29 October, 2015

street cred

2420km+ (or miles).

50+L of sweat.

4+ blisters.

2cm+ of inner thigh chaffing.

The results of two weeks spent walking the streets of NYC, earlier this month.

Oh…and countless hours spent (very) lost & confused.

Yes, I have been lucky enough to have frequented NYC many times (so I should have a general idea of the streets). Yes, I know NYC is a ‘grid’ city (so it technically should be easy to navigate). And yes, I did have ‘map’ (it was so dodgy…I bought it off a homeless man and many of the streets were misspelt). But hey, I suffer from directional dyslexia, so that explains my hours lost walking multiple blocks the wrong way…

As I walked uptown…downtown….across town and through the streets of Brooklyn – my thoughts wandered to the act of walking (pun intended).

We often take walking for granted. It is the background…we walk and talk. We walk and look. We walk and think. Walking is linear, yet it is also temporal. A lot of our walking is done on the streets.

During my time in NYC, I spent a lot of time people (and dog) watching. So much entertainment. People watching is practically a sport in nyc. Quarrelling couples pounding the pavement. Girls on their way to a blind date. Businessman striding whilst sipping their Starbucks mocha grande latte and screaming into their bluetooth piece.

Everyone is on a mission. Everyone is in a rush. Everyone is walking somewhere…for something. It’s only when you actively extricate yourself out of the streets and stop…that you realise how the pace of the city.

I have a love-hate relationship with the streets of NYC. I got cursed; “get outta the way girl’. I got complimented; “you damn finnneee girl, where you from?”. I got physically hurt – people need to be aware of the pendulum motion of their arms…so much swinging is NOT necessary. so many times, I nearly copped a whack in my nether regions due to someone’s rogue arm swing.

Eccentric Fashionistas. Shoeless buskers. Tween Gossip Girls.

Food vans. Street markets. Performance artists. Protests.

Graffiti. Ghost signs. Advertising billboards. Flashing lights.

NYC streets have it all. It is no wonder ‘Humans of New York’ has been so successful.

Streets are the vital arteries of our communities. Social interaction and the exchanging of goods and services. All in the public eye. All can be seen by another. What is said on the street is fair game – free for all.

Streets have the capacity to unlock memories.  Sometimes…if I happen to be in the area I still take a  drive down Westbrook Avenue (the street I grew up on). Even though the street has subtly changed (new bus stops, new trees etc)…I still find myself having random flashbacks of my childhood.

Streets offer possibilities. When we get up in the morning, we don’t know what is going to happen on the streets that day. bumping into a long lost friend or even actively avoiding an ex-boyfriend.

During my visit to NYC, I had a real ephinany about ‘streets’ when I ventured out to find the ‘Malcolm Shabbaz markets’ (an african textile market). It was located smack bang in the middle of Harlem. As I walked down the street, I immediately felt uneasy. People stared at me. Men yelled out. I clutched my bag, prayed that I would not get mugged and continued my mission to find these elusive markets (note: I did eventually find the ‘markets’ – it was just a couple of dodgy cloths racks in the middle of rundown carpark!) The whole experience made me realise how streets can effect your emotional state. Some streets we actively avoid, whilst others we go out of our way to be on them.

Rolling dice. Dodgy drug dealing. Car crashes. This stuff also happens on the streets.

To celebrate my time on new york city streets I have collected some images, which I believe capture the city’s energy and eccentrism. There is a reason why the streets of New York have informed so many songs, movies and art pieces throughout history…

new york city

Helen Levitt / NYC (Phone Booth) 1988

(image via Erik M Photography)

manhattan photography

(Image via art.com)

nyc photography

even on a rainy day….the city is so magical & alive…

(Image via blog lovin’)

nyc

(Image via divan japonais)

New_York-Top_of_The_Rock-Gary_Pepper-6

New_York-Top_of_The_Rock-Gary_Pepper-1

This photos by Gary Pepper are so striking – capture the beautiful geometry of NYC.

(Image via gary pepper)

nyc

this man has a bigger personality than the city itself.

(Image via the berry)

nyc

(Image via brides)

nyc

fog.

(Image via Another Beautiful)

 

I effeing HATE birds. I just think this pic shows another side of NYC city streets.

(Image via vintage.es)

nyc

(Image via zazzle)

nyc

(Image via Herschel)

nyc

OK….so this may not show the ‘streets’ of NYC…but I couldn’t help share this SUPER MOON 🙂

(Image via Beautiful Nature)

nyc

(Image via Shut Upp)

nyc

(Image via NYC City feelings)

 

Stone Street in NYC…

nyc

(Image via blogsareoverrated)

OK, I am getting nolstagic…I am going to watch a few episode of Sex and the City and have some peanut M&Ms.

Have a good one!

nikita

 

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