new york city

Last week I flew to New York City to begin work on a new commissioned painting. I can't reveal details yet, but I had an exciting time exploring Manhattan with my camera for a few days. I packed light - my Canon, two lenses, a film camera and a change of clothes in my purse - and wandered my way up and down the streets of midtown, my hotel in the the Upper West Side, Greenwich Village and everything in between.

Radio City Music Hall and Rockafeller Plaza... sadly, no Liz Lemon sightings.

Radio City Music Hall and Rockafeller Plaza... sadly, no Liz Lemon sightings.

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I wandered around checking out the usual midtown landmarks - Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building and Times Square.

I wandered around checking out the usual midtown landmarks - Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building and Times Square.

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Grand Central Terminal in midtown as the sun set. The outside was beautiful and the inside was huge!

Grand Central Terminal in midtown as the sun set. The outside was beautiful and the inside was huge!

A view of the rooftops of the Upper West SIde from my very old hotel window.

A view of the rooftops of the Upper West SIde from my very old hotel window.

Wandering around Central Park.

Wandering around Central Park.

Since it was raining there weren't a lot of performers or musicians out in Central Park, but I grabbed a coffee and chatted with this guy for a while... he laughed every time one of his bubbles floated away popped near an unsuspecting tourist :)

Since it was raining there weren't a lot of performers or musicians out in Central Park, but I grabbed a coffee and chatted with this guy for a while... he laughed every time one of his bubbles floated away popped near an unsuspecting tourist :)

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Chelsea Market.. possibly the most visually interesting place I have ever been.

Chelsea Market.. possibly the most visually interesting place I have ever been.

Outside a record store in Greenwich Village.

Outside a record store in Greenwich Village.

Covered sitting area in the High Line Park.

Covered sitting area in the High Line Park.

In the Meatpacking district.

In the Meatpacking district.

I was really fortunate to visit a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit. Though I've  been to New York City a few times before, I've never gone there alone and it was a challenge to explore by myself and allow myself to get lost enough to prepare for this piece... but not too lost.

After exploring alone for almost 9 hours I was so happy to meet up with my friend Greg for a late dinner. A Manhattan native, Greg was the first good friend I made after moving to Massachusetts for college and I was lucky to have him as a patient guide for a few hours the next day as we grabbed pizza, checked out Chelsea Market and wandered around downtown. I thought Times Square and the other usual New York tourist spots were fine, but the places that I really loved were Chelsea, the Meatpacking district and Greenwich Village. It's always interesting to see neighborhoods in transition and old urban architecture being given new life.

My favorite part of the entire trip was walking the High Line - an old elevated railroad track in Chelsea made into a long, walkable park with amazing views over rooftops, factories and the skyscrapers of midtown. It was hard to walk past the Guggenheim and the Met and not have time to stop in... maybe I'll have time next month when I am back there?

Ten small paintings have already made their way into existence in my sketchbook... maybe I'll share them later this week? I already have great hopes for this commission.