Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NYC: Day 6: Saturday in Central Park

I completely forgot about writing something the other night. Pole sana. 

After spending Friday night in Brooklyn (thanks to the hospitality of Mark Ovaska and company) I drove back into the city to meet with Brennon Jones. Frank Fournier put me in contact with him so I could ride along with the Central Park Medical Unit (I'll make another post tonight with those photos).

 This whole week I met all kinds of people and I had the great fortune of being relatively new to this business resulting in my ignorance of who was more "important" than who. As I said, people are people everywhere and you have to learn to be yourself. Just because you're having drinks with the editors of Getty and Pulitzer winners doesn't mean you should be afraid of them. Being real and true to yourself goes a long way in standing out. 

Saturday I met with Brennon and he turns out to have been on the CPMU for 19 years after having been a publisher, photographer and journalist. When he was my age he headed to Vietnam and ended up photographing and writing. He also has cancer and lives alone. This is one reason he gave me some of his photography books including a Magnum book, a very old copy of Larry Burrows' Compassionate Photographer, and a 1955 edition of Edward Steichen's, The Family of Man. 

I was finally able to experience Whole Foods. I'm a go big or go home kind of person so of course it was the store in the Time Warner building and of course I saw Jake Gyllenhaal grocery shopping. 

Brennon introduced me to the new love of my life, IRIN News which reports "humanitarian news from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East". Walking through Central Park and then 30 blocks with a guy like him is something else. He has a lot of wild stories and has lived a full life. 

After I said good-bye to Brennon I headed back to Brooklyn (Alyssa ended up joining me) and we went to Peter Van Agtmael's 30th birthday where Alyssa got an education from Mark about hookah and fell in love with Jason Eskenazi's book Wonderland. At 12:06AM (on 4.5 hours of sleep from the night before) we said our good-byes and headed back to Rochester. It's a long drive through Pennsylvania in the day but at night it's just endless. At 6:05AM I dropped Alyssa at her apartment on RIT and turned up Ray LaMontagne as I headed to Lake Ontario to catch the sunrise. 

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