The year was 2011. It was a hot and sticky late May evening and I was sitting on my desk in the living room, working on one of the last project reports before I wrapped up college for good (or so I figured at that time), when a thought suddenly hit me out of nowhere. I was finishing up school in a little over 2 weeks, I had no job, no particular prospect, so what the heck was I still doing in Colorado Springs? I could go wherever the heck I wanted and do whatever I wished (within a couple of thousand bucks, that’s all the savings I had, and about 1K monthly that my parents promised me until I had a proper job, God bless them). Now two grands ins’t a lot for up and moving to NYC. But once I got that idea in my head, it simply won’t go away. That night I put up a post on Craigslist about needing a room in NYC for a couple of months, rent will be paid in advance as long as it was within 1K. I figured if I spent one grand on rent, then surely another grand should last me for 2 months in the city… and may be by that time I’d have a proper job, surely!
If you know anything about rent in NYC, you know how ambitious I was being. But as luck would have it, a girl reached out to me, and I decided to purchase a one way ticket. Some 2+ weeks later, I was on a plane headed to JFK.
The apartment turned out to be better than I could have hoped for, thank God. Now that I think back, I realize how lucky it was for me to have landed such a sweet deal right next to Prospect Park, in a fairly safe neighborhood in Brooklyn, about a block away from the Q-train, and eccentric musicians as roommates. I mean, it’s not every day you get to be roomies with a white guy playing tabla, or a Chinese-American who spends his summers performing with Celine Dion as a cellist in Vegas, and the rest of the year touring the country playing gigs with his own band!
Anyhow, point is, I had an amazing time in NYC since day One. As it turned out, I didn’t have my dream job by the end of the first two months, and I had to postpone my departure indefinitely, which turned out to be a 1.5 year long magical stay in this beautiful city. I found a job as a front-end web developer (not that dream job, but it was still a lot of fun!) at a small software company and moved to a different apartment in Bushwick, off of Morgan L stop.
These photos I am sharing today were taken that first summer in NYC. I went out every single day with a Polaroid Spectra loaded with The Impossible Project black-and-white film, and asked completely random strangers if I could photograph them. It was a blast!