It was 2011. I was finally done with school (for the time being) and with no job prospect right away after graduation, I decided I had no reason whatsoever to stay in Colorado Springs, and I could technically go wherever I wanted to. The thought struck me some two weeks or so before the end of my final quarter at uni, and pretty much right away I bought myself a one way ticket to JFK. Quite a last minute decision, but well, that’s usually how I roll.
I not only had papers to write during those last 14 days or so, I also had to make sure I had a place to live in the city. I put up an ad on Craigslist, and lo and behold, found myself the greatest deal on Earth! A small, no AC, but rather cozy bedroom in a pretty big, four-bedroom apartment (by NYC standards) in Brooklyn, right across from Prospect Park, one block from the subway station, for only $500 a month. Even if you know nothing at all about rent in NYC, rest assured, I landed one of the sweetest deals!
The bedroom wasn’t much. It was summer, and the fact that there was no AC was a bit of a bummer, but nothing a portable fan wouldn’t make bearable. It was small, but it had a nice air mattress, a small table, a bookshelf, and even a small built-in closet. I really couldn’t have asked for more at that time. And the best thing about that apartment was the location. Well, the second best. The absolute best were however, my roommates! They were all musicians (except one, who worked in a fancy restaurant). Not just any musician… they were all professional musicians who had degrees in music! One was a cellist who spent his summers in Las Vegas playing in the orchestra with Celine Dion, and the rest of the year, playing with his own band in New York City, or traveling the world! One of them was a drummer + tabla player, and had his own band. There were often others in the apartment, staying for a couple of weeks or so at a time, and were all musicians themselves. Some played the cello, some played the violin, or the flute… Long story short, I had a blast! People say life in NYC is tough. Well, it can be, but it can also be simply colorful and just plain fabulous!
I got lucky!
During my first summer in NYC, I also worked on a personal project called the New York City Street Project. Basically I went around the five boroughs and took photos of people with my Polaroid Spectra, loaded with The Impossible Project’s black and white film. It was then that I first exposed myself to street photography. What can I say? It was probably one of the best times in my life! Only, I didn’t know it back then!
Here’s a few selected photos from the project! Pretty cool, huh!
All photos are by Maliha at Usual Habitat.