I love New York. I’ve always loved New York. In fact, I’ve been obsessed with America for years. The Gold Rush. Cowboys. Skyscrapers.
I’d been intrigued by the place ever since Listening to ‘Manhattan’ by Ella Fitzgerald in the car with my mum when I was about nine. I’d never been there of course, and I didn’t go until I was 20. By then, I felt I had a deep connection with the city built up from years of obsessing over it.
That first trip was amazing, walking between those enormous buildings while the intro to Manhattan by Woody Allen played on repeat in my head.
What I love about the reality of being there — which was different to the fantasy I had imagined as a child — is that I can go there and see mundane things in a completely different way. Everything becomes exciting. Road signs, drain covers, coils, cars.
It was my mission to try and visit as much as I could. I was lucky to work there for a few months in my mid 20’s, living in a hotel in TriBeCa. I loved it. Who wouldn’t. I’d love to move there for longer one day.
I’ve been back almost every year since my first trip 10 years ago, and it was so sad to not be able to travel there, or anywhere, this year. I tried to get a bit of my NYC buzz back by visiting these photos and ephemera picked up from my last visit in November last year.
It didn’t work, of course. But it’s provided me with a small amount of nostalgia for the city I love.
Want more photographers’ insights? Here are eight shots from James Harvey-Kelly’s summer exhibition…
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