Dumbo Street

A shot showing one of those emergency Fire/Police boxes. I found this one in DUMBO, Brooklyn with both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges in the background. The image was slightly post processed to give a more surreal effect to the photo. I mainly changed the following: contrast, recovery, fill light, saturation, and exposure. It is important to have fun with photography, and this is a lot closer to what I envisioned when taking this shot than what was in the original RAW file.

Dumbo Street
Originally uploaded by enzoem



Manhattan at Sunset

Here is a photo I recently made on a photography excursion. I had a main subject in mind, actually several, but shooting sunsets and bridges was not it. I was photographing street pianos. The point of this post is to be open to other possibilities and to fully take advantage of what is presented to us. I suppose I can keep this location my own little secret, but that would be mean. Also if you read my last entry I reveal where I was. This was made at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and I highly encourage you to go there for a relaxing time. You can picnic, walk, talk, or like the man in the picture below did, just stop for a moment and take it all in.




Play Me I’m yours - Tri-boro Edition

... the follow up to my previous post has finally arrived.

After starting my piano exploration in Jackson Heights, I decided that it was time to further explore some of the other 60+ pianos that "Play me, I'm yours" had to offer. On a side note, it was sad to hear that some of the pianos had been abused and/or vandalized and unplayable. Over the course of two days, I was able to visit and photograph an additional 5 pianos in two boros.

In Manhattan I saw two pianos in Times Square, one in Herald Square, and one in Chelsea Market. Unfortunately I failed to find the pianos located in both Bryant Park and Madison Square Park. This was a lot of walking for one day under the scorching sun, but well worth the efforts. Although I am not a huge fan of all the additional pedestrian areas of Times Square, it was an ideal location for pianos.

Moving on to Herald Square, a man in a USA hat was playing good music. I am not sure if they were together or just a passerby, but a woman also briefly sat at the piano to play a quick tune. The man in the USA hat eventually returned to the piano and continued to play. People were sitting all around the nearby chairs and benches to enjoy his playing.

The final stop in Manhattan was the piano inside Chelsea Market located all the way towards the back closer to 10th Ave. The pianist was accompanied by a violinist. The two seemed to be getting on as they made music with their instruments.

There was still one more piano on my list to be seen. Brooklyn Bridge Park, located in DUMBO and as you might guess, right next to the world famous Brooklyn Bridge. Of the various pianos visited, this was by far the best setting photographically. I am sure some of the pianos located in Central Park were just as scenic, but there is something special about Brooklyn and its bridge. How can you go wrong with a piano in a park, next to the water, close to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, across the river from the South Street Seaport, and a little further away the Statue of Liberty could be seen? Fuggedaboutit.

By the time you read this, the "Play me, I'm yours" project will be over in New York City. Thankfully it is not over, but will continue to enhance other people's lives in other cities. Having a music background, listening to piano players from all walks of life and as many different styles and skill levels, this was a true joy. Besides the music there was a social aspect to the project. And when I say social I do not mean social networking over the interwebs of the information superhighway. I mean real human interaction. Some interactions were as basic as clapping after a well played piece and the musician replying with an honest "Thank you." Many interactions I also witnessed consisted of someone requesting a specific song or piece to be played and sometimes even played and sang. Random strangers were seen talking to each other, commenting on the the event they were witnessing. I also had significant conversations with total strangers in my own neighborhood. These are people I would never stop and talk to if not for the "Play me, I'm yours" project.

Please feel free to leave me any comments regarding this post, or any photograph seen here. The below image is a collage I made consisting of photographs taken by myself of the various pianos in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.




Play Me I’m Yours - Jackson Heights Edition

Play me I’m yours.

Please see link above for full details of this art project. In short, there are currently over 60 pianos all over New York City that are free for the public to play. I happen to be lucky enough to live a few blocks from one of the "Play me I'm yours" pianos.

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A few nights ago during an early evening walk I noticed music, but not the typical music that can be heard blasting out of cars in the neighborhood, this was classical music. After walking a little further I saw a small crowd gathered around a piano next to the Post Office. We instantly realized this was the music/art project we had recently heard about but had no idea it had begun or the fact that there was a free street piano in Jackson Heights. After returning home from our walk we could not get to our computers fast enough to do a little research on the street pianos that we came to find out were part of "Play me I'm yours."

The following day we ventured out to see the local piano but things did not go as planned. A blue tarp was covering the piano with a sign saying that it was temporarily out of order. We were hoping that it would be repaired soon. It was. After dinner we decided to see what the status of the piano was. I could not see the piano as I walked closer and closer on 37th Ave., but seeing the gathered crowd was enough to tell me that there would be music to listen to.

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Quite a crowd had gathered and the older gentleman who played was a hit. Everyone standing around the piano was thoroughly enjoying the music. As you can see from the photo above, some people were making recordings of the impromptu mini-concertos on their cell phones and others like myself were photographing the event. It was refreshing to watch and listen to this older man play music and enjoy life.

play-me-I'm yours-jackson-heights-piano-queens-William-Gati-plays

Next up to the keys was a piano player/singer by the name of William Gati. He has been playing at a few different pianos and has also submitted videos of himself to the "Play me I’m yours" website. Since there seemed to be a lack of fellow piano players willing to play that evening, William Gati continued to entertain the crowd.

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Young, old, locals, tourists, and everything in between made up the audience this evening.

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Eventually a mother and daughter took a seat on the piano to play a lovely duet.

To be continued...