than renewal is yang, and in New York City one may witness and document the two parts of the whole; glitz and grit existing everywhere, side by side, refusing to be defined as either one or the other but as parts of the same. It is a delicious complexity.
So how do you photograph one of the most-photographed cities in the world? Under the guidance of Ron Zak, the students of Solano Community College took on the challenge in June of 2010. The answer that formed seemed to be “… forget your ideas of what New York City is supposed to be, how you’ve seen it before, and show the big apple as you see it, through your lens.” New York is obliging and shares some of her secrets. We found a city that indeed never sleeps but reveals quiet moments at it’s most busiest and boisterous times. We found a gothic cathedral, Saint John’s, sitting in downtown Harlem. We found sandy beaches on the shores of Manhattan. We found shadows and shapes, reflections of now and then, lines that disappeared high above us, and people in a modern day costume made up of where they came from and where they are going. We found an international city where even graffiti comes in a multitude of languages; a place where simple patriotic memorials to those who died in 9/11 still strike the soul with intensity. In exploring the rush of New York City, in capturing parts and pieces of a New York moment, in the exploration of others and the place that contains them, we found a little bit of ourselves.