My First Exploration of New York City

I’ve only ever been up to New York City a few times in my life. I remember my grandparents taking my family to see The Lion King on Broadway back when I was very young; we went to Toys-R-Us and had what I recall being a rather good time. The other times that I was in the city was when I was with my cousin and his friends, exploring New York Comic Con at the Javits Center. When we went up for that, we would only go into Times Square as the night came to an end, searching for a place to eat. Needless to say, I had not been able to truly explore as I had wanted. Never saw the Empire State Building, never glanced over at the Statue of Liberty, never really experienced New York City for what it is.

In the spring of 2017, I decided that I was going to go up at some point. I did not know when that was going to be, nor did I really care: I just wanted to go up.

My mom and I began talking about it on and off throughout the summer but nothing came to fruition. However, push came to shove and I began to get fed-up with all the talk, with no true outcome. So I finally convinced her to go up to the city with me over Thanksgiving Break, and Melanie decided to join as well.

Going into the city, it was pretty much everything I had expected it to be. Crowded. Pushy. Loud. Not at all for the introverted.

But at the same time, I found peace within the new environment. To be able to simply disappear in the crowds amazed me, put me at ease. It was as though my camera and I vanished in plain sight, allowing me to capture whatever moments I wanted. Yet, looking back, there were a lot of moments that I had missed due to my nerves being strung too high.

I have never done street or architecture photography before, and my paranoia often got the best of me. Instead of putting the camera up to my face and paying attention to everything in the frame, I found myself firing from the hip, hoping that I got the shot that I wanted. Surprisingly enough, I managed to get quite a few images that I actually liked. Regardless, I need to realize that nobody else is judging me in the same manner that I find myself to be judging myself.

Being in New York City, exploring with my mom and girlfriend, was truly an experience for me. I loved every moment of it, and I cannot wait to go back up with them over the summer.