It’s Raining in Midtown

September 16, 2009 § 51 Comments


Don’t we know. While Summer faltered and tripped, Fall has been quite punctual this year, bringing that nip in the air the very next day after Labor Day. By the end of last week, a definite chill had crept in the corners of these streets and avenues. If you have an ear for sidewalk conversations, you’d have heard the admission of Fall dropped innumerable times.

Change in weather, yes. But the rains have stayed. Effervescent showers lasted for days through the Summer and by the looks of it, will probably stay through Fall. Don’t we know!

Ha. New Yorkers might love to complain, about the weather, and about everything else, but they hate to quit even more. Rain or shine, this city moves, and if needed, leaps and growls with life.

I did too. I packed my umbrella in my bag, took out my camera, and stepped out on the sidewalks this rainy evening with a thumping heart. My way was not the traditional rainy day photography by far. No lonesome couples strolling on cobbled streets, no kids splashing away in playgrounds. My way was brusque, raw, and impulsive. My way was Midtown, its brazen crowds, quizzical looks and that potpourri of animated people.

Did I ever declare that I love New York? Yes I do. And since you are here, so do you. Welcome to layers and layers of flavors, and no dearth of opportunities to capture them. Another rainy day, I will bring you another flavor to savor (perhaps something to the effect of romancing the rain, something to incite the oohs and the ahs).

For today, it is Raining in Midtown, and just for today, it is fun to capture these streaming streets that never seem to tire or slow down. Meeting them head on!

How they brandish their umbrellas, these soldiers of a rainy Fall! Join them under the dark, dark Midtown sky. Trip along the sidewalks aflame with lights. Soak up the drenched colors, the shadows, the sublime concrete.

Walking in Midtown was never so much fun. And that my friends, is a confession.
































P.S. The last image was taken on my way back, in Hoboken, a small square-mile of a city, across the Hudson.

– The Juicer at work

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§ 51 Responses to It’s Raining in Midtown

  • Abhishek Gupta says:

    Oh! How I miss the rain, Midtown in the ever changing NYC…but more importantly I miss you. Love the pictures!! You have an eye that captures some of the most amazing moments. You are certainly gifted my friend and I hope you do something more with this talent of yours. I dont even think you know how beautifully you write :)


    • The Juicer says:

      How lovely your words are…music to my ears! :) Thank you for pitching in with your words! Heh, I try to not think about how I write:) Am busy brushing that under the carpet for some reason. But I loved photographing this evening, and I declare that with much less modesty! What a contradiction of self.
      Oh, a small part of me was very wary about the havoc I might wreak on my equipment, but most of me was just wanting to walk in the rain and catch these fascinating moments. Gotta give it up to NYC! Never fails to inspire me, and you, and so many others!

  • Som says:

    Shipra, Good work and i really liked the rain manhattan photo… i dont know how the building is glowing red in the back ground of rain……

    • The Juicer says:

      Som, that one is the Empire State Building. A blazing red that day, and the lights were reflecting against the heavy mist (or low clouds?) and rain…Doesn’t it look like it’s on fire? Just out of this world!

  • Vicki says:

    A Monet painting, purple umbrella, red and green Christmas lights reflected on a wet street, Black & Red pumps with a hint of something there, a stand out red polka dot umbrella and best of all…out of focus reality! Shipra…. I love it all !
    Abhishek is right, you have a “gift” and most of all “I don’t even think you know how beautifully you write”!!!!

    Each time you post…we venture deeper into your vast talent. I wish I could convey to you how lovely is your work! Bless you child…and thank you for enriching my life!

    I really do love you kiddo! One day in Morocco…!!!!!!!!


    • The Juicer says:

      Oh Vicki, you see what most do not! Comes to you so naturally! And that’s what I do when I click: immerse myself in my surroundings, in what I see. Perhaps, I trade objectivity for the experience, but it is just so gratifying!
      Thank you for the wonderful observations, you are spot-on on every one of them! Exactly what I was thinking in the midst of action. It is so uncanny! :)

  • Shantanu says:

    Very nice Shipra. Loved these pictures. How did you save your camera from water?

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Shantanu! I was carrying a huge but thin Ikea like bag that day. And I had padded it with a towel so my camera could sit on it while I banged it down on the floor through the day. When I got to shooting outside, I used the towel to wipe my camera now and then, and my double layer of Tee shirts to wipe the filter over my lens:) No protection, and it was a risk. Hence the ‘thumping heart’. I would point the camera downwards in between shots, but it was pretty drenched most of the time. Will not take the risk again though, planning on getting some protective gear!

      • Shantanu says:

        wow… that is an example of putting art over your gear. Most people unfortunately do it the other way.

        Very nice. That captures the mood. Its like i am right there, i can smell the rain. you should become a pro – write a book supported by your own pictures. I hope you are archiving all of these. My favourite were 8 (car headlights), 13 and 28. one more thing – I think you should put title or number on individual pics it would be more fun to comment on specific ones.


        • The Juicer says:

          It was a very impulsive decision…so I don’t know if I can take credit for the thought process. I do know what you mean, most people just don’t let themselves go all in!:)
          I would love to write a book, oh heck, I just admitted that!:) Haven’t you suggested that once before…I think you are succeeding is setting me up to those dreams!
          Good suggestion Shanty, I will put in a number there when I name those pics…will definitely make it more convenient for readers to comment. Thank you!

  • Amit says:

    First shot is one of your best !

    Interesting theme…! rain..must say you source elements of life in anything you capture through lens !

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you Amit! Yes, it is life I capture :)
      Rain is a great time to shoot, actually. Just many not doing it that often, I guess. The leaves are greener and all flora appears much more saturated. Lights reflect off wet surfaces and then there are pools and pools of reflections! Any big change in weather, and it is an opportunity to click life that looks starkly different from the routine. However, there are different moods of rain, as you might imagine, and the difference still lies in what we all see and capture at the same place and the same time!

  • Neil Reid says:

    These are wonderful! You are wonderful!

    Not meant as any idyl praise, but all sincere and to the meat of meaning here. And you said it precisely for yourself, “I trade objectivity for the experience”. That is the what and the WHO I appreciate here! I feel your company walking these streets and you share with me your good eyes to see what I’ll likely never otherwise see.

    I’m a small town boy. Portland gave me the willies for six months when I once lived and worked for a year in that town. And NYC is nothing like that! But I am all glad for this vision of rain and color and people so vividly given. Well done. Well done.

    Your skill, your craft, is obvious. But it is that one person we don’t see, behind the shutter, who transforms mere image into personal meaning. With you, I would walk those streets! And I do, by the way, love city rain. I can recall rainy nights in San Francisco, and dearly too.

    Thank you too for the reminder from your visiting my blog, to come back here again! Think it was someone else I said this to, but so you too will understand. Sorry that I’m as ancient as technology sometimes gets – a dial-up modem is all that’s available to me. So big image rich sites like yours are a challenge to visit, taking long, long and longer to load and sometimes stalling completely. So sometimes I shy away. But especially after tonight, I’ll grow a little more patient in your regard. Wouldn’t like missing beauty like this! You bring a new appreciation for me to know.

    A big California thanks to you!

    • The Juicer says:

      Neil, when I started this blog, it was an attempt to fill a hole. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, but I had been wanting to write and wanting to photograph in a committed way. And I was not doing it. I had many excuses that seemed like valid reasons at the time. And I was miserable. I was hesitant to put something out there. I was also skeptical about the blogging world and its sincerity.
      All washed away with the tide. This space grows in meaning everyday, and what a relief that is to a stagnant way of life! Now, this space is a constant adventure for me, and it is brilliant and creative people like you who amaze me with their ‘giving’, with their willingness to share. Big words, but that’s how I feel. Thank you, for taking the time to say what you feel. I cherish it. And thank you for the encouragement.
      I worry about your dial-up internet connection!:) Is there no way we can fix that? I would hate to have you wait for my pages to load every time! :)
      I hear Portland is a great city (an acquaintance just moved there). However, I can also imagine what a small town lover might feel like in a city:) I will be in California next weekend actually! Are you located anywhere near SF?

      • Neil Reid says:

        Shipra, I am all glad to the tide for your sense of purpose here!

        I am simply, simply, all appreciation for you and what you generously share with us. And I am obviously far from being alone in that. It is your own willingness to express that you see here eagerly returned in kind.

        Of your photography, there are only really two words we might say – please, more! Of your writing, though you’ve not said that I’ve read, exactly how you wish – I’d say of your nature, I like how you write. It is an easy conversation I like to follow with you. You make me feel welcome. That in itself is a generous gift. Really it is – more important than any particular shape of phrase or word.

        But if you ever want to more formally address that issue, I whole heartedly suggest to you the man who taught me the most about writing, about expression itself – William Stafford. Really Shipra, whether about prose of any form, including photography too – all are images we share. His guidance is not so much a matter of craft, but of a willingness to see and express. When I first began in earnest, it was only by his regard that I was willing to allow my stumbling path. Read either or both, “Writing the Australian Crawl” and “You Must Revise Your Life”. Whether you feel kin to poetry, or to his voice in particular, no matter. It is his active faith with life that allows expression to bloom as it only and personally can. As you wish.

        I am sort of a long stone’s throw from San Francisco, about two hours worth. But I’ll take pleasure to think you that close to me. Otherwise a real shared walk would be a pleasant prospect indeed.

        And if only here by image and word, I look forward to many more walks with you. Maybe you’ll find me another poem again!

        • The Juicer says:

          Your earnestness is overwhelming, and I enjoy that immensely! Yes, you are so welcome here! To experience, share, converse and learn – I can say that everyone here on this page, passionately indulges in that way of life. It is a sort of a hunger, won’t you say? To have made you feel welcome here is an achievement I value above all and you have pointed that out so rightly:)

          I will definitely check out William Stafford’s work. Thanks for the suggestion!

          And yes, there will be many more stories for you to indulge in, more of my photography coming your way:)
          My aim was to post a new story once every week, but sometimes, and more so lately, I have been posting once in ten days or thereabouts. So pls do not feel disappointed if you don’t see a new post from me immediately after:) An exacting sense of what I really want to capture, has been getting stronger by the day, and has been limiting the frequency of posts here. And time, of course, is such a limitation:)
          I look forward to our discussions. And yeah, many more walks indeed:)

  • Once again all beautiful shots! You seem to make me more and more envious every day. Even with all the rain. Now once you start shooting snow, I’ll settle in nicely here once again. Great job!!

    • The Juicer says:

      Can’t wait to shoot in the snow, and I am convinced that this winter will be a cold one. We got off easy last year!
      Thanks, so glad you had fun with the rain too! About envy, I am enjoying it immensely my friend! ;)

  • Neil Reid says:

    Pardon, but I’m not quite done having fun! A little further splash of appreciation. “Are you walking?” Tonight I am. Nothing serious, but sincere.

    In a New York Minute. A small poem just for you, and about the time it took to write.

    • The Juicer says:

      I loved the New York Minute! Fun, direct and quick on its feet like New York! Darn I loved it!
      Hey, you made my day Neil. And I suspect this joy will last much much longer:)

  • terryodee says:

    Rainy Images that bring an abundance of sunshine in to this old mans world… love the people shots,,,,

    ,,,adore your style.

    Camera prtection Shipra, nothing more than a good ol’ fashion plastic bag is needed, a clear one. with a cut in the bottom for the lens to poke thru and an elastic band around the bag and lens hood,


    • The Juicer says:

      Hmm…an old man with amazing wit, and an intrigue that I cannot shake:) Thank you for joining the rainy fun on this page!
      That camera protection idea…you saved me a couple of hundred bucks my friend!! I will try that next time!

  • seanfraser says:

    Just fantastic……….you know how much I love walking the city

  • Simone says:

    You always surprise me with your photos…!!! Wow…!!!

  • Feanare says:

    Your words made me giggle, and your pictures brought a big grin on my face. It hasn’t rained here for a week, and I had almost forgotten what it looked like. Strange, but true :)

  • Allison says:

    These are stunning – I love the ones that you seem to have taken while crouching down – its neat to see people from a perspective that we aren’t used to.

    • The Juicer says:

      Oh thanks Allison! I got strange looks for daring to crouch on wet sidewalks in a formal skinny skirt and flipflops (makeshift attire after work) :D
      So good to see you again!

  • pcadams says:

    What amazing contrasts of colors. Thank you, Shipra!



  • Tom Hardin says:

    The first was the best. The prose was appropriate. The weather was the same as Dallas. Contrasts were great. Keep doing a good job and have fun.

  • katie says:

    I love that even though the shots were dark, they were still filled with so much color. What a great eye you have.

  • David says:

    A strong set of images and somehow they make me think of New York as a warm place.

    The last shot is a classic.

  • timm says:

    I haven’t been to NY in years. After looking at these shots, I have to now take the family. These are incredible. I wouldn’t expect you to shoot the Hallmark version of splashing kids etc and you didn’t disappoint! Your words /descriptions are poetic. More, more, more…
    PS, it’s 80 degrees and sunny here, big shock!

    • The Juicer says:

      It got quite sunny and bright here today!:) But has been a cloudy week mostly. Bring some sunshine with you when you get here!
      Funny you say you didn’t expect me to do the Hallmark versions, I am ingratiated for that note:)

  • Sampada says:

    These are simply gorgeous. It’s been raining/cloudy in Houston this past week and it’s making me miss Indian monsoons. These shots remind me so much of Mumbai — especially the one with the school-supplies store!

    • The Juicer says:

      You know, all Summer I have been coming across references to the Monsoons in India!
      It definitely seems like I spent most of my summer hoping against rain, so the whole crib about too much rains this year must be true :)

      • All this talk about the rains is making me super-envious whilst I sit here in stuffy SoCal and count out the beads of sweat.

        Shipra, you make NYC so gorgeous and I love how you capture the details. The woman in her raspberry pink coat, the red polka dot umbrella, the yellow shoe- completely enchanting.

        (I don’t know French so I understand nothing in this but the way he mutters New York New York in my head is exactly the kind of New York you capture: sensual yet very earthy)

        • The Juicer says:

          Sunny this weekend, but not humid and not too warm. Perhaps, perfect.
          Those shots of color got you! Just like they got me:)
          Now for some drama. Here’s what happened:
          I walked out, stood in the rain, and looked around. Then I squinted and saw what I wanted to see. Just shapes, forms, rain and the colors, and that’s what I proceeded to capture. Some of the first shots were not as dark as they appear here, but I took several, underexposing them. Just did not want any other distractions:)
          (Loved that song, I am buying the soundtrack. It felt like what I would feel if I was away from NYC, missing it profusely. That forlorn sense, and the velvety muttering you mentioned, had me for good!)

  • nursemyra says:

    love the saturated colour

  • Lindsey Best says:

    beautiful. I love shots 5 & 7.

  • this is maybe my favourite page on your blog, it brings me back the same feeling of city-in-motion i had when i was there one year ago, and the same vivid colours.
    enjoy the hawaiian sun :~)

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