A day in Brooklyn

Many times I am asked about my childhood. Where do I start having grown up in the Bronx. There has always been an interesting difference when living in any New York suburb; that has not changed since New Amsterdam became Manhattan in the 17th century. As people branched out in to the different suburbs, there was a distinct pride related to where everyone lived. Going to another suburb, no less a different block in your own neighborhood was not something anyone wanted to do. Every one had their own routines and visiting another location was not always a welcomed activity. It was best to embrace the people, places and things in your immediate surroundings.
Let me be honest, Do or Die Bed - Stuy was all we heard about Brooklyn growing up . When Spike Lee came along an opened 40 Acres and a Mule store; his investment in the area made it in some ways safe to be in that area. He gave class to a once dangerous and unwelcoming place. I’m not knocking Brooklyn at all - Mind you I’m from the South Bronx.

Many years later, having moved from my hometown 16 years ago, much has changed.  I live in Atlanta now and have traveled back to my childhood stomping grounds only a few times. I had been home twice, but as the saying goes, “the third time is a charm.” I was able to open my eyes to the majestic mysteries that can be found only in New York.
Choosing to photograph the places that represent the world I knew as a young man afforded me new insights on everything I missed. I went uptown to the Bronx and visited St. Mary’s Projects where I grew up.
Emotions related to childhood memories filled my head as I photographed yesterday in my mind compared with the way it looks now. 
Brooklyn was my first stop on a long list of places to shoot. From the New Hudson Yards, the Flat Iron Building, and my South Bronx; the contrast from location to location filled me with the same pride and appreciation I remembered as a young man.
I wanted to visit my memories and see my past in a whole new light. My plan was to go halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge, shoot some photos and then head back to Manhattan.
Instead, I was graced by the unexpected which is always a part of the New York landscape.  I ran into a crazy Aussie standing on the rail singing. Out of the corner of my eye there was someone doing a selfie; attempting to catch a moment for themselves. There was an indoor carousel by the Navy yard down below. Spiderman showed up in front of a bodega. I didn’t want my journey to end wanting to take a ride but couldn’t find any spare change.  Brooklyn had become my home, displaying its qualities and simple magic in ways I could never have imagined.

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