Grasp The Moment Photography

Colors In The Cold

It would ultimately turn out to be the coldest day of 2008 and the year had barley just begun. I didn’t have work, though I didn’t bother telling anyone that, so I decided to drive around and enjoy the quiet for a bit, and of course, see if I could find some photos.

I drove through parts of Queens, into Brooklyn, not really sure where I was headed. I eventually wound up in Greenpoint, and drove up and down street after street looking around. It was afternoon, the sun was low in the sky and like I said, it was freezing outside, only complete morons would be out in the fresh air.

So of course I parked my car and walked into the East River State Park on Kent Street. Surprisingly, I found some other people there. A bunch of teenage boys did tricks with their skate boards and looked at me with a sort of disdain that I had somehow violated their sanctuary. I traveled past them to the short of the East River.

Across the river the city was engrossed in the afternoon rush, millions of people thrust themselves into subways and buses to get back into the safety and warmth of their homes. But here in the park, the waves of the river just washed slowly against the shore. Seagulls found their dinners in the rocks and remains of the pier. A perfect example of the peace and tranquility that could be found inside the noisiest and vigorous city on the planet.

I sat and enjoyed it for a while, until, despite the fact I was bundled from head to toe, the cold began to creep into my bones and I needed to move to get warm again. I took some shots of the shore, the birds, the waves. The sun sank lower and lit the skyline of Manhattan in a brilliant light. A walked a little further and notice the reminisce of an old pier jutting into the water, and old forgotten relic of days gone past which some one had decided to “redecorate”.

Graffiti Skyline

After I photographed it and moved on I had noticed more and more of the graffiti, especially once I left the park, walking past the skateboarders who seemed thankful for my exit. Some of it was colorful, some of it was plain. Some was artistic, others was just downright offensive. I turned and walked down a deserted street. Along one side of the street ran an abandoned factory, it’s floor after floor of broken windows . This too was embellished by a street artist.

Doorway In Brooklyn

I continued down the street which dead ended at the river. At one time it looked as if a pier had run out from the street into the water, but now only a few beams remained. It had become now a jumbled, tangled mess of garbage, twisted steel and old forgotten wooden beams. A fence had been put up to keep out trespassers, and of course it had a large hole in it, so I ventured in. BY now the sun had really begun to set, the cold had become even colder, and I was no longer feeling as brave as I did when I wasn’t on a deserted street in Brooklyn with night quickly approaching. I snapped one photo, before getting back to the safer side of the fence.

Sam's Peir

As I drove around the streets, night had fallen and the colors I had seen earlier had all melted into the yellowish hue of the city street lamps. I threw some Miles Davis into the CD player and drove into the night, eager to discover what I could find there.

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One response

  1. graspthemoment

    Author : Vinnie
    E-mail : vnorberg@blackdogsphoto.com
    URL : http://www.blackdogsphoto.com/blog/
    Comment:
    I love these shots. There’s a raw urban grittiness about them. You can almost feel the cold and the colors are so vibrant. As usual I love how your photos tell a story even without reading the words you’ve written to go along with them.

    Author : Kiki
    E-mail : kion43@hotmail.com
    URL :
    Comment:
    Brian,
    Viewing anything through your eyes has always been a treat…This is a little different from other shots I’ve admired of yours and I will be adding these to the ones that are rare. So many people take shots of graffiti. So few take photographs that capture the “beauty” and “voice” of it. You, sir, have done that…what usually seems to scar a landscape and is viewed as criminal activity…..now represents the art of a people and the boldness of how they desire to share that with the world…..with sensitivity and explosive color the “scars” become “art” and the “taggers” become “artists”…..Now, if you can only make war into peace through your next set of photographs, I would be forever indebted:)

    Author : oneshotbeyond
    E-mail : hmccullah@gmail.com
    URL : http://oneshotbeyond.wordpress.com/
    Comment:
    this all makes me want to move up my 1st visit to NY! The 1st photograph looks like the setting of an intro to a movie. Sounds like a great time for you…almost anything involving not working would be though. At least for me. And taking photos is such a bonus!

    September 11, 2008 at 1:00 am

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