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Saturday in New York Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shawn Lynch signs up to borrow a Canon Powershot G9 May 17 at the New York Photo Festival in Brooklyn.

It's Tuesday afternoon and guess where I am--that's right, back at the airport. One of the things that makes PDX the TSA's 2007 Airport of the Year is the free wi-fi, which I'm taking full advantage of right now. Stories from this trip will come later. For now we'll backtrack to last weekend.

Saturday morning's shoot was at the Prudential Center, aka "The Rock," home of the New Jersey Devils, in downtown Newark. My colleague "Jack," with his 25 years of experience, was surprisingly dependent on me to set up the shots. The job was long, but uneventful.

I only had two jobs in the New York area on the weekend, so with the travel hassle it was marginally worthwhile. But what tipped the balance for me was the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the city. I'd only been to New York once before, for just an afternoon on a school trip when I was about 13, so all I know about New York is what I've seen in movies and on television.

As soon as my trip was confirmed I got hold of my buddy Shawn Lynch, who recently moved to NY from Boston. He said that he would be spending the day at the New York Photo Festival, so I jumped online and bought a day pass.

[right] The Manhattan Bridge looms large over the Empire State Building in this photo from the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The Photo Festival is a huge, five-day gathering of photographers from all over the world, with seminars, panels, and gallery displays in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn. (Dumbo, which stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" is an area of a few square blocks between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges right across the East River from Manhattan. It reminds me a lot of Portland's Pearl District--old brick warehouses renovated into art galleries and tony restaurants.) Most of the
photography at the festival seemed to be fashion and fine art, but the Dumbo area is home to the VII photo agency, one of the foremost photojournalism and documentary photography agencies in the world.

After we met up Saturday, Shawn borrowed a Powershot G9 from the Canon booth at the festival, and we wandered around the neighborhood taking pictures of whatever inspired us. (I used my DSLR.) Here are a few of my favorites.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, so there were plenty of people in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

[left] Shawn models for
me in front of Tattfoo Tan's mural "NMS—Nature Matching System"

[right] A chef prepares sushi at the Miso Restaurant in Dumbo. [below right] In New York, it seems, people have to be told the obvious. One of the things I remember from my first trip to New York was a sign above a fire hydrant that said "This is not drinking water." This sign: "Pesticide application. Do not enter."

They're calling me to board the plane now ... gotta go.