Kicking Back . . .
So many people come to New York City with exhausting lists of things to do, places to see,
shows to catch. Restaurants, diners, cafes and bars to eat and drink at. Museums, galleries
and exhibitions around town that absolutely must be seen. Then of course there's the
shopping . . . my move to NY sparked off many comments of expressed envy at the phantasmagoria
of shopping opportunities ahead of me in this fabulous city. Sad to say however, I am not a great
My number one recommendation for what to do here in NYC? Give yourself a break and do absolutely
Stop..... Relax..... Sit down and kick back!
New York City is blessed with green spaces and park benches, ring side seats at one of the best
shows in town - not only watching the world go by but becoming part of that world, part of the
never-ending tableaux putting meat on the bones of the city streets.
Regular readers know by now of my love affair with Union Square which I visited for the first time,
on my first visit to NYC, in October 2001, when the city was still so raw from the events of 9/11.
Crowds had gathered in candlelight vigils and as eerily quiet as the surrounding streets were,
one felt here the pulse of the city, still beating with a sense of passion and care. A safe place
in an unknown world. A place I have come to know where stories and anecdotes fall like leaves
from an autumnal tree, where the traumas and joys of life, love and the universe are tossed
and discussed in bonds of friendship.
A place in the world which feels like . . . home.
Have a wonderful week-end everyone!
UPDATE: My grateful thanks to the wonderful Justin Vivian Bond for gracious confirmation at having
been caught unawares in the spring sunshine of Union Square!
After all this talk of doing nothing I highly recommend hightailing it to any one of V's shows, details
available on the link above! I still get goosebumps when I think of the heartbreak performance
that was Jukebox Jackie at La MaMa . . .
fantastic Patti. Well done.
Thank you so much Terry! 🙂
Patti what a story and a fabulous foto! Next time I am in NYC I am hitting Union Square, your living room!
Always a pleasure, thank you dear Lanier, my home is your home!
And vice versa!
How could I forget the pleasures of Union Square time in fabulous San Francisco!
you could publish a photo book!
Yours looks exciting Frizz!
The dog in the foreground looks almost like a guy with a wired hairdo.
Some hairdo’s just won’t fade away! Thank you Rabirius!
The dog in the foreground is an attention but I was drawn to the lady in leopard slacks an just sashaying through the park.
Tom, Sophie the dog had all the attention until the lady sashayed past!
I so, so, so (enough so’s, LOL?) agree Patti! I adore people watching and it can keep me planted for hours! Love being a part of the big picture. I enjoy the views and perspectives you share with your readers. Transports me there to a City I have grown to love. Brooklyn lights my fire too. Both our our kids live there. It rocks and has a different vibe from Manhattan, but fab none-the-less. Margie
Margie, do you have a favourite part of Brooklyn? I am sure your kids are having a great time there where so much is happening!
Fantastic shot, Patti! The dog looks so dapper in his vest. Love the pattern and texture, too. Do I spy a bow tie?! And the lady in the black sun glasses, ballet slippers, and leopard pants is also drop dead gorgeous. Perfect match, I’d say! They’d look great together. And the man in the baseball hat knows it. I love people-watching in New York. So many mysteries! T. (Thanks for the treat!)
Theadora, I suspect Sophie was wearing vintage Chanel – what do you think? As for the stunner in the leopard print pants, she reminds me of the fabulous Justin Vivian Bond! And yes, definitely a perfect match!
(Thank you Justin Vivian Bond – unawares maybe but forever fabulous!!!)
you caught the right moment!
A lucky moment, thank you Olive!
Good story and advice. Just take a seat at the greatest show on earth; life going by and enjoy it again by recording it. Good show Patti..
So when are you coming to NYC Gerard? 🙂
Yep, nice composition. And your words are always so eloquent – they paint such a picture, too.
Wishing you were here with me!
I just returned from a week visiting a dear friend in NYC. After a busy day Friday, we jokingly said we were having a “Bench Crawl” as we wandered through the city towards Lincoln Center. We weren’t so much opposed to a Pub Crawl, but thought any beers might not be conducive to seeing a play. Although I did enjoy some museums and a few shows, the best part of my trip were ambling walks through Central Park, Fort Tryon, and NY Botanical Gardens as well as a rest stop in your beloved Union Sq after a book spree at the Strand. The heartbeat of the city is found in its green spaces!
What a splendid “bench crawl” but hopefully there was a beer, or a cocktail, for you both at the end of such a good day! Isn’t the Strand just the best! Hope you get back here soon Anne, I know how much you love the city!
Really great scene. Thanks for sharing.
It is always such a pleasure seeing your views of NYC Ruth.
Great shot Patti – and I am with you give the shopping a miss any day and sit and enjoy the never ending parade – thanks
Funny how busy we can keep ourselves in the subtle art of doing “nothing!” Thank you Veronica for your company on the bench!
I am there!
IMHO – this city is all about the streets and open spaces below the the Flatiron and Union Sq is at the heart of it all – lovely image and words…
That’s for sure! Years ago I sat with my boys eating lunch in Tompkins Sq, one of those extremely hot summer days but I was fine with my pretty straw hat. An NYPD car cruised by, in the middle of the park, and stopped before us to check that everything was ok. As in do you know the hell where you are?
A bit of scene, a bit of green, a good mix!
Annie, the trees all over the city are looking so pretty!
Like the dog
You know you want one!
You really “get it” about New York, and obviously did so right from the beginning.
The saying used to be “New York is a great place to visit, but I’d hate to live there.” Always said by non-New Yorkers who didn’t know the real truth, New York is okay to visit but what’s really great is to live there.
Judith, I’m not so sure about “getting” it right from the beginning . . . on one level, yes, but another more family level took time for adjustments to settle, the wanting to be in two places at the same time. Good Lord I wasted so much time and energy over all that business!
Love the way your street photography always has so many stories within 🙂
Thank you Geoff! Sometimes there are so many stories I find them difficult to process. Sophie, the dog, was sitting on the lap of street photographer Fred Gurner who had stories to tell about Diane Arbus.
Fantastic capture, Patti! Love the three gazes here – all pointing in different directions and none of which is resolved in the object of their attention. Leads to a wonderful feeling of suspension – a subtle tension and a real moment.
Thank you Richard, I am touched by your very kind words!
Great image and commentary. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. When visiting any city you should always make some time to relax and watch as the city moves around you. Life is not a ToDo list 🙂
Martin, I have been trying to think – whereabouts in London would you do this, where locals / natives outnumber the tourists? I am so with you on the city sitting front and letting it move around that spot!
Hampstead Heath / Parliament Hill comes to mind – well known to North Londoners but not easily reached by Tourists. You can even wander about on the Heath at night should you be that way inclined, there aren’t any gates 😉 Battersea Park strikes me as a possibility south of the river – need my Passport for that one 😉
In central London, perhaps the Inner Temple Garden – but that’s only open on weekdays between 12:30 and 3:00pm. Most of Central London’s gardens are inhabited by Tourists – the locals are only there during working hours and so only appear in their lunch breaks.
You North Londoners and your passports!
That would be my advice for any atmospheric big city Patti.
Can’t wait to experience New York your way. Until then I shall experience it vicariously through your evocative snapshots 🙂
Madhu, you are the queen of evocative snapshots and I love your tours through so many of the exotic places you visit. One day, maybe, I might get to one of them . . .
Your words always complement your picture. Nice work, Patti!! Have a great day! 🙂
You are very kind, thank you Arindam and I hope all your days are great! 🙂
That’s some wonderful advice, Ms. K! I would be the worst kind of tourist in NYC… stopping every ten feet with my jaw hanging open… yeah. I’m pretty sure I’d be that guy.
That guy, isn’t he so cute! See you down there one day SiG!
This picture, Patti: it is amazing, so very good!!! The dog relaxing/enjoying – woman walking (relaxed too, city-wise) with nose in the air: wonderful. And thanks for the advise – i’ll remember, if I ever go… 😉
Thank you so much Bente and I very much hope you get to enjoy NYC one day! How much does it change the shot to know that the “woman” walking is Justin Vivian Bond, formerly the famous Kiki DuRayne in the cabaret act that was Kiki and Herb? I had the niggling feeling that this was Mx Bond, a fact I followed up on after posting the shot. Thankfully Mx Bond is happy to be in this frame.
oh Patti………….you know I love that place too…..thanks for stirring the emotions – its a whip line to Australia
You are never far away Col! You left a good dose of your spirit back here but of course I can’t wait to see you all again – as old girls from St Mary’s Home for Wayward Girls we need to get working on the next reunion!
Yes, NY is indeed a great place for park lovers – and Union Square is definitely very special (despite lacking the grandeur of Central Park) It’s surrounded by the bustling city and an oasis between concrete, steel and traffic. Nice picture.
Otto, you are so right about Central Park which is indeed a very special place. Whatever grandeur Union Square is lacking it certainly makes up for it with intimacy! Thank you for your kind words!
makes me want to be there 🙂
Come on over Joshi, any time!
I followed your recommendation when I was in N.Y. several years back. Mainly because me and my friend were both waiting for our paychecks from the same employer. So we bought some beers and relaxed in the park for two days.
What would you want to do on your next visit to the city?
I’ve enjoyed reading this post a lot Patti – and I agree there is no better way in getting to know a place but kicking back, but I meant to ask you – what are you doing in NY, I am under impression that you are working on something?
Soon, no probably later I’ll come to NY just to walk around and…relax with my wife…ok, at least one visit at MOMA…
Nothing beats a bit of crowd watching. A crowd and a camera = happy days!
You’re absolutely right. Stop. Sit. Watch.
The first time my wife and I visited NYC, we ran all over the place shopping and taking in the sights. There was a day; however, that we spent 2.5 hours just sitting outside the NY Library on 5th Ave watching the city do its thing.