I’ve been back in New York for a week now, and it’s been a surreal experience, to say the least. I’ve never been to this city as anything other than a dancer, and even though it’s only been three years since I left, it feels like a lifetime. When I went home in 2006, I had no intention of staying in Nebraska for as long as I did, but I also had no idea that I was going to discover photography, and that it was going to completely take over my existence. I accidentally reinvented my life, and as a result, I completely reinvented myself. I’m much happier now, calmer, more contented by the day-to-day. It’s strange to be back in New York, seeing it through a different set of eyes, and everything that surrounds me seems like a ghost of my former life.
I see the young actors on the subway, and I recognize the weariness behind their eyes. I want to give them a hug, and remind them how amazing they are, that they are doing something that most don’t have the courage to do. It takes an incredible amount of tenacity to leave behind everything that you know, to come to this city and fight against the formidable odds. I realize that more now, than I ever did when I was actually one of those weary-eyed kids.
A part of me was hoping that I’d been away from this place long enough that I would feel like a tourist again, but unfortunately, I think those days are gone forever. The giddy excitement that I first felt has been replaced with a comfortable familiarity, and while it may not be as thrilling, it feels nice to be able to step into this swirling metropolis and navigate my way around the masses like I never left. I guess New York will always be my second home, no matter how long I stay away.
I was doing a little location scouting downtown yesterday and snapped a few pics of the Brooklyn Bridge. When this bridge opened in 1883, I wonder if anyone could have imagined that 126 years later it would still be standing, and used by thousands of commuters every day…