A Dragon Afternoon – II

July 25, 2009 § 69 Comments

One is often a tourist.

And some unwittingly so, even in our own cities.

What do I mean?

We take the easy way out. Whether we are in our city or traveling to another one. We walk the walk, talk the talk, and point & shoot. We see the shell, not what’s within. Delving into the fabric of a place, does not come fast or easy.

The Big Apple – a city with many little worlds within – Little Italy, Chinatown, Curry Hill, Spanish Harlem and many more. Though connected, these are also islands in themselves, cradling different cultures, people, businesses and cuisines.

Do we walk through these islands, and let ourselves feel at home, or are we just the passer-bys? Or is it more like walking through someone’s living room, looking for a comfortable perch? A spot to sit back, and enjoy the drama unfold in front of us!

Did I find my sweet spot in Chinatown? Did I see the Dragon eye to eye?

Yes, I felt I did. And here I am, sharing the same experience with you, in this final part of A Dragon Afternoon (a little delayed- and I apologize for that!).

More moments with the wonderful people, the art of meandering in these streets and fun with various foods and smells that waft through the alleys of Chinatown. We will taste them all.

Come along now! :)

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Share with us your experiences in your city. Or your trip to a different one. Through pictures or words.

Keen to hear your stories, whatever or wherever they might be from.

– The Juicer at work

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§ 69 Responses to A Dragon Afternoon – II

  • The place is crowded! Love the last two pictures. Ephemeral and that’s what makes them so lovely I think.

    • The Juicer says:

      I haven’t posted such reflections before, so this is a first for me here.
      So thanks for the feedback! Love reflections- and there’s plenty of ’em distracting me out there, in this concrete jungle :)

  • y says:

    you’ve got some really great shots of chinatown! i always love taking photos there. where did you take the first shot, with the asian lady on the buildling playing peek-a-boo? (smile)

  • y says:

    i know i can’t be the first one. doesn’t she just make the shot? (smile) i haven’t seen her at Canal and Bway…i try to stay closer to the Grand St. stop to avoid…you know (smile). if that was taken recently, i’ll have to go down and check it out!

    • The Juicer says:

      Yes, taken very recently!
      Heh, I know what you mean by ‘avoidance’- that’s why I trotted down there on Monday afternoon. Take your time to walk around…things get slow and very interesting.
      And she is the shot (big smile)! I stood there dodging traffic for her, for a quite a bit!

  • y says:

    i know about the dodging traffic part, too!…or backing INTO traffic to make the shot (smile). on second thought..(knock on wood).

  • Sampada says:

    Beautiful shots, S. I don’t know what to say. There’s so much life in these photographs. The more I see of NY through your blog, the more I want to come see it. And through your eyes, no less :)

  • paintbynumbers says:

    Thanks for sharing. You’re an amazing photographer. So pleased my brother “FJ” told me about you!

    • The Juicer says:

      What a surprise! And I am grinning ear to ear!:) I love FJ’s blog too…I find it very witty and interesting!

      • paintbynumbers says:

        Yes, FJ is an amazing guy! You’re right about the wit, I grew up with it! Ha!
        He’s so bright, well read, funny and TALENTED!!!!! And best of all , he’s a good man!
        I put you on my blog listing today. I’m totally new at all this! Its so much fun!

        • The Juicer says:

          I wonder what he thinks about the discussion on his talents here! ;) Thanks to you, I feel a connection with you guys now:)
          Thank you for adding my link on your blog…hey, you did not log in with your url so I am not sure about your blog url…I wanna visit!

          • Vicki says:

            “FJ” giggled on the phone last night when I told him I was bragging about his many talents to you. He quickly diverted and offered up how much he admired your work as well. He’s rather shy actually….LOL
            I’m sorry about all the confusion with my blog, I have a newly updated name and a URL to go with it! Ha! I’m seriously way to right brained for my own good! Fortunately , FJ functions from both sides of his brain so he was a great help to me last night with all my technical difficulties. We feel a connection with you as well and we’re looking forward to many more conversations.

            • The Juicer says:

              Haha…your comments just make me smile Vicki! It’s just wonderful to know you and FJ- who says creative people can’t stick together?! Hmph ;)
              The confusion about your url is all cleared up now! Thanks for emailing me…and I intend to send you one long heartfelt one back today!
              Right brained is good my friend, the left brained will always be there to assist us (wicked smile)!
              And yes, I look forward to our conversations as well, it’s simply great to interact and share with you and FJ! Thanks again!!

  • Renée says:

    Looks great:) i love the pics!

  • Rabi says:

    Nice shots, I’ve always found street photography a challenge. For the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th shots, did you ask the people if you could take pictures of them? The 4th, 5th and 6th shots look like you did.

    Rabi

    • The Juicer says:

      Yeah, I asked before clicking the 3rd shot too! I was very close to the subjects and there was no option:) Some looked straight at me and smiled (I did not ask them to look elsewhere)..but the guy in the 3rd shot was unperturbed…and just stayed the way he was. Which I was secretly grateful for.
      You are quite right, street photography is such a challenge. Whether you want to shoot candid or not!

  • Simone says:

    I love your pictures, they really like me very much. My best compliments…!!!
    ;-)))

  • shirley says:

    OK, so I’m hooked on your photography..and your posts – you have a great talent for drawing people into your work via words, and imagery. There is a certain “rose-gold” tone to your photos – if you scroll through this series, have a look…beautiful how they work well one by one, and then together as a whole for a series. A lot of these images could be so “ordinary” for Chinatown but you’ve absolutely transformed the ordinary into magic here. Really wonderful work. Are you a professional photographer? Cause you should really be working as an editorial photographer.

    Thank you so much for your kind words re: my work as well – I hope to someday get into the world of children’s book illustration, hence the blog, which has opened me up to so many amazing creative people…such as yourself. Great job, and I shall be back. : )

    • The Juicer says:

      Shirley, you just dispelled all my doubts about this post! Yes, yes, I was doubting myself about those very two pointers you made and said you liked- the vintage tint and if the photos worked well together as a series or not. Thank you for the encouragement and such lovely feedback!! :)
      Heh, I am not a professional photographer or writer yet, but I would love to be one day! (big smile)
      So you do aim to get into children’s books illustration?! It’s just uncanny how we seemed to have agreed on observations every time! There is definitely something to it!

  • So many great shots, these are wonderful. The fish and the second from the bottom reflection shot are my favs…don’t ask me why, I don’t know. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amit says:

    You’ve culminated the dragon series with a poignant thought, I do concur with you that we often elude ourself from the sense of excitement from the places we take for granted.. your shots has proved that there is life to be experienced in small things..in the vicinity around you..:)

    • The Juicer says:

      Very true Amit! The philosophy of ‘Being here and now’ comes back again…to really see, hear, smell and feel what’s around us..at that very moment. We seem to be a generation practicing just the opposite! Music in our ears, cell phone ready to ring and always with something ‘else’ on our minds. Everyone in this city is just not there, but rushing elsewhere.

  • Musie says:

    Those are so beautiful. I’m especially captivated by the hallway, for some reason. So dark and ominous and mysterious. I love your photos!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks, Alex!:) That hallway led to a storage or some sort of a warehouse…perishables were being dragged through it in big sacks. I could not catch the action unfortunately. But then the desolate pic worked well too, when I looked at it again at home, I could associate all sorts of stories with that image.

  • katie says:

    such fabulous photos. and i love your idea of being a tourist in your own city. i don’t have quite the same opportunities where i live, but i have on several occasions been known to attempt the same thing.

    • The Juicer says:

      Katie- many thanks for the feedback. Being a tourist in our own cities, is my general observation. Most people are, I believe. What I hope for, is that we do not behave as tourists anymore, but break the barrier, reach out, and feel the fabric on our fingertips. Slow down, and understand what’s going on around us.
      To just pass by and see from a distance as a visitor is our choice, which can be undone, if only we try :)

  • karen anne says:

    hey juicer,

    I’m glad to have spotted a photo blogger here.

    thank you for the tour around your city. I find the photos interesting. Your photos definitely tell a story. and desaturated effect works well on the photos.

    Looking forward to your future posts. =)

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Karen…I was not sure the desaturated effect worked well. At first I thought to convert to B&W, but the light play was not fantastic and it didn’t seem to work :)
      Look forward to your visiting again!

  • Nishank says:

    awesome shots Ships. you have outdone yourself :)

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Nishank! Your note means so much. It’s so weird…and I am confessing this freely…I really wanted to get in on the pulse through this series…and was not happy with the results! I guess I was wrong! :D

  • Satyam says:

    You have me inspired!
    I’m taking out my camera and going to shoot… Boys, I’m going in.

    • The Juicer says:

      Heh…go on then! :)
      I can’t wait to see what you see! I would love to.
      Share here if you are ok with that- you can put in a link to your pic here. Not sure if you can embed the pics, although I think that videos can be embedded in comments. Lemme know if you would like to, and I will check on that!
      x

  • seeker312 says:

    Beautiful photos. The desaturation is a little jarring at first, but I like the mood it imparts to your photos. One of the many things I love about cities is that they are always changing…even if you go to the same neighborhood a few weeks after a prior visit, you’re almost guaranteed to find something new.

    • The Juicer says:

      Seeker, thank you for the honest feedback. As you might’ve seen on many of my replies, I was not confident of the desaturation bit at all. Unfortunately, do not have a pro processing software, am not into it actually, so just did a few quick flicks in the most basic software possible- iphoto! :D
      So true what you say…and you know I will revisit all these places again…different days..seasons..and so on:) It’s a never ending stream of inspiration!

  • tomajhardin says:

    Your opening shot had a great sky. The hallway was mysterious and laft me wondering what was at the end. The crab bodies made me hungry and I got up to see if there was any fish to snack on and I was somehow satisfied with Beef corny dogs. It is sad, but for some reason I’m happy. Juicer please get back with me at hardintaj@sbcglobal.net. Great shots and you are right I was out of sync when I was in New York City. I will email the rest of my picts to you , and you have to understand that I was trying to please the rest of my family and not just putting it up as you do for the experience. Thanks again for a great trip to Chinatown where I haven’t been except through your eyes.
    Tom

    • The Juicer says:

      You are a poet Tom! :) And I love it!
      Beef corny dogs can be satisfying too, I hope the images satiated the hunger that remained:)
      Don’t worry about not sending me the pics you promised, I am waiting patiently and I know how busy things get, dear friend. Will mail you right away.

  • tomajhardin says:

    I did notice camera settings were gone , I should not have said anything

    • The Juicer says:

      Are you referring to the discussion we had on the Fourth of July post? :D
      Well, I got tired of typing out the EXIF data for each and every photo! Still haven’t uploaded all pics to flickr or linked back to them so specs are available there, but will get to it I promise. I am absolutely for sharing tech specs, and will do so for the recent posts too.

  • David says:

    … and lovely writing – very, very readable.

    :-)

    • The Juicer says:

      Gracias David! I try to write less, so people don’t get bogged down with too much copy, and then Peter observed the other day, “You seem to restrict your writing, you should let yourself indulge. Get deeper into the flow”. Not only was I surprised at the accuracy of his observation, I took heart that perhaps my assumption had been incorrect.
      You might see a lot more of writing in future :) Let’s see how the flow goes!

  • tomajhardin says:

    I totally agree with David and thoroughly enjoy your read. Let yourself go, baby.
    Could you tell I was a stranger to New York City? I was totally Tourist and will think about constantly next time I am in your city. You will know I’m there and coming , we can have lunch at Mesa Grill or someplace. I apologize for the tourist pics I put you through it must have been boring for you and I will be more aware the next time.

  • shirley says:

    Your work shines as well, my friend. Keep up the great posts…!

  • cthechange says:

    So you do like reflections too! Love ’em.

  • Peter Yao says:

    I like the monochrome, very dated and ancient, and the people in the pictures 3, 5, 6, looks like they’ve been there since the beginning.

  • jetstreamprojector says:

    This is an amazing photo shoot you really caught the essence of China Town I like the last three the most because you shot from interesting perspectives. Great work!

    • The Juicer says:

      Yeah, the last three are some dingy reflections I caught on the streets. Quite fun.
      Thanks for visiting again, and for the valuable feedback. Keep it coming!:)

  • Lindsey Best says:

    Wow. These shots are gorgeous. I especially love the first one and the open door to the hallway shot.

  • Bhavna says:

    Love the crabs shot, blue pincers?? simply beautiful.
    want to put this one up over my dining table, might help my cooking look more palatable :)
    whats the juice going to cost me juicer?
    want high res pic please. And don’t think i’m commoditising your art, i have not a single pc of art on my walls yet, you and the blue pincered crabs will be my first :) xoxoxo

    • The Juicer says:

      Hehe…my love, you are welcome to hang whatever you wish on your walls! The Juicer is all yours! And what is this- no art on your walls? I will send you these pronto, will correct that. High res and all that.
      Don’t you say anything disparaging about your cooking, it is you who inspired me to cook (remember Bombay?) and that little kick to the olfactory nerves has lasted until now! Did I ever tell you that?:)
      xx

  • Tom Hardin says:

    I totally agree with Bhavna, I bet it costs him a pretty penny ! I have no dining table here in 500 sq ft. Wonder what that would cost in New York? Might be nice outta the city into a bigger one. There is a Michaels store up there that keeps kicking my buns in sales. Might enjoy the change in climate

    • The Juicer says:

      Bhavna is a she, and not in NYC, but I get your point:) There are plenty in NYC without a dining table. All they care for is the life outside. Dining tables are quite over-rated anyway, I would say.

  • Nishank says:

    u leave me speechless with ur pics. going through all your blogs one by one at one go :) making up for lost time!

  • Neil Reid says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! (It’s ketchup # 3) And I’m having a great ride with you! This series is so full of both classic and surprising images, both. There’s abundance to love in these photographs!

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