Turned 30 on Saturday. Body is still hurting from the weekend.
I've been looking forward to 30 for awhile. It's a good age - old enough to be respected but still young. And as a wise friend recently told me, the 20s are statistically the least happiest decade for men, which makes sense. We spend our 20s trying to find a partner, figure out a career and goals, and create a home. We then spend the rest of our lives trying to refine those things.
I spent most of my 20s in a dark room trying to build a business, develop an eye, and learn to retouch and print well. It was a tough decade, that slowly got better and better as I started to figure out what the hell I was actually doing. It took a long time for that to happen.
Sara took me to the Top of the Rock as a surprise on Friday night. It's funny, I've been photographing New York for the last 10 years, but it never occurred to me to go to Top of the Rock. It was a beautiful experience, especially at night, but it wasn't as inspiring a view as I thought it would be and it got me thinking. I kept thinking that I wish I had a thousand millimeter lens to see into each of the office windows. Maybe I've gotten desensitized to views like this, but the ground is where it's at in NY. This view is gorgeous and ever changing - but it doesn't tell the story of the City.
New York is a highly concentrated area of energy, creativity, diversity, and most of all, neuroticism. People come from all over the world to create their fortunes, have breakdowns, build their dreams, or to purchase $20 million Pied-à-terres.
There is a constant battle of locals and lifelong residents trying to live with some semblance of peace and normalty and hold on to their old neighborhoods, while the developers, chain stores and money try to kick them out to build higher so that they can cater to the ever growing supply of neurotic people wanting to live here. The money usually wins.
It's a tough thing to grow up here, to feed off the energy, to be used to being surrounded by and inspired by all types of unique and creative people, only to turn 30 and realize that you're constantly trying to be kicked out and replaced by someone who is willing to pay $100 more a month than you.
This photo above is the world's view of New York and the developers view of New York. But the real New York is down below on the street. For now at least.