The New York Blog Pt.1
It’s hard to believe that 4 years have passed since I arrived in NYC, just days before the 4th of July, 2018. Rewind to three months prior, I was living in Denver at the time and my relationship of 3 years came to an end. I desperately needed change so I decided that was the perfect time to quit my job and was able to join in on my friend Tylers spring road trip from San Fransisco to NYC. I visited New York in 2016 and loved it so much I made it a life goal to live there at some point. Little did I know, that goal would become reality faster than I could have expected. After the 3,000 mile trip I arrived knowing 2 things: That I was about to be homeless because my Denver lease would be ending soon, and that although I didn’t know how it was going to work out, New York would be the next chapter of my life.
The first photo in NYC.
I'm sad my lens was broken for this spot. =/
New York City might not be everybody’s type of time but for me, it helped drive my insatiable hunger to become better at my craft. In a place with such an extensive list of illustrious photographers over the decades, I felt the pressure and still feel it today. However, in retrospect I can look back and say I’m pretty happy and proud of what I was able to get done in my time there. I’m writing in past tense as I’m currently living in laid back California but missing the unmatched NYC hustle. If I’m being honest with myself, I know it’s just a matter of time before I find myself back there but for now, a break is needed. The city became my comfort zone. So for the city that never sleeps, with a heavy heart, I had to bid you adieu, but please know it’s not forever and that I think of you often.
Sunset sends on the Wily B after a super intense rain storm.
The only time I climbed the QB bridge it was completely fogged out.
Surfing the Wily B.
I spent the first month either sleeping on the roof of an apartment building in Downtown Brooklyn or across the front seat of Tyler’s cargo van because he was sleeping in the back. I was so energized to hit the city, it was all so brand new, overwhelming and exciting I didn’t know where to start. I would sit at Brooklyn Roasting Company in Dumbo on IG for an hour a day drinking coffee and looking at every NYC feature page, or NYC photographer I could find. I wanted to see as much as possible about what and where people were shooting. I actually had a running list written down on paper of places I wanted t go and try and make my own. I spent nearly every moment of everyday of the first month roaming the 5 Burroughs, and crossing off the list. Looking back, it’s crazy to think about how much sweat equity I put in during that first summer. In a place flooded with so much talent, work ethic really goes a long way, and I hardly remember sleeping.
One of my favorite selfies.
Construction sites and cranes in severe rainstorms are not advisable. 1000 feet up compounded by gusty winds = rain that feels like being pelted by hail.
The first month came and went and I had to fly back to Denver in August to get the apartment I had been sharing with my ex move out ready. One day Tyler hit me up about renting a 10x10 music studio that had A/C for us to live in literally right next to the apartment roof I I had already been camping on. The only obvious downside of paying $250 a month to live in Downtown Bk is that music studios don’t know they have people living in them and thus they don’t install showers. Had I not already been using the next doors apartment’s fitness/pool area mens changing room shower, I’d of been in a bit more trouble.
This morning we stayed far too long. From the top of the crane I could see workers entering the site. If you've ever climbed a crane you know at this point, you fucked up. I could see the crane operator below us climbing up the ladder while we were climbing down. It was a matter of time before we would meet. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed and started calling someone on the phone. Whoever it was I had zero interest in meeting. I said fuck that and started climbing down the outside of the crane some 700ft up to the next platform about 20 feet below so I could continue down the ladder. Made it back into the construction site and could he workers all around me. Running down some 50-60 flights it's amazing to me I didn't come face to face with a single worker.
A month passed in Denver and I arrived back to NYC and immediately picked up where I left off. In the streets everyday, and all night. Most of it was solo since I didn’t really know anyone in the beginning. More and more I started linking with people and I’m proud to say that 4 years later a few of them have become some of the most important people in my life. And so an action packed summer flew by and September came and it was time to start heading west for a little seasonal work followed by a trip to Mexico. After that my plan was to buy a van to live in back in New York.
Going away party before heading west for seasonal work.
After climbing the spire above, we came here to end the night.
If you want see the whole 2018 roadtrip including riding freight trains across The High Line from Minnesota to Oregon, check out my blog “Favorites From 2018”.
You can also see my 2016 quick trip to NYC in my “Endless Nights Under The NYC Lights” blog.
I pride myself on chasing dreams and achieving goals so after my trip to Mexico, I bought a van and returned back to the city. It felt like I never left, right away it was back to running around with the boys. A month after returning I settled into working at the Jersey City, NJ branch of the job I had in Denver. Do you ever look back at pervious versions of yourself and think ‘damn, I can’t believe I was that motivated?” Well, that’s how I feel for 2019. Not only was I working almost 60 hours a week, but I found enough energy to make it arguably the most photographically productive year I was there.
Mother and son getting matching tattoos in Midtown.
From the morning we camped 10 deep on this roof.
After I fell 20 some feet to concrete in 2016 that resulted in a fractured skull, 2 blown out knees and a shattered knee cap, free climbing up and down this crane jib was the scariest shit of my life but it was absolutely worth it.
I think this was Christmas Eve.
Well that's it that's all. Thanks for checking out part 1 of this 2 part series. After I return from Canada I'll finish up the final part. Thanks for checking this out!