Union Square Love Letter.
Union Square, NYC, Friday afternoon.
Sunshine with the first of the season's chill winds nipping through the air
and the thrill of the completely unexpected waiting in the Square.
One space, one simple collection of maybe thirty minutes in time.
How to make sense of such a jumble? Why even bother trying?
It's life. It get's thrown at us and we live it on so many different levels.
We all ride the merry-go round. Together and here we go!
(and maybe grab a pair of sunglasses before continuing . . . )
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
I could stop here, keep it pink and keep it simple but then I noticed . . . Holly!
(and let's not forget, this is Union Square, where everyone is family!)
Music provided by the wonderful phunky Pink Puffers, a brass band from San Lorenzo and if you
get the chance to enjoy their music, grab it!
Holly is an artist and if you ever get the opportunity to enjoy her company, well, I shall leave
that up to you!
Enjoy the ride!
. . . . .
Your blog is better than travelling. You capture the essense of the shot. Loved it.
And you Tom are a wonderful travel companion, thank you!
(I forgot to mention the fabulous apples and pears at the nearby Farmers’ Market!) 🙂
It’s ironic Patti – you go into NYC and get lots of great people candid’s. I go to Mill Hill and Borehamwood and get loads of transport shots. I saw numerous people but nothin that inspired me to take ‘that shot’ of a human being – I’m Jealous (although I did get what I set out to get). You have such a living contact with the views of the human condition you encounter. Great stuff 🙂
Martin, looking fwd to seeing your transport and street shots which I know I would never be able to get in the same great lines and light that you do. To tell you the truth, I am not sure that if I were still in London I would take as many people shots as I do here in NY where the logistics are so different. Having cut my teeth here in NY and San Francisco I think I could maybe go back to London and do what I do. Regardless of where, for me it always involves taking quiet time in a space, and taking in the situation. With a ready camera! (Which I am never able to translate in that “what do you do all day?” question of absolute fear and horror!) 🙂
Thanks for reminding me: I love New York!
My pleasure Anna and I would love to hear some of your NY tales!
I love the vibrancy of Union Square. Thanks for sharing!
Hope you get to enjoy it again soon!
I’m moving to New Hampshire next year and hope to spend a lot of time in NYC.
I am excited for you and wish you all the best, bet you can’t wait!
Thank you. Not sure about all the snow… I haven’t lived back East in 30 years.
Certainly a change from California but perfect for curling up and writing and re-drafting! Or so I like to imagine!
I like that thought, and the house has three fireplaces!
Have you booked your ticket yet???
I spent a lot of time in Union Square during my time in NY. I worked at 19th and Park for a while, and then lived on 11th and Broadway, so I was always walking through the square, even if just too and from the subway. I loved the farmers market stalls set up during the week — there was one stall that made the best coffee cake crumble muffins that I’d buy for breakfast. Some days I’d just rush through, but on others I’d just stop and watch the fantastic mix of humanity that passed through the square. It will always be one of my favorite spots in the city.
What a set of addresses! And it never seems to matter what time of year it is, the atmosphere in Union Square is always special. In your honour, I shall look out for the coffee cake muffin, (perfect with the hot apple cider), next time I am down there. How often do you get back to the US / NY?
I think the coffee cake cumble muffin was only available on Mondays. I would sometimes buy a couple extra and try to make them last for a few days. 🙂
I haven’t actually been back to the US yet and when I eventually do, it will be to North Carolina, not New York, unfortunately. Although I suppose a slightly extended layover in NY might be worth it.
An extended layover in NY? Such a sensible idea and maybe so many more flights to choose from. Good luck!
Haven’t found the muffins yet but it is still warm enough here for the bees to be buzzing about the plums and berries!
Oh, I do remember those chilly, sunshine days in NY. And Union Square. Quite a place. And quite a collection of nice photographs. My favourite is the guy in pink playing the trumpet. A lot of energy in that picture.
Thank you Otto! Comforting to think that one of the most vital and energetic places in the city can also be the most restful and relaxing. Am sure you have a stunning collection of Union Sq shots!
again a wonderful report, Patti!
P.S.: after some failures i at least managed to import new fonts now into my blog (like you have demonstrated); I realized that I had to pay 30$ for “custom design” of wordpress, to organize support by typekit fonts (difficult for me the payment process too – but now I’m happy: it works!) I always wished to have a blog design which is near to my own roots: using old typewriters in the sixties, when we all had no internet …
Frizz, you are always so kind, thank you and I can imagine how much you would enjoy the ambience of Union Sq. You and your guitar would be very much at home down there, and with an appreciative audience!
Good to know your upgrade is now in action and that we are able to combine nostalgia with the latest technology, all in the attempt to keep it simple! Even if it does mean paying for less!
when we visited New York we enjoyed the Washington Square so many days; so many artists and happy people there …
Yes indeed Frizz, another happy corner that New York entertaining free space for all!
Well, you sure know how to write a letter, Patti! I love this sequence and the fact that it abruptly changes from the pink theme – it somehow emphasises the free and easy atmosphere. It also really makes me want to visit.
I am so tickled to think you want to visit, you would love it! I was so undecided about how to put this post together but, as we were all in that section of the square together, during that brief period of time I just wanted to share the fun. Seriously Richard, I do hope you get to visit soon!
I continue to say, “only in New York”! Just spent the weekend there visiting our kids. I love it! Great photos capturing the diversity and craziness of the big apple.
That’s the wonderful part about NY – so predictably unpredictable! Any chance you might join the kids and maybe move to NY . . . ?
You’ve done it again!
Chubby lady, laughing baby, naked lady — two steps to her right a bearded Hasid and his wife —
It’s a poem, Patti, that’s what it is. An epic poem of New York!
Room for everyone! I often think the small spaces we occupy in our apartments finds the compensation of fresh air and companionship in the freedom of public spaces such as Union Square. Thank you so much Judith for your thoughts of poetry!
I have lost so much of New York with the passing of my Bryant last January. Every day on the phone he told me stories of the city arrond him and I felt connected to the breathing of the City and could feel its pulse from 3000 miles away… Your wondrous and unique view through your view finder of the City has revived it to me and comforted me…Patti…thank you
Oh Lanier, this is so sweet and so sad. Those telephone conversations that have you crying and cracking up in almost equal measures, relationship gold dust . . .
The city is what it is but it is nothing without the living breathing passions of the people who make it their own and, in doing so, bring us all into the picture. The stories in this city are legend and I feel sure your Bryant was, and remains so, a big part of this legend.
Yes they were great conversations. He lived on west 50th and 8th ave so you know it was a show everyday. He was also a working Broadway actor so there was that factor too.
Street magic, Ms. K!
Always lovely… and you always make it seem easy (which it is not)!
Easy??? So says the Master to the apprentice!
all those people!! I wonder if I’d get claustrophobic!!??
Does it make you feel better to know this was the quiet patch, before the crowd surge? Just think of it as a call to the wild, town style!
Loved the post. Is Holly the woman who is fighting for the right to go topless like men? Bronwen
Thank you Bronwen! I resisted the urge to do any research on Holly before posting this if only because I wanted to share the surprise and joy of my naked ignorance! Holly will pop up later somewhere around town but by then it will be a simple matter of “there’s Holly again!” but, as such, the interest will always be provided by the reaction of those around her. I have many shots of crowds gathering around her, posing with her etc, but these came outside the time frame of the 30 minute set and, to tell you the truth, Holly was left standing there on her own for what felt like a long time before she drew any crowd.
As to going topless like a man? I shall ask her next time I see her!
I love New York and all your photos of it, too!
Ruth, I know how busy you are but I have always thought you should do photo tour workshops in NY and Pittsburgh! (I would sign up!)
What a woderful moments you have there Patti
I`m sure you`re enjoying taking those beautiful photo my friend, thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you Jake, it is always good fun down there!
These are utterly gorgeous photos of people. YOu captured the spirit and the vibe of the street scene so well. 🙂
Thank you Imelda and so pleased you enjoyed the spirit!
I love this part:
One space, one simple collection of maybe thirty minutes in time.
How to make sense of such a jumble? Why even bother trying?
It’s life. It get’s thrown at us and we live it on so many different levels.
Great pics 🙂
Don’t you just love surprises! Thank you LFR and great to see you back cracking those coconuts of yours!
Aiyo, Patti – the cacophony of a popular meeting place in New York on a Friday afternoon – just fabulous 🙂
and always, or so it seems, with something so unexpected thrown into the mix! I know how well travelled you are, any NY/US stories in your files? If not, hope you get to come on over soon!
Lots of stories, Patti but the bulk of my US travels, when I boarded the Greyhound … were in the days when I thought cameras were for wimps! I was going to live it, remember it! Ummm – well I remember lots of it, and most of those memories are of experiences rather than observations, but gee, the arrogance! Funnily, even recent visits to Boston and New York, when I had a camera, didn’t change the pattern. Boy, I do love New York … 🙂
Meredith, I knew I could count on you for a reliable touchdown in these here parts. Of course now I want to know more of your tales and adventures courtesy of the Dog! And your times here in NY!
Experiences, rather than observations, implies other people, feelings, emotions and the exhilaration of being anywhere and what camera is ever going to catch all that! Particularly when you are busy having so much fun! Is it curmudgeonly of me to suggest that no, Facebook sharing doesn’t even figure in this?
Ummm – maybe next year, when i’m settled down without distractions like monkeys and lotus ponds, and dagabas and elephants, and … 🙂
that looks like a very happening place 🙂
A guaranteed happening place Joshi!
Wow beautiful collection of pictures. You bring so much color and emotions with your pictures. And this time it’s no different. My favorite is that of kid smiling. Great post. 🙂
Thank you Arindam, isn’t she such a cutie! Just like your niece!
These are just exceptional shots Patti. So evocative of the image of new York i have in my mind! Can’t wait to experience all this in person someday.
Hope you get to see it soon Madhu, I would love to see it through your eyes!
I think the gal forgot to put on her blouse. It was totally innocent or so she will say when a police officer comes up to her and proclaims she is being arrested for indecent exposure or, perhaps, not. When I sold my jewlery on a banket during the late 60’s in “Washington Square”, there were a lot of police who would just keep walking. One thing about New York – nothing is shocking or odd. Great post …. loved it.
Isadora, love to hear more stories about your jewelery selling days in Washington Sq!!! I have seen naked men in San Francisco (and I have photos!) who make Holly look rather demure – at least she has a jacket to button should she so choose if confronted by the NYPD! I think I was more concerned about the painted moustache . . . . such are the wonderful confabulations of what is art?!?
What life you have captured. Outstanding.
Why does it seem that not enough people shoot in Union Square? There’s apparently so much photographic opportunity there.
You are so right about the photographic opportunities down there but, sometimes, the more time you spend down there the more “ordinary” it all becomes – as in “here comes Wendell, again!” (more on Wendall later!) and then something will come along to knock the socks off!
Wonderful photo essay! It’s a great place these days. And to give you some perspective, about 40 (!!) years ago, I went to art school not too far away from here and I used to pass through once in a while. It was a very rough, desolate place then. Nothing colorful…and watch yourself. One spring day (1972?) I saw a strange bird on the ground – it seemed injured – I recognized it as a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, not a typical NYC inhabitant. It allowed me to approach and even pick it up, so I did, gingerly, and found a box for it. It was quiet and didn’t try to get out. Then I took it on the bus all the way to the New Jersey suburbs where my parents lived. It was starting to look more alert. We tried to give it water and food, but it seemed to want to get out so we brought the box to a good spot in the woods and released the bird. Slowly it flew from perch to perch, and out of sight. Later I read that sapsuckers sometimes get drunk from sucking sap that’s turned!! I kid you not. That apparently, was all that was wrong. With the crowds in the Square today, I don’t know how it would turn out, but chances are good that another interested passer-by might do the same thing. It’s New York after all.
What a fantastic story – who knew any creature, let alone a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker could get drunk on the sap of a turning tree and if it were to happen today it would go out on Livestream!
I am sure you have so many more stories from your art school days. When were you last in NY? I see photos of the rough desolation of those days and I know of people who bemoan the passing of the good old bad days but, as you say, it is New York after all and there will always be some things which will never change, or is that always change?